Marimekko works with approximately 10 cut-make-trim suppliers in Lithuania. In 2015, Lithuania accounted for approximately 40 percent of the total production of Marimekko’s fashion products. The fabrics sewn in Lithuania are usually made in Italy or Turkey and some of the fabrics are printed in Marimekko’s own printing factory in Helsinki, Finland.
One of the most significant Lithuanian suppliers is a family-owned company UAB Tindra with whom Marimekko has been working with since 2010. The company has impressed people at Marimekko with their expertise, quality, and customer-oriented mindset. In addition to few local companies, Tindra has customers mainly in Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and the UK.
UAB Tindra in brief:
- Founded in 1992
- Marimekko’s partner manufacturer since 2010
- Currently employs 75 people
- Majority of the employees are women which is typical for the Lithuanian clothing industry
- For example, the “Mailill” dress with Kivet pattern (Stones in Finnish) from Marimekko’s spring and summer 2016 collection has been manufactured by Tindra. The fabric of the dress has been printed at Marimekko’s own printing factory in Helsinki, Finland.
“Creativity is the best part of my job”
Seamstress Regina Užtupytė has been working at Tindra since 1996.
“I have liked sewing since I was a child. At first I worked as a production line seamstress at Tindra and nowadays I work in the sample department and sew sample products from the beginning to the end. I like especially the creative side of my work when I get to think what would be the best way to produce the garment in actual production”, says Regina.
Profitable and sustainable business requires continuous development of production
Like many companies, Tindra has faced many changes and challenges over the years related to availability of employees and the cost of labor, for example. According to the Managing Director Martynas Lukasenkinas, the changes have also affected the company’s business strategy; in the beginning the company was making lower price garments to big retail chains, and nowadays they focus on producing higher-quality clothes for fashion brands at the medium and upper price-point.
“To be able to maintain a profitable and sustainable business the production needs to be continuously developed for example by investing in semi-automatic machinery and regularly upgrading sewing machines to more efficient and modern ones. In recruiting, we are working with the Lithuanian Labor Exchange and taking part in different programs. We also give in-house training for seamstresses so that they can gain work experience from the clothing industry”, Martynas explains.
Efforts in employee satisfaction help to get the best people
To keep its existing workers and attract new ones Tindra puts a lot of effort in employee satisfaction. Building and maintaining good relationships with employees and collaboration are crucial issues.
“It’s very important that our managers listen to workers’ wishes and needs. Problems are dealt with and solved together”, Martynas explains.
“We have been working with Marimekko for a long time and I think we have built a good relationship and achieved good results together. We enjoy collaboration with Marimekko as we feel that the company is a strong and advanced partner. Good communication and technological skills at both ends help us to plan and ensure fluent production process from all the way from the sample development and final production to the shipping of the ready-made garments.”