Material efficiency playss a central role in preventing and minimizing waste generated in Marimekko’s production. Materials and fabric qualities that are easily recyclable, such as mono-materials, will in the future enable fully circular value chains. Cutting waste is reduced through decisions made in the design phase, e.g. by considering size and positioning of prints and designing products of different sizes from the same fabric. The patterns are set with the help of a software which keeps the waste at a minimum level.
Sometimes fabrics are left over for example from clothing collections. These surpluses, as well as the surplus dyes from our own printing production, are usually utilized as special products in our seasonal collections or campaigns like the bi-annual friendship sales. Furthermore, in 2021 we piloted a new concept – Marimekko Upcycled – that reworked the legendary Jokapoika shirt from earlier collections and introduced upcycled bags made by utilizing leftover fabrics from previous production runs. Surplus fabric is also sold in Marimekko outlets to people who like to sew, and sometimes they are donated for example to nearby schools or day-care centers for children’s handicrafts.
Having in-house manufacturing is extremely important for product development as it enables us to test new more sustainable materials and colors. The base fabrics for our own printing factory are sourced, for example, from Germany, Portugal, Turkey and Peru.
We aim to continue reducing fabric, plastic and other waste and move towards recycled and reusable packaging. All packaging materials are already recyclable, and in 2021, 100 percent of waste collected in the printing factory and headquarters was recycled as material or utilized in energy production. In the future, we aim to increase the share of recycled waste as material.
From the beginning of 2022, Rester Oy’s recycling facility in Paimio, Finland has been making new textile fibers from the end-of-life textiles of Marimekko’s own production, from the textile printing factory and sewing shop in Helsinki, Finland. Cooperation with Rester supports Marimekko’s goal of a value chain in line with circular economy.