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Marimekko collaborates with Spinnova on sustainable fabrics

By Kristopher Fraser

Feb 26, 2020

Fashion

Marimekko and the Finnish fiber technology company Spinnova have created the first ever printed clothes made of Spinnova’s wood-based fiber containing no harmful chemicals. The Marimekko prototype outfits featuring the signature Unikko (poppy) print and the brand’s signature stripes.

“Sustainability starts with design," said Minna Kemmel-Kutvonen, design and product development director of prints and home products at Marimekko in a statement. "At Marimekko, we believe that timeless and long-lasting design that brings joy to our customers for many years is also a sustainable choice. The work to maximize a product’s life cycle and make it as sustainable as possible begins on the designer’s drawing board and material choices play an important role in this. The Marimekko textile printing factory in Helsinki, which serves not only as our production facility but also very much as our creative hub, offers us unique opportunities to actively participate in research and development projects taking the textile industry towards a more sustainable future. Together with Spinnova we have been able to take major steps in developing new sustainable materials from wood-based fibers, and we are proud to present the Marimekko prototype outfits made of these transformational sustainable fabrics and featuring our distinctive, bold patterns."

Marimekko and Spinnova unveil sustainable fabrics

The denim-like jacket and bag sporting the monochromatic Unikko print as well as the striped jersey shirt, all in strong primary colors of blue and red, comprised the design elements of these protoypes. Playing with these classics, Marimekko’s ready-to-wear designer Riikka Buri gave the demo products a modern twist with oversized proportions and fresh color combinations. Both the woven and the jersey fabric used in these products were made of the Spinnova fiber (combined with cotton and/or lyocell). The outfits were designed, printed and manufactured by Marimekko at the Marimekko House in Helsinki, Finland.

The cooperation of Marimekko and Spinnova on the development and market entry of new, wood-based textiles began in 2017. In just two years, the collaboration has brought great progress in creating the end products made with Spinnova’s technology that fulfil the fashion and textile industry’s quality and sustainability requirements.

“Having a brave, expert partner like Marimekko’s view on the fiber and the applications it suits early on has been very valuable to us," said Spinnova CEO and co-founder Janne Poranen in a statement. "Introducing the first prototypes with a globally renowned, iconic brand like this is a very proud moment for the Spinnova team."

As part of its ambitious sustainability agenda, one of the key objectives of Marimekko is to continuously increase the share of sustainable cotton and other more sustainable materials in its products and packaging. The Spinnova fiber represents a very promising new sustainable material innovation.

With Spinnova’s technology, wood pulp can be spun into textile fiber without regenerating, dissolving or harmful chemicals. The method is considerably less of a strain on the environment than e.g. viscose or cotton production. The manufacture of the Spinnova fiber consumes some 99 percent less water than cotton production. A fabric made with Spinnova fiber is fully circular post-consumer and biodegrades quickly, which further reduces the environmental footprint of the fiber’s entire life cycle.

photo: Marimekko. courtesy of PR Consulting