Meet the maker: Klarika, Viro

24 April marks the yearly international Fashion Revolution Day for a more responsible garment industry. Fashion Revolution Day honors the memory of the workers deceased in the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory building in Bangladesh in 2013.

The sustainability of operations throughout our supply chain is very important to Marimekko and we want to do our part in promoting responsibility and transparency in the garment industry.

We are proud of our skilled supplier network and all the employees that have their own stories to tell. In the spirit of Fashion Revolution we want to share some of them.

Gevatex manufactures Marimekko bags in Estonia

A large proportion of the fabrics used for Marimekko bags is printed at our in-house textile printing factory in Helsinki, after which they go forth across the world to our highly skilled suppliers for sewing. One of our partner factories operating in Estonia is the Tallinn-based company Gevatex.

Handcraft as work and pleasure

On the second floor at the Gevatex bag factory we meet Klarika Tamm at her sewing machine. She has worked for Gevatex for six years. Handcraft is not only Klarika’s bread and butter but also her hobby, as she also sews, knits and crotchets in her spare time. Klarika’s other passion is large jigsaw puzzles, which she finds truly relaxing to put together.

“When you do a jigsaw puzzle your mind goes blank as you have to focus on remembering which coloured piece goes where. You get the same effect when mowing grass!” Klarika declares.

Improving your own job boosts meaningfulness

Klarika is happy to be able to make Marimekko products. She finds it especially pleasing to have been able to improve her own job. “I’ve suggested changes to make the work easier and my wishes have been listened to. So I’ve been able to make my job nicer and also more efficient,” Klarika says.

In the course of six years, Klarika has sewed a number of Marimekko bag models. Her favourite, though, is the Merimies bag from a few years back. “If I could design the bag of my dreams, it would be a Merimies bag with blue and white striped fabric. Merimies is my favourite Marimekko bag, although from the point of view of sewing it wasn’t the easiest model.”

Of the bags in the spring and summer 2017 collection, Kerttu and Veronika bags have been among those made by Gevatex.

Gevatex in brief:

  • Factory specialising in bag production
  • Founded in 1996
  • Partnership with Marimekko started in the early 2000s
  • Personnel: roughly 90 employees (combined for Tallinn and Narva factories)
  • Average age of employees 35–40 years