Marimekko and Spinnova’s collaboration on groundbreaking, sustainable fabrics recognized in Fast Company’s 2020 Innovation by Design Awards

Marimekko and the Finnish fiber technology company Spinnova’s collaboration on groundbreaking, sustainable fabrics was recognized as a finalist in the Sustainability category in Fast Company’s 2020 Innovation by Design Awards. The collaboration also received an honorable mention in the Experimental category.

One of the most sought-after design awards in the industry, Innovation by Design is the only competition to honor creative work at the intersection of design, business, and innovation. The awards recognize people, teams, and companies solving problems through design.

Marimekko and Spinnova have been collaborating on developing and commercializing new, wood-based textiles since 2017. Spinnova’s innovation addresses the environmental impacts of the fashion and textile industries, as the manufacture of textile fiber spun with Spinnova’s method consumes nearly 100% less water than cotton production. Furthermore, the fiber contains no harmful chemicals and is completely recyclable.

The Marimekko prototype outfits produced as part of the collaboration – including the first ever printed clothes made of Spinnova’s fiber – were introduced in February 2020. The outfits featuring Marimekko’s iconic Unikko (poppy) print and the company’s signature stripes demonstrate the great potential of the fiber innovation for a more sustainable future of the textile industry.

“We are very honored by Fast Company’s accolade. At Marimekko, we believe that timeless and long-lasting design that brings joy to our customers for many years is also a sustainable choice. Material choices play an important role in the work to maximize a product’s life cycle and make it as sustainable as possible. Together with Spinnova, we have been able to take major steps in developing new sustainable materials from wood-based fibers,” says Minna Kemell-Kutvonen, Design and Product Development Director of Prints and Home Products at Marimekko.

“This truly is innovation by design, as Marimekko’s designers have been involved in the collaboration since very early on. Making a market entry for a novel material speeds up when fearless, experimental minds come together, and also make their collaboration transparent to consumers. We are thrilled that Fast Company acknowledged it,” comments Spinnova’s CEO and co-founder Janne Poranen.

In just two years, the partnership between Marimekko and Spinnova has brought great progress in creating end products made with Spinnova’s technology that fulfill the fashion and textile industry’s quality and sustainability requirements.

The winners, finalists and honorable mentions of the 2020 Innovation by Design Awards are featured online as well as in the October/November 2020 issue of Fast Company magazine. Over 567 projects, products, and services from Spotify, Google, Disney+, and others were submitted for the awards in 2020.