Consumers are becoming increasingly interested and knowledgeable about the impacts that their purchasing decisions have on the surrounding world, and they are keener to find out about the process of turning raw materials into the products that they buy and use. Easier recycling of products after use is also an important bonus in the eyes of many.
Even so, this progress has not yet reached the point at which consumers would be willing to make major sacrifices for products that would be better for both the environment and people. We should, therefore, still seek to make sustainable consumption at least as easy as other alternatives. We also have certain established patterns of consumption that are hard to change. What we need is a fresh perspective.
Milla Asikainen, Sustainability Manager at Marimekko
One emerging opportunity for the clothing and fashion industry is the use of more environmentally friendly materials and raw material innovations. These include the Ioncell F method jointly developed by Aalto University and the University of Helsinki, which uses new technology to spin synthetic cellulose-based textile fibre. A prototype dress made from this new material featured in a Marimekko fashion show in 2014. We successfully tested the printing properties of this material at our own fabric printing mill in Helsinki last year.
Several splendid projects are currently under way in Finland to develop methods for manufacturing biodegradable, environmentally friendlier textiles from cellulose fibre. Bringing such materials onto the market would solve many challenges of the clothing and fashion industry at a stroke. Besides reducing environmental impacts, this would enable clothing brands to rely on the expertise of the forest industry in tracing the origins of raw materials.
Marimekko is committed to increasing the share of more sustainable materials in our collections, and we are always looking for more environmentally friendly options. We pay close attention to raw materials research, and we try to make our own expertise available to various projects. We believe that the new generation of cellulosebased textiles will give Finland an excellent opportunity to take the lead in pioneering more responsible textile materials.
Sustainability Manager, Marimekko