FUTURE, I N N OVAT I O N S & BUSINESS
Issue 2 2017
F U T U R E , I N N OVAT I O N S & B U S I N E S S
E t e l Ã¤ r a n ta 1 0 | 0 0 1 3 0 H e l s i n k i | s tj m . f i
The quest for the green gold: Wood to fashion
Sensors for trousers & other smart textiles
Business tips from the futurist
Airplanes, trains and boats Upholstery, seat covers, corridor mats, composite structures, boat sails and tarps
F R A M E S A N D G R O W I N G B LO O D V E S S E L S .
TO ME N T I O N A FE W
INTERIOR DESIGN BUT ALSO FOR THINGS LIKE CAR
T E X T I L E S A R E U S E D N OT J U S T F O R C LOT H I N G A N D
Human body Blood vessels, liga ments, tendons and heart valves (grown using human cells and a textile structure), tissue reinforce ments, sutures, GoreTex cardiovascular patches
3D textile structures 3D printed textiles (under development): for example, three-di mensional surfaces or zipper reinforce ments
Hygiene products Wet wipes, dia pers, bra pads, in dividually wrapped wipes, cotton pads, incontinence products, makeup remover wipes
3. Wind power Composite mate rials for the wind turbine blades
9. Healthcare Bed linen, hospital gowns, staff clothing, textiles for operating theatres, hygiene fab rics, wound dressings, diapers, gauzes
Agriculture Milk filters, leaning textiles, c udder support for cows, netting for fences, protective covers, compost covers, ropes, straps, sacks
Cars Upholstery, mats, safety belts, airbags, tyres, hoses, drive belts, insulation, composite structures (textile adds light weight durability to composites)
Sound and thermal insulation, acoustic panels, protective nets, wallpapers and floor materials, fibre-reinforced com posites such as waste water tanks, pipes and sinks, moisture protection, AC filters, underlay membranes, structures and frames, membrane materials
Sun shelters, marquees, composite outdoor furniture, sleeping bags and pads, prams, umbrellas
Industrial processes producing forming and press sections for the pulp and paper industry, filters for gas, fluids and particles, flexible silos and storage tanks, absorption textiles, as well as B2B products like laminate underlays, com posite reinforcements, gaskets and filters etc.
8. S E E B A C K C OV E R >
> S E E F R O N T C OV E R
f uture , inno vations & b usiness
I SSU E
New concepts, innovations and ideas. The most interesting picks from the Finnish textile industry.
2037 – 14 Futurist Elina Hiltunen and Nina Kopola, CEO of S uominen, take us to the future. Sporting luxury – 22
Sportswear is smart and chic.
Feel the change – 30 Our seven favourites.
Bright and shiny future – 36
Get finance tips from Spinnova’s Janne Poranen and business angel Leena Niemistö.
Tried and tested – 42
Epitome of functionality. It’s all about who’s wearing the overalls.
So long leftovers – 48
Fashion professor Timo Rissanen and Jukka Pesola from Pure Waste put an end to textile waste.
BB p.53 SUCCESS STORIES:
Business brainiacs: Learn from the best — learn from the Finns.
Fab EDITOR’S LETTER
“The textile industry is in positive turmoil.”
Finnish Textile & Fashion publishes two Fab magazines this year. This is the second issue, and the theme is FUTURE & INNOVATIONS.
EMBRACE THE NEW I T I S I M P O R TA N T TO E VO LV E constantly no matter the industry you are in. This is what Nina Kopola, CEO of Suominen (page 14) says. You cannot keep winning with yesterday’s resources. The textile and fashion industry is undergoing an interesting and positive turmoil. For example, there are cellulose-based textile fibres being developed in Finland that are even more environmentally friendly, and new forms of circular economy and responsibility are being introduced. Next, we should properly commercialise these remarkable innovations and make them available to the industry. This requires bold investment as well as educated specialists. As the world is perpetually changing, we need the courage to rethink our education system. The driving themes behind the Fab magazines are inspiration and the collision of people and ideas. I myself was inspired by this issue and reading about the opportu nities the future presents the Finnish companies. The future awaits those who make things happen.
Anna–Kaisa Auvinen, managing director, Finnish Textile & Fashion
PUB LISHER Finnish Textile & Fashion LAYOUT AND ART ICLES Gut Studio Oy, gut.fi art director Leena Oravainio graphic desi gners Milena Huhta and Anssi Nordberg illustrations Milena Huhta COVER photo Suvi Kesäläinen back COVER photo Aalto Universty & VTT / Eeva Suorlahti ART ICLES Anna-Kaari Hakkarainen, Susanna Hyvärinen, Antti Järvi, Leena Lukkari, Laura Mattila, Tia Nikkinen, Noora Nuotio PHOTO GRAPHERS Suvi Kesäläinen, Marjaana Malkamäki, Niko Mitrunen, Marko Rantanen T RANSLAT ION Helmi Kaydamov PRINT ING HOUSE Forssa Print FEEDB ACK firstname.lastname@example.org Printed 9/2017
FUTURE, inno vations & b usiness
I SSU E
“The essence of creativity is to do something differently, better.” p. 8
This, too, can be turned into fabric:
PLASTIC B OTTLE
NUMBERS TELL US
Growth in demand for Familon’s technical bedding in 2016.
The average body temperature maintained by the Familon Outlast heat balancing products.
3 x MEDICAL TEXTILES
Responsibility obliges S O M E T I M E S, I N H I N D S I G H T , you realise you have been ahead of the curve. This is what happened to Fiblon, a family company from Pori, western Finland. They manufacture napkins and cleaning wipes for the hotel and restaurant industry. In 1996 a big international client asked the company to list the energy and water consumption in the manufacturing processes. Devising the report, they noticed that responsibility was present in all the operations and choices. “Our products are for short-term use so our responsibility in using the planet’s resources is particularly important”, says Anne Ekberg, Vice President in Fiblon’s communications and marketing. The responsibility is still there even though many issues have been fine-tuned and tweaked. Like Ekberg puts it: “We have the responsibility and opportunity to spread awareness and knowledge so that our clients can make even more sensible choices.”
DID YOU KNOW?
Bold and smart
THE TERM TO KNOW
Fiblon’s multipurpose Softnapkin is biodegradable.
The strongest of all known materials. As an elastic material it can be integrated in textiles to add fire retardant properties. Graphene conducts heat and electricity, and makes textiles stronger and more durable. It also has antistatic and antibacterial properties.
Their Mikkeli unit makes over 300 million wound care products a year. The company has now released products that prevent bedsores.
Ahlstrom-Munksjö This company from Tampere, central Finland, manufactures high-quality filter media for HVAC applications in hospitals.
The factory in Kauhava, western Finland, manufactures elastic bandages tailored according to customer’s wishes.
H E AT R EG U L AT I N G smart clothing can cool off a sur-
geon who is sweating or can keep a wind turbine repairer warm. The same clothes can also monitor employee's safety. This is the idea behind Pekka Tuomaala’s largescale project Smart Clothing 2.0. He is a principal scientist at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. There are several partners, like Finlayson and Reima, partici pating. First products are expected in autumn 2018.
MEET THE BRAND
KEEP IT ROUGH
asta, an outdoor wear company from Nurmes, eastern Finland, manufactured their first piece of clothing in 1969 from rough wool fabric sarka. Throughout the years many different technical innovations have emerged, yet, slowly but surely the consumers have, once again, found the fabric. Wool keeps you warm when it’s cold, stays cool when it’s warm and even if it’s damp it will still keep you warm. It’s breathable and, when tightly knit, it wards off the wind. “In many circumstances sarka is unbeatable compared to most technical fabrics”, says Juha Latvala, Managing Director of Sasta. The company has been offering repair services for decades now. Long before ecological companies started using that as a selling point.
Sasta’s recycled rough wool fabric is woven in Prato Green District, Italy.
Finlayson's CEO Jukka Kurttila came up with the idea of the bed linen when he was online searching for products that would last a lifetime and couldn't find any interior textiles. MEET THE BRAND
OH JESUS Here you have sheets that, if washed once a month, will last for 50 years and come with a warranty to match. Finlayson has manufactured the linen Jesus duvet covers meticulously: all the seams are reinforced and the care instructions are embroidered onto the fabric. The name Jesus comes from using a material and twill weave similar to the Shroud of Turin which has been preserved till this day. It may have lasted some millennia but certainly has not been washed that many times.
DID YOU KNOW?
Aalto seal of approval
THIS IS ONE WAY Aalto University collaborates with companies: In summer 2016, the American VF Corporation – the company behind Timberland and The North Face – asked Aalto’s students to design a new material and a colour concept. Soon Pauliina Varis found herself in San Fransisco and working on the sports fabric she had developed. The fabric is about to be commoditised and commercialised.
1. DESIGN The design team is constantly researching, testing, collecting data and examining the needs motorcyclists might have in the future. Sometimes it takes ten years to develop materials and the technique to be able to realise your vision.
3. C O L L A B O R AT I O N The Realer jacket features shoulders and elbows protected with Armacor, as well as Rukka D3O Air protectors on the chest and back area. The shields are breathable and provide impact protection. The protectors are the result of a close cooperation with the London-based company D3O. Rukka is always looking for new collaboration partners.
I N N OVAT I O N S
VA LU E S
In the early 1990s Rukka’s design team dreamt about having reflective dye for textiles. At the time reflective materials had to be sewn onto fabric. This was not durable and did not look good. The team approached 3M with the idea and the developing began. Nowadays this reflective fabric is used practically in all sports textiles.
Two values always guide the design process: Defence and Comfort. Rukka believes that when a protective product is comfortable, you enjoy wearing it. Realer has a detachable down liner and zippers for ventilation. These details make sure you can ride comfortably whether the temperature hits below zero or if there is a heat wave.
R U K K A M OTO R S P O R T D O E S N ’ T M A K E C LOT H E S . IT MAKES EQUIPMENT RIDERS TRUST WITH THEIR LIVES. B R A N D M A N A G E R H A N N U M A L I N E N T E L L S U S W H AT I T TA K E S TO E A R N T H AT T R U S T.
ENTREPRENEUR AND AUTHOR
SAKU TUOMINEN LISTS THINGS T H AT F O S T E R C R E AT I V E L I F E .
1. ] D E S I R E
“The essence of creativity is to do something in a different manner, and better. If the desire is missing, there is nothing. People are not creative with everything but only in what interests them. Desire, at its best, is having a passion for something. When you want to develop your creativity, you need to focus on that. Good things follow automatically.” Love what you want to be good at.
[ 2. ]
“People often ask which book they should read if they want to get ideas. Nobody knows where people come up with ideas. A thought that might feel totally useless can generate something brilliant. Creativity is curiosity about the world, wondering, questioning, awe and contemplation.” Be enthusiastic about different things and ask questions.
[ 4. ]
E X P E R I M E N TAT I O N
“It’s impossible to recognise an idea that will definitely work. The world is full of good ideas which for some reason, at the time, did not work. Instead of talking about failures, you should talk about experimentations that did not work, about learning, about the process. Creativity is often associated with tension and anxiety. I myself believe more in optimism, in something floating and joyous.” D o n’ t o v e r t h i n k i t , t r y i t .
[ 3. ]
“I increasingly believe that all great things emanate from our subconscious mind suddenly, say, while we are taking a shower or jogging. The subconscious creates by merging different things in unexpected ways. This would require having an open mind with lots of things going on.”
[ 5. ]
Understand and trust your m i n d .
“Essential for all this is sleep. If you are tired and don’t sleep well, you can easily lose the magic, one of your main assets. The tired mind is closed, timid, negative, dull. This cuts into the curiosity and dampens the mood to experiment things.”
PIC TURES joutsen, anna-k aari ha kkarainen , leena oravainio AND sa ku tuominen . T he middle picture is a part of Antti Laitinen’s artwork .
USE YOUR JOY
Hump day “ Y E A R S A G O we were at a health convention in Dubai marketing our medical compression garments. We told everyone that we were currently developing compression apparel also for dogs. A local client asked why wouldn’t we develop them for camels, too. That there was demand. We have a vision that all living things deserve a better quality of life so we immediately thought why not. We found a camel farm in England and were able to test the prototypes there. Later we got a partner from the United Arab Emirates and were able to put our compression garments to the test properly to see the effect they have on the racing camels. When they wore the apparel they calmed down, relaxed and would lay down to ruminate. We are now preparing a study examining the supporting garments and camels. Then we will launch in the Arab market. After that we will focus on horses.”
Lymed, from Tampere, is a company that manu factures medical compression apparel for human and veterinary use. The textiles are used for post-operative care, occupational therapy and pain management. Most of the production is madeto-measure garments.
PIC TURE lymed
–T E I J A T O I K K A , C E O A N D F O U N D E R O F L Y M E D O Y
APPreciate what you have
TRACE THE ORIGIN
know YOUR DOG
FIND YOUR SIZE
GRAB YOUR FAVO U R I T E
The UK app PROVENANCE allows you to easily trace the origin of a product. It has been piloted also for textiles. provenance.org
If your dog wears the Rukka smart vest, you can monitor your dog’s welfare using the SENSE OF INTELLIGENCE app. Sensors track, for example, body temperature, activity and sleep. senseofintelligence.com
TAILORGUIDE app takes your measurements based on your photo and height. Then it suggests items that are the right size for you. Biancaneve is one of the brands available on the app. tailor.guide
The Finnish mobile app Ivalo is a platform for independent fashion brands. The purchase is just a swipe away. ivalo.com
DID YOU KNOW?
Step into my scanner
N O M O T E C H N O L O G I E S from Espoo has developed a 3D scanner and a smart measuring tape to measure the human body with extreme precision. The acquired data can be used, for example, by the online shops to focus their selection to the customers. The next phase in the product development is piloting the pro duct. The company is now looking for suitable retail partners.
PRINTSCORPIOâ€™S UNIQUE PRINTING TECHNIQUE REVOLUTIONISES THE PRODUCTION OF SMALL SERIES OF CLOTHING.
Printscorpio made a large-scale investment acquiring a new digital printer and pattern cutting machine. The combination is unique in Finland and it's quite rare on a worldwide scale, too.
Making it unique for new and small clothing labels if they want to manufacture small editions of print clothing and, furthermore, do it for a reasonable price. Traditionally the machines print a continuous print throughout the entire fabric and the size of the image cannot be adjusted. Quantities are large and there is always leftover fabric. Printscorpio, a company in the village of Aitoo, is doing things differently now. The company uses a digital printing machine that enables the creation of individual prints directly onto clothing patterns. It can also print simultaneously orders from different customers. In addition, a separate machine cuts the clothes. At its fastest the client gets the cut material, which is ready for sewing, within 24 hours and at a competitive price, too. The technology would enable the consumers to order their own individual designs that they have customised themselves online. Printscorpio is now looking for a partner to join them in the business. â€œI believe that in the future you must be able to produce individual articles without it having to be made by hand", says Tommi Helminen, CEO of Printscorpio.
I T I S O F T E N D I F F I C U LT
OPEN FOR BUSINESS 1 – U nmade combines the trend of person-
T H E S E O N L I N E S TO R E S PAV E T H E WAY F O R N E W B U S I N E S S M O D E L S .
alising clothes and interesting technology: the company provides fashion brands the
2 – V I G G A re nts out diffe re nt se ts of childre n’s
opportunity to sell knit-
clothing and de live rs the m home to the custo-
wear that the customers
me r. Whe n the child grows out of the clothe s, the
can modify by changing
package is re turne d and Vigga se nds the custome r
colours and patterns.
bigge r clothe s. vigga.us
UMd Studio’s webstore offers pieces from dif-
ferent designers. Simple, easy-to-use web design ensures the customer can effortlessly browse, customise and buy knitwear. unmade.com
5 – Z azzle take s the pe rsonalisation tre nd to a whole ne w
le ve l . It’s difficult to think of a product
that you could not pe rsonalise he re : a shir t , shoe s, le ggings or be d line n , anything goe s. Zazzle has mode lle d itse lf afte r
3 – E v erlane has taken on the ideology of transparency: the description of each product details where it has been made, facts about the factory and how the employees are treated.
Etsy and provide s also a fre e platform .
4 – W E S TA R T E D T H I S sells second hand
clothing in their online shop and in the Sello shopping centre, Espoo. You can bring quality items to be sold . You get half of the proceeds. wst.fi
f uture , inno vations & b usiness
I SSU E
â€œWe have to be perceptive and take responsibility for the future. Otherwise we just float aimlessly.â€? p. 1 4
This, too, can be turned into fabric:
p inea p p le .
Elina Hiltunen â€“ A futurist, non-fiction author and innovator from Espoo, Finland. She lectures for companies, coaches and spots weak signals posting them on her Instagram account @ futureweaksignals.
Nina Kopola â€“
CEO of Suominen Corporation since 2011. The company manufactures nonwoven fabrics employing 650 people in Europe, the United States and Brazil.
2037 W E A S K E D F U T U R I S T E L I N A H I LT U N E N A N D N I N A K O P O L A , C E O O F S U O M I N E N , TO I M A G I N E T H E F U T U R E I N 2 0 Y E A R S ’ T I M E . T H E Y C A M E U P W I T H A L I S T O F T H I N G S T H AT C O M PA N I E S S H O U L D TA K E I N TO C O N S I D E R AT I O N TO D AY.
W R I T T E N A P P L I C AT I O N had to be sent to HR stating reasons why you wanted an internet connection to your computer. It was a special service and not something that everyone needed. The computer was of the portable kind weighing only 16 kilos. Nina Kopola lugged the thing between home and work. The memory from the late 1990s business life makes Kopola laugh. She is nowadays the CEO of Suominen, a corporation that manufactures nonwoven fabrics. “The change happened fast in the past couple of decades but I wonder if it felt faster in the era when electricity and the car were invented?” Kopola contemplates. Futurist Elina Hiltunen tells about a recent conversation she had with the hotel receptionist
in Singapore. They talked about her hair style. Hiltunen shows her picture from the phone: you wouldn’t think that’s a robot. “She is learning constantly, remembers everything and she is connected to the web.” Because of her profession Hiltunen is one of the first to get to know about new things. It provides fuel for the mind. “In terms of the future it’s really important to come up with different options and to invent different futures, something to reach and aspire to. It’s about anticipation, too. Avoiding tripping up.” Hiltunen has promised to tell about the most important megatrends to mould the future and Kopola to comment on them from her own point of view. In the end they will reveal how a company can mould its own future.
Elina: â€œI recommend following the studies of trend companies and universities, reading science magazines and going to fairs to see new things. Itâ€™s worth your while to talk with people who are slightly mad, people who live on the brink of the future.â€?
W I L D C LOT H I N G I D E A S : I w o n d e r i f w e w i l l h a v e c l o t h i n g l i n e s f o r r o b o t s i n t h e f u t u r e ? > S p o r t s c l o t h e s c o u l d c o l l e c t e n e r g y t h a t c o u l d b e u s e d f o r c h a r g i n g s o m e t h i n g . > > >
Products, services and knowledge will become digital if they are not that already. E L I N A : “Technology will be everywhere. Internet will permeate everywhere. Every bloody device. The price of technology is already down and people’s capacity to absorb content is up. Now your car, TV, locks, fridge and coffee machine are all connected online. When you are shopping for groceries, you can check your phone to see what’s in your fridge. A smart hair brush came on the market recently. It listens to the way you brush your hair and comments whether you do it right. You can only imagine what we’ll have in 20 years. We talk about the internet of things but I have widened the term and talk about the internet of everything. When we reach a point where people or animals are connected online through a chip we cannot talk about just the internet of things. A year and a half ago I had an NFC chip embedded in my hand. [Elina shows a small scar on the back of her hand.] It was pretty handy as you never forgot your keys. When thinking about the future it’s important to think about different options. Even those that have an opposite outcome. What if internet is not that big of a deal in the future? What if people don’t want that but instead hanker going back to nature? What if people don’t want to wear a shirt in fear of it being hacked? Are we going to fear of becoming allergic to electricity or we feel that WI-FI is causing problems? You need to really keep an open mind. You never know what is going to happen.”
A company can change only when employees understand why they are a part of it and adopt the shared vision. You cannot achieve passion if management is not present. We do business on two different continents and time zones. I make conference calls with Skype to USA but somehow the sense of connectedness is missing. I think you need physical presence or at least better digital equipment.”
2. Technological development
Technology develops as the processing capacity of computers increases E L I N A : Artificial intelligence will play a significant role in our future. It’s incredible how far we already are with artificial intelligence. For example, IBM’s Watson does remarkable things such as using sensory data to try and predict if a patient is about to have a seizure. Robotics is another interesting field. Robotics is present in many areas: we can, for example, have robots that look like humans or nanorobots that travel in our system repairing the body. We can also have therapy robots like this seal robot. [Elina shows a photo of an interactive robot that looks like a plush toy]. The interface of technology will change. Where you previously had a device, in the future you might have the technology embedded in your clothes: things can start to happen by giving your shirt an order. A movie can be showing in your pocket. Smart textiles are coming and making an impact. The elderly and those with memory disorders could wear smart garments so we can keep track on them wherever they are. Technology is also present in the clothing industry, the design process and, of course, in manufacturing when we will have the ability to 3D print clothes. Or, we may be able to grow leather jackets in the future. Just like we raise animals for food, we will be able to produce leather in laboratories without a single animal having to die for it.
I HAD AN NFC chip embedded IN MY HAND.
N I N A : “Digitalisation will enter our lives without us properly even realising it. Everybody already has a smart phone and we don’t even think about that being part of digitalisation. I’m interested in how to create a sense of community in the work place in the world that is becoming digitalised and people being far away from each other. Management of innovation and change demands encounters and talking with people.
the beginning of the millennium it was already 67 years. In the future people can live to be 120 years old. You need to pay attention though that there is a wide variety of elderly. For example, my father, who is 81 years old, is still running his own company and goes dancing a couple of times a week. Then there are those who live in the hospital with a memory-related illness. Getting old will change radically if we find a medical solution for the treatment of memory diseases. Then again if you are lying in a hospital bed – and I know from experience that it’s boring – a virtual reality headset can take you to another place. They are already in use in some hospitals. I have been able to test effective VR equipment and its unbelievably real what you can see around you.”
WE WILL BE growing leather jackets in laboratories IN THE FUTURE.
N I N A : “It’s part of the human nature to fear the unknown. Many fear the changes in work life and wouldn’t want to let go of the old ways even if that means doing the same old routines. That’s something a machine or a computer could do, and you would be free to do new things. I myself could have more time for brainstorming meetings or, for example, to talk with a futurist. I was recently attending a lecture where they said that artificial intelligence is much better at diagnosing cancer than humans. I would certainly hope that in a situation like that artificial intelligence would analyse my images and the doctor could concentrate on something else.”
3. The ageing of the population
Soon there will be more 65-year-olds and older, than 5-year-olds. There will be an increase in the number of centenarians with possible growth even up to 1000 percent by 2050. E L I N A : “In the beginning of the 1900s the global average life expectancy was 31 years. In
N I N A : “We at Suominen have this grand mission statement that we want to make people’s lives better. We develop our products according to that ideology. If you look at megatrends from our business perspective only, some of them are beneficial for our business development. As the population gets older there is more need for products that are manufactured using our nonwovens. Such as incontinence pads and sanitary products. Furthermore, these new products often involve technology embedded in textiles. Some institutions already use incontinence diapers with a sensor that measures the amount of liquid there is in the diaper. An app lets the staff know when the diaper needs to be changed. A sensor can also indicate if a sore is infected. All kinds of measuring will be increasing, it’s a powerful trend. People want to influence and monitor their own health. We in the western world have time and means to think about things like this. In the slums of India nobody goes I wonder what’s my heart rate today.
> We a r e a l r e a d y a b l e t o m e a s u r e f e e l i n g s i n s o m e w a y s . T h e c l o t h i n g o f t h e A l z h e i m e r p a t i e n t s c o u l d c h a n g e c o l o u r i n d i c a t i n g t h e i r s t a t e o f m i n d . > > >
With current technology we are already able to grow tissue to create leather clothes. Just like we can grow a human trachea or a urinary bladder from stem cells. Surprises can of course happen. The advancement in technology, robotics and all sorts of cyber threats with the internet, they are all huge things. People don’t necessarily want a future where they can be monitored with technology. A futurist does not predict the future of technology but I hope that the digitalisation and artificial intelligence would be used for the good of the mankind, to better our lives in many ways. All the while, I fear for the worst. What if terrorist attacks in the future will become increasingly more cyber-attacks. If we are completely dependent on digital products, what happens if we lose the web or the electricity?
Nina: â€œI try to read interesting things, talk to people of different ages and living in different countries, I try to be openminded and connect weak signals. Twitter offers a lot of thoughts about the future. One such account is Focusing Future.â€?
4. Increase in consumption and lack of resources
end-products. There are already recycling plants for diapers. Lack of resources creates also an opportunity to renew your own products and develop better ones.
E L I N A : “When you think about global megatrends, you soon realise that this so-called spending spree cannot continue. In Asia and Africa the middle class is growing and income is increasing, and with volume of consumption on the rise worldwide, there are not enough natural resources. We really need to recycle more efficiently. The developing countries are pretty much filled with our old rags. You have to look at the big picture: what can we do from old clothes? One of the greatest Finnish examples is ST1 which produces ethanol from biowaste that would otherwise end up in the skip. This is what recycling should be at its best. With information technology everywhere there is, of course, a problem with electronic waste. In 2014 there was around 41,8 million tonnes of electronic waste. Only a sixth of it was recycled and reused. The rest was dumped in the developing countries and landfills. There is an interesting consumer trend Lovos from the words Lifestyle of voluntary simplicity. The idea is to reduce the amount of material things and emphasise minimalism. Consumer trends like these are starting to emerge, and it will be interesting to see if these will become larger ideologies at some point. Some of the millennials are really environmentally conscious, I mean really environmentally conscious. Then there are those who run to H&M and buy everything.”
5. Climate change
Renewable natural resources are used 1,6 times more than the planet produces in a year.
N I N A : “If a company is thinking what’s best only from the perspective of generating as much money as possible, it will chip away at its own future. Investors today ask for our corporate responsibility statement. If needed, consumers will vote with their feet. We all need to think responsibly. Raw materials change and have been changing a lot already. For example, cars are lighter and manufactured using very different materials than before. The same goes with textiles and nonwoven materials. Renewable and biodegradable raw materials are used more than before. They cannot be used cost-effectively yet. The majority of consumers are not yet willing to pay for them. We use recycled fibres and manage also the recycling of our clients’
Around 97% of scientists studying the climate change agree that human activity is the cause behind the global warming. E L I N A : If you ask me where should companies put effort in considering the future, the answer is definitely environmental and ethical matters. No matter the field in which the company operates in. The compelling thing about the climate change is that it will cause effects that we cannot yet know. When something happens, it can lead to something else happening. For example, as the climate has become warmer, the permafrost will start to thaw. There are methane deposits underneath the permafrost and the gas will start to dissipate. Methane is worse greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. As global warming only progresses it can lead to shortage of food especially in the SubSaharan areas. When people don’t have food, they are forced to leave their homes which in turn causes war and chaos. At worst we are also talking about earth’s sixth mass extinction of species. Extreme weather phenomena increase, too. Extreme drought in some parts, extreme flooding in other. They affect the agriculture. One dystopian depiction of the future is that the challenges brought on by the climate change turns life into basic survival. You won’t be thinking about whether to paint your nails pink or bright pink or whether your shirt has a screen. You will be thinking about where to find food and if there is water somewhere. Yet, as a futurist I believe in the future and in us people trying to make a difference together so that we will not be faced with dystopian future. Every organisation should think about preventing the worst possible climate change scenario. There are also huge business opportunities in the deterring the climate change.” N I N A : “We all hold the future in our hands. We have to be perceptive and take responsibility for the future. Otherwise we just float aimlessly. A company must actively create their future to become what it believes it should be.” Fab
HOW A COMPANY CAN MOULD ITS FUTURE
d i f f e r e n c e i n t h e c l i m a t e . Th e s e w i l d c l o t h i n g i d e a s w e r e p r o v i d e d b y E l i n a H i l t u n e n .
> C l o t h i n g t h a t a b s o r b s p o l l u t i o n w o u l d b e c o n v e n i e n t . O r a p p a r e l t h a t t u r n s c a r b o n d i o x i d e i n t o s o m e t h i n g s a f e r. S e v e n b i l l i o n p e o p l e w e a r i n g t h e c l o t h e s w o u l d m a ke a
1 – G LO B A L I S AT I O N It is an intrinsic value: people, goods, knowledge, work assignments, raw materials and money travel across borders easily.
2 – P O P U L AT I O N G R O W T H In 1994 the population of the world was 5,4 billion. According to UN in 2050 it will be around 8 to 10 billion. 3 – U R B A N I S AT I O N By 2050 around 66 percent of the population might be living in cities. 4 – GROWTH OF INCOME AND THE MIDDLE CLASS The global middle class is growing especially in Asia and the Sub-Saharan Africa. 3 – INCREASE OF INEQUALITY Around 71 % of the world’s population is considered poor. The richest 1 % hold more than half of the wealth in the world.
A C Q U I R E C R E AT I V I T Y TO O L S
In the future activities, making and manufacturing should be creative and innovative. Here are the two methods Elina Hiltunen uses:
Strategic concidencing. Combine surprising elements. Think how your company could collaborate with, for example, Apple, Netflix, Toys R Us or other similar companies. How to utilise the expertise of the other company as well as yours together? Then, based on that, create a service to be used in 5 to 10 years’ time that nobody has thought of combining before.
Crowdsourcing the future. The entire staff should be engaged in spotting weak signals, that is to detect interesting new phenomena, innovations, products and events. Weak signals will be gathered in a shared tool and a team responsible for analysing the findings should be appointed.
C O M M U N I C AT E P R O P E R LY
Communication means interacting with stakeholders, listening to them and learning from that: testing new ideas, refining them and getting new ideas.
C O N D U C T S M A L L- S C A L E T E S T S
A company should conduct smallscale tests on even the wildest ideas. A new invention can be tried in one event or one store. Often the best innovator is the one who is stubborn and simply goes at it relentlessly.
EVERY ORGANISATION should think about preventing THE CLIMATE CHANGE. 21
SPORTING LUXURY I N T H E F U T U R E P E O P L E M I G H T B E D O N N I N G T R A C KS U I T S I N S T E A D O F S U I T S TO A PA R T Y. S P O R T S W E A R H A S B E C O M E A G LO B A L FA S H I O N P H E N O M E N O N W I T H S T Y L E A N D S M A R T T E C H A D D E D TO T H E M I X .
R E VO LU T I O N A R I E S W E A R S W E AT PA N T S .
Rapper Kanye West joined forces with Adidas and the first Yeezy collaboration collection was presented during the New York Fashion Week in February 2015. Artist Vanessa Beecroft, curator of the fashion show, paraded models down the runway wearing sweatpants, hoodies, leggings, anoraks and puffer vests. They were in hiking boots and had giant backpacks. A far cry from the traditional elegance of couture houses and, yet, immediately it became the most watched show of the year. Chanel had held
the top position for years and now Adidas beat it by million views. In the last three years we have seen more sports brands coming up than traditional clothing labels. Then again, sportswear influences have been all over the catwalks. Backpacks, sweatpants and velcro sandals were seen at Chanel. The fashion house, helmed by Karl Lagerfeld, pro duces also surfboards and tennis rackets. In contrast, the Dane designer Astrid Andersen adds fur details to high-tech basketball jerseys. Rihanna is a fan of the label.
D own skirt and backpack
H alti . Windbreaker tied around the waist
I cea p eak .
S h i r t , s t y l i s t â€™s o w n .
“I come from a generation that considers the shell suit as having the same status as the standard suit”, said Astrid Andersen, 32, in an online interview by the luxury fashion retailer Matches. But nobody runs a marathon wearing Andersen’s clothes nor is this just a question of a generational gap. This manifests an increasingly wider change in fashion. Suddenly the notion of being the shellsuit-wearing people (as Finns are sometimes depicted) isn’t that bad. will be back big time”, says Sami Kiiski, CEO of Halti. The megatrend impacting fashion and urba nisation has not gone unnoticed at Halti. This is why Halti is constantly expanding their lifestyle collection and their core concept focuses on reaching the urban consumer. “We are, first and foremost, a sports brand but nowadays we pay attention to changes in fashion trends in a whole different way than before”, says Kiiski. “Our designers don’t go looking for influences only from the ski slopes but also from the streets of Berlin.” Kiiski says that in Sweden the outdoorsy look is a big part of the street style. And we are not talking about channelling our inner hiker here. We are talking about wearing a waterproof, breathable street parka. Icepeak, Finland’s biggest sports brand, keeps up with the trends and tendencies in the fashion world. In the last ten years their target group has gotten considerably younger. Vesa Luhtanen, CEO of Luhta Sportswear Company, says that this has been their goal, even though Icepeak is still a clothing company that caters to the needs of the entire family. “Sales go down if you’re not up to speed with the latest street styles”, Luhtanen says. “This is no longer business about sweating.”
“I BELIEVE THE WINDBREAKER TREND
ReimaGo outdoor clothes that measure children’s daily activities using a separate movement sensor and a smart phone application. Myontec, a company from Kuopio, eastern Finland, sells their award-winning smart shorts already on all continents. Clothing Plus, an intelligent clothing company from Kankaanpää, western Finland, was sold to a large US company in 2015 as the small company was not able to meet the growing demand on its own. Even though the increase of the popularity of intelligent performance wear has been slower that predicted, expectations for the years to come are high: Many technology companies and clothing manufacturers are testing their concepts. Nowadays intelligent sportswear measures and gathers individual data but someday they might help solve other issues, too. “The future of the outdoor wear lies in the cities”, declared Eckehard Moritz, German innovation specialist, in 2016 in his column. According to Moritz, instead of concentrating on Mount Everest, sports brands should examine life and conditions in metropolises like Mexico City, Beijing or Johannesburg. “Cycling clothes that would look good but also provide maps and wayfinding services. Clothing with coating that cleans pollution. A sweatband that reduces stress”, Moritz paints a picture of useful functions for urbanites. Some of the already existing high-tech innovations, which feature in everyday sportswear, offer properties that are useful in extreme city conditions. Breathable cooling fabrics are ideal in hot climates whereas the crisp winter weather calls for, say, Halti’s removable heating panel that will be available this autumn. It was originally designed for downhill ski jackets.
Clothing with coating that cleans pollution. A sweatband that reduces stress.
I T ’ S N OT O N LY S W E AT T H AT G O E S into sports clothing. It’s more technology nowadays. Many of the smart textiles and innovations that have been earning praises around the world are Finnish. For example, childrenswear label Reima and sports precision label Suunto collaborated creating the
LU X U R Y. L I F E S T Y L E . P R E M I U M B R A N D .
Listening to Finnish sports brand representatives you cannot help but wonder how did sportswear become this, ahem, sexy. “In the 1990s and early 2000s it was not particularly cool to be sporty. It was more about
T echnical inno v ation
Activating clothes A N T E LO P E has come up with
1 3D “ W I T H 3 D T E C H N O LO GY
we can comprehend what the product will be like even in the beginning of the design process. The manufacturing is less complicated and the product looks better. Processes become simpler and there is no leftover material waste.”
2 RECYCLABLE MEMBRANES “WATERPROOF and windproof
fabrics have a membrane structure manufactured using petroleum based products. Recyclable membranes enable recycling of the entire product.”
3 CELLULOSE FIBRES “ T H E F U T U R E of the clothing
industry might lie in the Finnish forests: cellulose fibres manufactured using new methods can provide an alternative for both petroleum-based products and cotton which requires a lot of crop land and water.” — S A M I K I I S K I , H A LT I
the world’s first muscle-activating sportswear. Muscle-targeting electrodes are embedded in the fabric to activate the major muscle groups. You can monitor the results with a smartphone app.
Smart shorts T H E M B O DY S H O R T S by the Finnish Myontec provide wireless supervision of your muscle load. The innovation is useful for professional sports as well as for diagnosing illnesses and helping rehabilitation.
Tech shirt K N O W N F O R T H E I C O N I C polo
shirts and dress shirts, Ralph Lauren has also designed a smart shirt in collaboration with the Canadian smart clothing brand OMsignal. The compression shirt monitors the heart rate, breathing and stress levels. Results are transmitted to an app. The same technology might be utilised in the future also with the classic polo shirts and dress shirts.
C o a t , w r i s t w a r m e r s a n d s h o r t s H enna L am p inen , A nni S alonen A N D J uha Vehmaan p er Ă¤ , A alto Y lio p isto . B a g a n d s h o e s M arimekko .
In China sports labels are gradually beginning to replace the traditional luxury brands.
styles like grunge and heroin chic back then”, says fashion designer Sasu Kauppi. Now people want to exercise and take care of themselves. The last time sportswear was this trendy was in the 1980s.” Kauppi, inspired by the world of sports, presented his new SSSU collection this spring in Helsinki. Before that he worked in California. It was him who Kanye West picked to design his Yeezy collection in 2014. For contractual reasons he is not allowed to talk about his collaboration with West but Kauppi’s signature style was all over the Yeezy collection presented during the New York Fashion Week in February 2015. Collaboration with West will continue soon. This might mean trips to California. “In Santa Monica everybody is hanging around wearing sports clothing.” And now that sports have become a part of life, you don’t want to exercise in any old clothes. In China sports labels are gradually beginning to replace the traditional luxury brands. China is also one of the growing markets for Halti. This has led to the company having to raise their prices – coats that cost less than 600 euros simply don’t sell. Icepeak is also expecting growth from China. The company believes that the Beijing Olympic Winter Games in 2022 will generate interest. “At the moment we have 50 stores in China and we plan on opening 20 more during next year. The Olympics will introduce the winter sport segment to China and Icepeak holds a strong competitive advantage”, Vesa Luhtanen says. In the recent years highstreet chains like H&M, Mango and Zara have all created their own sports collections. “In terms of technical qualities they are no competition to us but regarding style they
E V E R Y B O DY I S D O I N G I T.
are”, says Vesa Luhtanen. “The traditional sport segment is not about the hectic cycle of having to produce constantly something new.” Indeed, chain stores receive new products weekly, some even daily. That’s one of the reasons why Halti is now investing heavily on 3D technology. “It enables us to design and bring products to shops faster. That is clearly an influence from the world of fashion”, says Sami Kiiski. “The processes in the sports and outdoor market have been too lengthy. With 3D we can reduce material waste, unnecessary product phases and having to fly samples around.” Actually ecological thinking is one of the megatrends in the sports industry. “Consumers are much more knowledgeable about sustain ability, and Halti aims to manufacture its clothing using more and more recycled material or mate rial that can be recycled.” The most eco-friendly piece of clothing is one that lasts for years and is worn till it’s literally completely worn out – and is then repaired. For example Sasta, a company from Nurmes, eastern Finland, has offered repair services for years now. Sports clothing is designed to last extreme wear and tear: active use, sweat and variation in temperatures. Could sportswear provide the answer to sustainability in the clothing industry? “Definitely!” Sami Kiiski says. “We already have great technologies and we are able to develop new innovations also in the future.” A demonstration of the usefulness of the products comes from a new and demanding consumer group: spike shoes and spike outsoles are nowadays purchased also by the senior citizens. How fitting, since according to Vogue the most recent It Girl is model Ernestine Stollberg. She is 95 years old. Fab
Coat and mesh bag
J uslin M aunula . Le g g i n g s
Biancane v e . To p
SSSU. Tr a i n e r s
M inna Parikka .
P H OTO G R A P H E R N i ko M i t r u n e n ST Y L I N G Â E m i l i a La i t a n e n H A I R A N D M A K E- U P M i i ka Ke m p p a i n e n MODEL Miranda @Paparazzi
CHANGE I D E A L LY N E W M AT E R I A L S H E L P P E O P L E A N D T H E E N V I R O N M E N T. O R T H E Y R E VO LU T I O N I S E T H E E N T I R E T E X T I L E I N D U S T R Y. HERE ARE SEVEN EXAMPLES.
Fa b r i c f r o m c e l l u l o s e
I n f inited Fi b er C om p any
IONCELL-F to come from the Finnish 足forest industry and textile industry are the cellulose-based environmentally friendly textiles. Currently there are four new technologies being developed: cellulose carbamate by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Biocelsol by the Tampere University of Technology, the wood fibre yarn by Spinnova Oy and Ioncell-F by the Aalto University. The Ioncell-F process does not involve the use of harmful che足micals. The material is durable. It can be manufactured using pulp as well as waste paper or discarded textiles.
THE NEXT BIG THING
Allu dress, made
N E W F I B R E T E C H N O LO G I E S
f r o m I o n c e l l- F (prototype)
are developed in order to avoid, for 足example, the use of hazardous carbon disulphide which is widely utilised in the production of viscose. The soft fabric is manufactured from dissolving pulp or recycled textiles. The fibres are dissolved using urea or sodium hydroxide. The technology goes back 20 years. At the time it was temporarily shelved. A pilot plant by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has started producing textile staple fibres using the carbamate tech足nology. The startup company Infinited Fiber Company is embarking on the commercialisation of the material.
S p r i n g G a r d e n , a s t a i nresistant tablecloth by J u k ka R i n t a l a
T e f ismart
PET BOTTLES TO FIBRE H AV E YO U E V E R T H O U G H T
NANOTECHNOLOGY that do not need washing? Trousers from self-cleaning fabric? A shirt made from fibres that simply repel dirt? With nanotechnology this might become reality in the future. The textile and clothing industry is already utilising nanotechnology for coating and finishing purposes treating, for example, couches, coats and tablecloths to repel dirt or water.
H O W A B O U T C LOT H E S
that you might be sleeping under recycled plastic bottles or walking down the street wearing them? Plastic PET bottles are first ground mechanically. Using the melt spinning method, the material is spun into polyester fibres becoming raw material for the textile and clothing industry. The process has been in use for two decades. Lately it has become more popular because there is no need for oil in making recycled polyester fibre.
Pouta duvet with PET filling
CUTLON I N 2 0 11 Toni Nieminen read about an accident during a hockey game. The hockey player suffered a severe cut in his arm from the blade of another playerâ€™s skate. Nieminen, who also enjoys playing, decided something needs to be done not to have that happen again. That was the inspiration behind Cutlon. The light, strong knit is manufactured using a mixture of polyethylene and elastane fibres. It is durable and cut-resistant. The fabric was developed in cooperaÂtion with Orneule, a company from Orivesi. Cutlon can be used outside the hockey rink, too. It is suitable also for policemen, firefighters and construction workers.
C u t l o n- r e i n f o r c e d thermal underwear
Te a b a g s
ahlstrom - M unksj ö
POLYLACTIC ACID (PLA) that you cannot throw tea bags in the compost bin. They might be plastic or made from abaca fibre which, albeit biodegradable, takes many years to decompose. Ahlstrom-Munksjö produces tea bags for the largest tea companies in the world. The company manufactures them from a biopolymer, polylactic acid (PLA). The process uses corn starch and the tea bag decomposes in less than a year. PLA has been around since 1932. As consumers have become more environmentally conscious companies have once again adopted this technology.
N OT M A N Y R E A L I S E
RECYCLED TEXTILE D A F E C O R M A N U FA C T U R E S
new products from discarded and recycled textiles. It’s oil absorbing pads can soak up 18 times their weight in oil. The material contains mostly wool, a material naturally capable of absorbing oil. Also the company’s own manufacturing method is clever. The recycled fibres are folded creating a light, porous knit. The fabric is manufactured by pressing t ogether 30 knit layers. The material absorbs oil also from the surface of the water. Fab
Oilstop Super oil absorbent mat
D a f ecor .
BRI GH T AND SHINY FUT URE F I N D I N G F U N D I N G F O R I N N OVAT I O N S C A N BE CUMBERSOME . JANNE P ORANEN, CEO OF S P I N N OVA , A C O M PA N Y P R O D U C I N G W O O D F I B R E YA R N , A N D B U S I N E S S A N G E L L E E N A N I E M I S TÖ T E L L U S H O W TO S U C C E E D .
Janne Poranen is the CEO and co-founder of Spinnova Oy. The company is located in Jyväskylä, central Finland. Spinnova began operations in 2015. It produces yarn from wood fibres using a manufacturing technique that is environmentally friendly and consumes less water.
Leena Niemistö is the majority shareholder of Pihlajalinna, a company providing social and healthcare services, and she is an angel investor. She has invested in 19 growth companies such as artificial intelligence companies Combinostics and Fimmic.
Solid base LN
2X I M P O R TA N T F O R T H E I N V E S TO R I N THE BEGINNING The innovation is new and groundbreaking: it solves a problem.
FOCUS IN SELLING
The innovation is credible and desirable.
“Finland is traditionally a good innovation country. The bigger challenge is whether we know how to sell and market the product. It has to be scalable and you need to take it worldwide.”
H O W TO E S TA B L I S H CREDIBILITY
F O R T H E PA S T Y E A R A N D A H A L F , I’ve been
looking for partners, financing and investors. For the entire autumn 2016 and spring 2017 I had meetings every week with various representatives of different companies. I used to be the head of the bio-based materials department at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and my shareholding partner, Juha Salmela, was the team leader. That is where he developed the technology we are now using. In 2011 I was in Oxford attending a lecture. We learned how spiders spin their webs. During that time VTT was researching the use of nanocellulose so Juha had this idea of trying to attach nanocellulose fibres to wood fibres to create a yarn similar to spider silk. In our work we had learned how wood fibres respond in different processes and flows. In order to create a thread-like structure we practically tried injecting wood pulp through a thin hole of a needle. The result of the first experimentation was already positive. We applied for a patent immediately. When we left VTT we bought the patent and in exchange VTT got some of our company’s shares. Our work at Spinnova is still about product development. We left taking a huge risk because we did not have a functioning process nor a technology tested through continuous process. But what we had was an idea, and how it should work.”
”We had an idea, how it should work.”
“It’s essential to recognise the company team. Their experience and track record is crucial. Young entrepreneurs in growth companies need to convince using their expertise and energy. Trends are also important in examining the optimal time to launch a product.”
JA N N E PORANEN:
all my meetings with investors and collaborative partners through my networks. My work has helped create a worldwide network that I can utilise in finding people to help in projects. You need to create a personal contact before you start sending material and ideas. Usually meetings happen having met someone at a seminar, for example. Somewhere with people pitching ideas. After that someone has shown interest and has been in contact. Right from the beginning I have been open about our innovation and that has helped in meeting new, enthusiastic people. This then creates new networks. When you meet people, you just need to be open and unafraid, and tell people your story with enthusiasm. That’s something for us Finns to learn. You need to remember it all starts with the entrepreneur, with you. It’s about your motivation, enthusiasm and visionary storytelling. That’s how you get people excited.”
“ I P R A C T I C A L LY S E T U P
“It all starts with you.”
Create a wow factor “I AM INTERESTED IN INVESTING I N S O M E T H I N G T H AT S P O N TA N E O U S LY M A K E S M E G O W O W.”
– LEENA N I E M I S TÖ
THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY TO GET AN APPOINTMENT “ I T C R E AT E S C R E D I B I L I T Y if someone the investor knows and trusts introduces the company and the founder or team.”
P H O N E O R E M A I L? – “ C O L D C A L L I N G I S D E M A N D I N G . T H E R E A R E R I S K S : YO U C A N C A L L AT A B A D T I M E O R R U I N T H E I N T R O . U S I N G E M A I L O R S O C I A L C H A N N E L S I S S A F E R . I F YO U D O N ’ T H E A R B A C K , C O N T I N U E B E I N G A C T I V E .”
III “ I H AV E A LWAYS TO L D P E O P L E
how we see things. We have globally reached a point where we need something new, something that revolutionises the textile industry. We can’t go on like this. Now textiles are manufactured using oil and cotton which is catastrophic for the environment. “People have managed to dry out the Aral Sea because of growing cotton. And you cannot count on having oil after the next 50 to 100 years. Wood is an ecological and renewable material. We want to develop fearlessly technology that is environmentally friendly and fully recyclable. If you manufacture textiles using Spinnova fibre, they can be recycled and reused again to make textiles.”
2X W H AT T H E I N V E S TO R IS HOPING FOR
1 – T H E C O M PA N Y C R E AT E S L A S T I N G , S U S TA I N A B L E C H A N G E S I N E S TA B L I S H E D
PRACTICES AND MARKETS.
2 – THE PRODUCT IS SCALABLE AND THE T E A M H A S T H E C A PA B I L I T Y TO TA K E I T WORLDWIDE.
“ I T ’ S A H U G E A DVA N TA G E F O R T H E I N V E S TO R TO S E E T H AT YO U H AV E R E C E I V E D P U B L I C F U N D I N G . I T A D D S
C R E D I B I L I T Y T H AT M O R E T H A N O N E PA I R O F E Y E S H AV E E X A M I N E D YO U R C O M PA N Y.”
“ W E H AV E R E C E I V E D financing from the Centre for Economic Development and the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation for the development phase. In order to receive public funding your idea needs to be on a solid base. It took negotiations, discussions and substantiations. Even though it takes a lot of work the process itself is, in the end, quite easy and useful. After that it is easier for you to convince also other investors.”
“Your idea needs to be on a solid base.”
LEENA N I E M I S TÖ :
JA N N E PORANEN:
A N ATO M Y O F A G O O D P I TC H
LO N G E R T H A N
“If it shows you’ve put effort in the presentation, it shows that you have skills and know how to market the product.”
“If you didn’t find out who you’re talking to, you blew it. Everybody knows everybody so don’t badmouth the competition.”
years we had a clear-cut plan for financial requirements. We gathered a couple of millions as initial investment and on top of that we got large industrial deals as well as public funding. Now, once again, we have a plan for the next couple of years: a minimum of ten million is needed to be able to scale our product to a pre-industrial level. When we proceed to an industrial scale,
“FOR THE FIRST TWO
H U G E M I S TA K E
PUT EFFORT IN GRAPHICS
and clarity makes a good pitch: tell them what is done, why and by whom, what’s the next plan, and how the investors can see the potential. It’s not complicated. I have seen many pitches that have made me wonder afterwards what was it the company was doing. That’s something to avoid. It’s also important to be crystal clear about why the investor should put their money in the company. I’m sure I have made bad pitches but I don’t mull over them. With a good background and two decades of experience you are not nervous about it anymore. My aim is just to get the message across.”
“I THINK SIMPLICITY
1 — Who you are 2 — The problem you have noticed 3 — Your solution for the problem 4 — A plan with a time frame for achieving results 5 — How you separate from and place yourself within competition 6 — What your plan needs (finance and competence resources) 7 — Who is your team and support network 8 — Vision
P I TC H I S N O
Plans tens of millions are required. We conduct the product development to a certain level but in terms of commercialisation the plans still remain open. In July we were able to confirm an investment of five million euros from a Brazilian pulp producer Fibria. This is significant as the company is huge in the industry and they want to cooperate in developing our product.”
PLANS THE INVESTOR WANTS 1 — The business plan and the financial calculations based on it 2 — Cash flow calculations 3 — Try establishing the premoney valuation
WATC H O U T
with Fibria we met with a lot of relevant industrial investors from Finland as well as abroad. Pöyry provided consultant services and the collaboration proved very helpful. As a representative of Spinnova I have become a self-taught lawyer and a representative of IPR issues [intellectual and industrial property rights] having experienced hundreds of hours of negotiations. I have sat across from large global corporations and their experts. When you bring common sense to the table and keep your plan and vision clear in your mind, things cannot go very badly for you. Pay attention to conveying the details that matter to you. Negotiating an agreement is about trashing out lots of details. That’s for the lawyers to do. Of course you need to be careful that nobody steals ideas. Before detailed negotiations or presentations, the agreements need to be in order. We use IPR and industrial patents to protect our work.”
“BEFORE THE DEAL
What is it that makes your product groundbreaking and new
KNOW YO U R W O R T H “If you intend to get funding early on, you should not go with a too high pre-money valuation.”
”Take care of the big issues.”
G E T YO U R PAT E N T S I N O R D E R
“With most technological products it is crucial to get a patent to protect the innovation. If patents are essential to the product, they provide security for the entrepreneur and the investor.”
What is your target group
“The costs of obtaining a patent might be quite a burden for a small company. Even if you have a patent you need to be able to grab market share quickly. Otherwise the competition might surpass you just by doing something a little different from you.”
What is your core market
“ I H AV E N E V E R H E A R D of anyone around the world to manufacture fibre from wood like we do. Others use chemical methods meaning that cellulose is first dissolved chemically. We don’t do that, at most we grind the fibres mechanically. This is the reason why we have managed to obtain global patents for our products. The potential of the Spinnova fibre is truly remarkable, nobody can deny that.” Fab
WHEN APPLYING FOR A PATENT CONSIDER CAREFULLY…
FOR THIS! “A non-disclosure agreement in the first meeting is a no go for me. A company should disclose as much as they can. If we continue the discussion, then of course I will sign the paper.”
TRIED & TESTED Arctech Helsinki Shipyard was established back in 1865 in Hietalahti, central Helsinki. The shipyardâ€™s own fire department that has been operating for 50 years.
Rarely is there so much thought given to functionality as is with workwear. Three professionals recount the essential qualities of work clothing. Fab
form a silhouette against the blue sky as Jesse Alt, Industrial Fire Officer, is getting dressed. He puts on his protective suit and puts aside all unnecessary thoughts. “The best thing about my work is being able to prevent accidents and hazardous situations”, says Alt. For the past two years he has worked full-time at Arctech Helsinki Shipyard’s fire department. It is responsible for providing fire safety for all the dockside buildings, equipment, and the over 1000-strong staff – all within an area of 17 hectares. Flammable liquids like fuel, paint and various solvents are used continuously. At the same time there is firework: welding and flame cutting. The shipyard’s firefighters use Varpuke’s light protective suits that provide solid basic protection for assessment of rescue situations. “I wouldn’t feel safe if I would do my rounds wearing a T-shirt.” In terms of fire safety some natural fibres and ED CRANE CABINS
synthetic fibres treated with flame retardant are safest. Treating protective clothing with flame retardant must be done carefully as additives may contain sulphur. Wearing the right size is also essential for safety: loose clothing can catch fire and you risk sparks flying inside your collar or sleeves. The latest emergency to take place during Alt’s shift was when a forklift caught fire. The fire department used a carbon dioxide extinguisher to put out the fire. Before extinguishing the fire, Alt in his role as the shift supervisor, had to assess whether a light protective suit would suffice or whether the so-called “normal heavy” extinguishing outfit would be needed. In that case, the decision was easy. The lighter gear would be sufficient. The most devastating accident to have happened at the shipyard took place in May 2016. An employee was trapped in a boom lift. This is the only fatal accident in Arctech’s history. “At the end of the shift, when I take off the gear, I think to myself that if nothing bad happened, this was a good day.”
Jesse Alt, 27 I N D U ST R I A L F I R E O F F I C E R AT
A R C T EC H H E L S I N K I S H I P YA R D.
VA R P U K E
Originally designed for the Finnish Defence Forces the protective suit Kevyt (meaning light in Finnish) is now used also by rescue and fire departments. It is made from fire retardant material and can be used in situations where protection is needed from burning splashes and sparks.
Varpuke’s entire production from design and sewing to finishing is done in Finland. The company does everything itself to ensure tailor-made solutions according to customer’s wishes. Also the sizing has been designed to fit the Finnish body type.
23 Aura Hietala, 32 N U R S E AT E L Ä M Ä N TA LO RETIREMENT HOME IN ESP OO.
The pearls Aura Hietala is wearing are actually a key lanyard. “A client with memory disorder was really fond of the pearls so we nurses chipped in and bought her a pearl necklace of her own.”
HE LOBBY OF THE RETIREMENT home is filled with light and the aroma of fresh baked bread. The residents are resting in their own rooms. This is home for the elderly with deteriorating health. “We have residents that suffer from memory disorders and need help with personal hygiene, eating and taking medication”, says nurse Aura Hietala. Work clothing is an important part of nurse’s work. In the beginning of a shift Hietala picks a new clean work shirt. Fabrics have to be durable as they are washed constantly. “Hygiene is particularly important in this work. Our residents have resistant bacteria, or you might end up with food or pee on your shirt.” The most important thing about medical workwear is that it does not carry bacteria or viruses. Usually this is sufficient for nursing homes but for operating theatres in hospitals you need materials like laminates, isolation and protective layers. They prevent contamination and distribution of bacteria and viruses. The staff
clothing can also be coated with water or dirt repellent treatment. When Hietala puts on her work clothes, she inhabits her professional role. The retirement home uses slightly less hospital-like coats by Image Wear. The coats separate the staff from the residents but do not resemble hospital uniforms. This is home. The personnel doesn’t have personalised clothes as the clothes are changed every day. “Male nurses prefer pink, some are fans of dark blue, I myself like light blue.” Hietala appreciates the pockets on the jacket. They are just the right size and you can fit in the necessary paper work and your phone. The jacket also has a new feature from just last year. The armpit design has been granted with a utility model patent. This new design ensures that the hem stays put always. You don’t need to tug the hem constantly when you reach and use your hands. “Good work wear is so comfortable you don’t even notice it.”
Image Wear’s armpit design is an innovation granted with a utility model protection. It was developed in collaboration with healthcare professionals. The structure prevents the hem from rising uncomfortably and makes the fabric sit nicely. Nurses able to use their hands and concentrate on their work. IMAGE WEAR
“Good workwear is so comfortable you don’t even notice it.”
Founded in 1959, Image Wear is the leading company in workwear in Finland. There are over 5000 products available and the company has also several branches abroad. Image Wear aims to utilise latest technologies using them in product development. The company is soon coming out with a new product, a coat that signals using LED lights and has a battery for warmth.
Jerry Pura, 25 H O U S E B U I L D E R AT LU J A’ S C O N S T R U C T I O N S I T E I N K E R AVA , SOUTHERN FINLAND.
wearing orangey-red workwear are milling about the construction site. This is the finishing phase of the construction of two apartment buildings. For health and safety reasons work clothing must be clearly visible. House Builder Jerry Pura is wearing an orange high-visibility shirt, safety boots, overalls with hanging pockets, cut-proof gloves, protective glasses, a helmet and a coat. Construction is demanding on workwear. It has to shield from cuts, hits, sparks, dirt, and from hot and cold weather. Builders favour wearing layers because of the changes in weather. For added protection Pura uses kneepads that shield the entire shin as the job requires him to spend time on his knees. The shields are thicker from the ankle providing support and ensuring that legs are in a resting position on the shields. “You can spend all day on your knees with paddings like these”, says Pura. The overalls have pockets on the knees where lighter shields can be slipped in if the job requires occasional kneeling. Experience has taught him to find the perfect equipment. “In the beginning I wore trousers but quickly learned from my seniors how useful these hang ing pockets actually are.” Pura shows how the overalls distribute weight on the shoulders and how the waist is not too tight. This is useful especially in the beginning of a project when you need to carry different, often heavy tools around. This is work that requires precision especially when there are enormous concrete elements hanging from a moving crane. “If you are day dreaming that could mean losing your life.” The worker can concentrate on the work and not on the clothing as pattern design ensures the right proportions. If the clothes are too big you risk getting tangled in something and getting strangled. The best insurance policy is having a strict health and safety code. Pura knows this as he is the company’s health and safety representative. Work clothing is part of work safety. Workwear company Dimex collaborates with the wearers continuously. “They ask for our opinion often.” Fab OMEN AND MEN
When Dimex puts their clothes through an industrial cleaning process they use data that is gathered by Sakupe Oy. All clothes have a chip that provides information about how many times the item has been washed. This helps assess the durability of materials. DIMEX
Dimex is a Finnish family company that has been manufacturing clothes for over 30 years. This year Dimex has delivered 340 000 pieces of clothing to its clients. The company pays attention to pattern design. By developing the design process, they have managed to prolong the usability of their clothes.
”If you are daydreaming, that could mean losing your life.”
“The best things in my work are colleagues and the fact that days and weeks go fast on the job. If only there was more flexibility in the working hours. During the summer I could begin my day already at five in the morning”, says Jerry Pura
T H E R E ' S A N E E D F O R S U S TA I N A B L E S O LU T I O N S I N T H E T E X T I L E I N D U S T R Y. Y E T, T H E R E I S FA R TO O M U C H T EXTILE S U R P LU S . T I M O R I S S A N E N , P R O F E S S O R O F FA S H I O N D E S I G N , A N D J U K K A P E S O L A , F O U N D E R O F P U R E WA S T E , T E L L U S H O W TO T U R N P R O B L E M S I N TO O P P O R T U N I T I E S .
Timo Rissanen Professor of Fashion Design and Sustainability at Parsons School of Design in New York, fashion scholar and designer. He seldom buys clothes and most of them second-hand. Specialty Zero waste design generating hardly any textile leftover.
at the Amos Andersson Art Museum in August 2012. A small clothing factory was set up inside the museum. The factory consisted of three industrial sewing machines and a tailor who made white T-shirts. Every time the tailor finished a shirt, it was taken to the museum gift shop to be sold. This was an installation called 15% and it was created by Salla Salin and Timo Rissanen. The piece was named after the fact that around 15 percent of all fabric used by the clothing industry in the world goes to waste. OMETHING STRANGE HAPPENED
Jukka Pesola Partner and Chairman of the Board of Pure Waste Textiles. Prefers a mini malist, timeless look, wearing often a black T-shirt and jeans. Specialty Recycling textile leftovers into new clothes.
That’s no small number considering there are over 80 billion pieces of clothing being manufactured yearly around the world. Especially when most of the leftover ends up for energy use or in a landfill. The museum shop sold the T-shirts for 4,95 euros each. The same price H&M was charging for a white T-shirt at the time. “The only difference was that when you purchased our T-shirt you had to take with you also the textile waste that resulted from sewing that shirt. It was wrapped in a silk paper and handed to you in a branded bag”, says Timo Rissanen, designer and academic in
f ashion. Salin and Rissanen wanted to emphasise not only the amount of waste but the manu facturing process itself. It has become more obscure as manufacture has been moved to Asia. T H E DA R K S I D E O F T H E C LOT H I N G I N D U ST RY
tern cutting has to be included in the design work. Attitudes need to change, too. “For the clothing industry the fabric is often like raw material that is deemed pretty worthless. However, to have been able to make fabric out of fibres is, in itself, a result of investing in resources such as water, energy, dye and workforce”, reminds Rissanen. There are, of course, differences in clothing. Manufacturing trousers or socks is easier when trying to reduce the amount of waste fabric. It is not the same with shirts or dresses. “Sometimes it’s impossible not to have leftover material. That is why we need companies that can recycle fabric as efficiently as possible.”
is something Timo Rissanen knows about. He graduated as a fashion designer in Australia and worked in the industry there. Nowadays he is a professor of Fashion Design and Sustainability at Parsons School of Design in New York. It is one of the most famous design schools in the world. There sustainable development is a part of the curriculum for each student. “Young people here are much more environmentally conscious than ten years ago. That’s mainly due to the climate change”, says Rissanen during LO C AT E D O N Y R J Ö N K AT U , a street in central the Skype interview. The environmental ideology Helsinki, is a shop that at first sight appears to will become a part of each aspect of the clothing be an ordinary clothes store. T-shirts on hangers industry in the future. According to Rissanen it and shirts and hoodies folded on the shelves. The is evident that consumers will colour palette is simplistic, be demanding clothes that and there is a special reason are ethically and ecologically for it. The clothing is made produced. using fabric that comes from “Our goal is having On the other hand, the recycled textile waste and industry must change also. nothing is re-dyed. waste in from one door Rapid growth of population “In the beginning we had increases the demand of cotonly white, grey and black and finished product ton – a demand that cannot be garments. Those were the only out the other.” met. Rather, we should reduce colours we knew would always the production of cotton as it be available”, says Jukka Pecauses pollution and requires sola, one of the five founders massive amounts of water. of Pure Waste Textiles. The good news is that in Even though this is not the Finland and around the world new technologies only company in the world to recycle fibres, Pure are being developed to help make a change. “Yet, Waste is one of few that operate using yarn that there is no single answer to solve the problem. We is 100 percent recycled. This is why international need a lot of different solutions to tackle issues entities are also interested in the company, and throughout the process, be it growing the cotton newspapers, such as the highly respected business plant, manufacturing the apparel or recycling the magazine Forbes, have written articles about it. waste.” Pure Waste recycles and manufactures Rissanen specialises in zero waste design textiles in Tiruppur, southern India. The area is meaning that the manufacturing process proknown for its clothing industry. The cutting waste duces as little as possible, or, no waste at all. from factories is sorted according to type and The difficulty today is that mass production is colour. Then the fibres are opened mechanically, scattered: the design takes place in one location spun into yarn and woven into fabric. and the pattern making and cutting in another. In 2013 when the company started, the obThe different phases do not necessarily even hapjective was to manufacture solely yarn and fabric pen in the same country. using 100 percent recycled material. Jukka Pesola According to Rissanen all phases need to be says they soon realised that people wanted also considered a part of the design process if we want finished products. Pure Waste then created a to get rid of the leftover material. Especially patbasic collection that stays pretty much the same
3 x rec y cled te x tile
Remake Manufactures their clothing line from discarded textiles. Known for evening dresses.
Globe Hope Creates ecological design products like bags and accessories from recycled and leftover materials.
Pumpa Design Manufactures new products such as dog beds and toy boxes from recycled textiles. The client can choose the fabric.
T- s h i r t s
Pure waste .
every season. In addition to their own products, the company also manufactures clothes for other companies and brands. The company has grown fast. The turnover was 772 000 euros last year and this year it will be over a million. At the moment Pure Waste invests and developes their operations in Southern India. “Our long term goal is to have an entire area where waste is loaded in from one end and a finished product comes out the other”, says Pesola.
of view. “Building this plant requires cooperation between different entities and operators. For someone to make the plant happen, there needs to be demand for the product, and vice versa.”
Is it possible for companies to take this seriously? In the world of fashion few individual designers have been active in implementing the zero waste ideology. Gradually the no waste philosophy is becoming more common. Timo Rissanen states that even larger T E X T I L E L E F TOV E R is the business of the future. operators have been experimenting and studying Technological innovations that make separation the ideology these past few years. For example and reuse of fibres easier are being developed outdoor clothing company The North Face has also in Finland. Highest expectations focus on the tried manufacturing a hoodie that generates no chemical recycling of fibres with Finland being the textile waste. “In the future sustainability issues leading country in the field. Pure Waste participates are no longer an option. Ten in projects coordinated by the years on, if a company hasn’t VTT Technical Research Centre paid attention to environmental of Finland. The emphasis is on matters, I cannot see a successdifferent chemical recycling “Young people are ful future for such company”, methods. says Rissanen. “It is exciting to be able to now much more Then there is the harsh combine both chemically and environmentally reality that we are running out mechanically recycled fibres in resources. Timo Rissanen the future. I see a huge market conscious than ten of and Jukka Pesola agree that the potential in it”, Jukka Pesola says. cultivation of cotton should be The big question in the years ago.” reduced concentrating on qualfuture concerns clothing that ity, rather than quantity. This the consumer is no longer going would also help maintain the to wear. Chemical recycling will recycling value of the fibre. make the utilisation of discard“When there is a lack of both water and farmed textiles easier and more efficient. It is more land it is just plain stupid to use the cotton fibres effective on waste comprising of different fibres, only once”, Jukka Pesola says. for example cotton and polyester. Even with the techniques today, usage of Pesola states that during the next few years a recycled cotton fibre is extended over multiple life decision should be made about the official entity cycles. The fibre could be recycled and used for that would collect and make use of discarded clothing manufacture a couple of times and then textiles. For him it is obvious that the waste colfor isolation, insulation and composites. Nowalection area should be bigger than Finland. days the textile leftover from factories can be used “Collecting, sorting and processing clothes is for different industrial purposes and, to some volume business so large economies are needextent, by the textile industry, too. ed. In addition to Finland, we could include, for “At the moment this is small and sporadic, and example, the Nordic countries and Saint Peterseven in the best possible scenario the material is burg. If the recycling plant is built in Finland it used only once and then discarded. Material flow would play a major part also in creating jobs and cannot be utilised efficiently even though it would new companies”, Pesola believes. make sense both ecologically and economically.” This is the reason why Pesola encourages This can only mean that the clothing industry is companies, policy makers and other operators to presented with countless possibilities. Fab consider the possibilities from their own point
W H AT A B O U T AVO I D I N G WA S T E ?
f uture , inno vations & b usiness
“You need to be fast and persistent. If you see something interesting, go get it.” This, too, can be turned into fabric:
p. 6 3
WA S T E P A P E R .
B USIN ESS BRAINIACS
Pirjo Kääriäinen worked for Finlayson for over 20 years and often looks things from the perspective of companies. “In the years to come, shortage of materials and recyclability has to be solved. These issues will, of course, also provide new business opportunities.”
LIFE LESSONS FROM SUCCESSFUL FINNS
“The possibilities are endless” P I R J O K Ä Ä R I Ä I N E N Designer in Residence, Aalto University JA A N A B E I D L E R Professor of Colour and Material Design , Aalto University
A A LTO U N I V E R S I T Y C O N D U C T S M AT E R I A L R E S E A R C H P R O J E C T S A N D I N N OVAT I O N S T H AT M I G H T B E C O M E G LO B A L S U C C E S S S TO R I E S . PROFESSOR JAANA BEIDLER AND DESIGNER PIRJO KÄÄRIÄINEN H AV E A C O U P L E O F W I S H E S F O R T H E F I N N I S H C O M PA N I E S .
See the sun rise –
P I R J O K Ä Ä R I Ä I N E N “I’m fed up with people referring to the Finnish textile industry as something on the wane, like the setting sun. Perhaps we don’t have traditional industry but there’s no use crying over spilled milk. We will push forward with matters that can someday be huge in the global scale and influence the way we perceive materials.”
See what’s coming –
PK “I work with biomaterials that may take years
to be commercialised. CHEMARTS , a collaboration between The School of Chemical Technology and The School of Arts, Design and Architecture, began in 2011. It has generated several interesting researches and projects. For example, Ioncell, one of our products we are developing, along with its commercialisation (see pages 31 and 60) can become a global business.
“We aim to improve cooperation between different fields. Physicists, chemists or engineers might have ideas stashed somewhere in their desk drawers. Something that designers can help commercialise,” says Jaana Beidler.
We are working on several other cellulosebased material research projects, too. For example, we study the use of bio-based material for 3D printing. Students are growing bacterial cellulose thus creating new material using bacteria. Synthetic biology is a major factor that can change manufacturing: in the future we can manipulate the DNA of bacteria and come up with new methods of producing, dyeing or recycling materials.”
Trust the experts –
P K “I wish Finnish textile companies would have the faith and courage to contribute to furthering development and hire outside experts to support their business. You need to be open-minded and trust the expertise of others.”
Hire young people –
P K “Big companies should be open about the opportunities that might arise in the future. Regardless that it may take ten years to happen. It would be great if companies would hire young people even for shorter training periods. This would enable designers and tech people to see early on the opportunities business life provides.”
“We provide low-threshold opportunities for innovation collaboration.” — JA A N A B E I D L E R
“Good innovation is something that can be scaled and is unique. It’s being able to bring something completely new to the market or to have developed or improved a technology or a feature. Good innovation can also improve a manufacturing process making it more environmentally or economically sound. When Nike developed the FlyKnit technology and started knitting the uppers of the shoes, it managed to reduce material waste by 80 percent. The manufacturing process became faster and more efficient as the one-piece upper was all that was needed for a shoe.”
JA A N A B E I D L E R
Hire a colour and material designer –
“I left for work in the United States in the beginning of the 1990s and ended up staying for 20 years. At the time I didn’t even realise how great an opportunity it was to be able to work for the best companies in the world. I was the head of Nike’s colour and material team. Prior to that I worked for Esprit and Patagonia. In Finland the product designer designs the product whereas in USA it is the colour and material designer that starts the design process. Kind of acting as the creative director. The same person designs the innovation approach for the entire company and devises the whole process and strategy all the way to the retail shelf. The complexity of material development and design hinders the product designer from being able to fully utilise all the possibilities. This is why having a material and colour designer or a sensorial designer (a specialist in sensory perceptions) is invaluable.”
Innovate with the university –
“We at Aalto University have a unique opportunity to further colour and material design since this is one of the few places in the world that offers studies in this field. At the moment there is more interest in our students’ talents abroad than here in Finland. We are on our second collaboration project with the American company VF Corporation. Timberland and Vans are some of the companies in VF’s portfolio. Finnish companies don’t necessarily have a large innovation department but we provide low-threshold opportunities for innovation collaboration and it is fairly inexpensive, too. The possibilities are endless. Get a move on!”
In 2010 Helsinki School of Economics, Helsinki University of Technology and the University of Art and Design Helsinki merged into Aalto University. According to the QS World University Ranking 2018, Aalto is among the top one percent of the universities in the world.
Make something unique –
“Imagination is the only limit”
K I M M O P E R N U innovation architect, Suunto
W H E R E TO S TA R T I F YO U WA N T TO A D D T H E “ S M A R T ” TO YO U R C LOT H E S ? K I M M O P E R N U F R O M S U U N TO K N O W S .
“In the future pretty much anything is possible. We can, for instance, develop curtains that also function as radiators.”
A Finnish company and a global leader in sports watches and instruments. A subsidiary of Amer Sports Corporation with a turnover of 142 million euros in 2016.
on the market designed purely because the technology is there and it has allowed you to come up with a technological solution. For us the starting point is always practice-based with a problem that needs to be solved. With the dark Finnish winter, we could benefit from integrating affordable light sensors into clothes. These would then light up when needed. When we were developing the ReimaGo motion sensor system for Reima childrenswear, the initial idea was to motivate children to become more active. We didn’t want the device to control them in their everyday life but rather it to be forgotten. They can check the results from the parents’ phones whenever they feel like. This is why we created a sensor that can be attached to clothes. After having received contacts from numerH E R E A R E S M A R T C LOT H E S
oustextile manufacturers, we decided to develop Movesense. The solution consists of developer tools, APIs, a sensor and support services that we provide. Anyone can develop their own software code for the sensor interface. For example, a workwear company could develop apparel that measures the amount of physical activity during the working day. It could also monitor health and safety issues such as workers having to lift loads. In Finland public entities and organisations retain a lot of know-how. So, if you come up with something that needs a solution, you can phone VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and ask if someone is working on that topic. They have excellent connections networking with different industries. With technology, imagination is the only limit.”
“Turn values into reality”
H A N N A LU S I L A C E O , We e c o s
T H E B I G E C O LO G I C A L S H I F T I S Y E T TO C O M E . C E O H A N N A LU S I L A T E L L S A B O U T T H E I M PA C T I T H A S O N T H E FA S T- G R O W I N G O N L I N E R E TA I L C O M PA N Y W E E C O S .
“At Weecos companies see each other more as colleagues than competitors. We create joint marketing campaigns in collaboration with different brands.”
W O R K E D AT N O K I A as a user interface designer when I had my first child. That was an enormous change in life. I became increasingly more interested in whether I was living according to my values. During that time my good friend Anna founded the childrenswear label Papu. She was looking for a channel to sell ecologically and ethically produced clothes. There was no such place. We decided what if we created one ourselves. When we founded Weecos we spent a great deal researching global trends. We still do. The shift brought by sustainability has been on its way for the last ten years now. In the last few years big companies have also jumped on board. I believe the big shift is yet to come. It is important to realise that ecological and sustainable thinking are not emerging values impacting
The company, established in 2012, is an online marketplace for design companies with ecologically and ethically produced products. The total sales of Weecos in 2016 was 1,2 million euros. The turnover increased by a whopping 274 %.
only the West. China is taking on the idea, too. Millennials are more rebellious than the previous generations when it comes to values. They don’t necessarily want houses and cars but would rather spend their money according to their value system. In the beginning we spent a lot of time creating a criteria of values. Before we start collaborating with a new company we go through different areas: how the company operates in general, the production, the entire lifecycle and lifespan of the products, reusability and recyclability. Currently we are thinking of how to make the concept of responsibility more transparent to the clients. We plan on making it a part of the function and structure of the pages. This would enable the customers to effortlessly find things they most appreciate.”
“Relax the Waste Act” J U H A- M AT T I K Y K K Ä N E N m a n a g i n g d i r e c t o r, R e c c i
J U H A- M AT T I K Y K K Ä N E N P U T S D I S C A R D E D C LOT H E S B A C K I N C I R C U L AT I O N .
as a chain manager for the second hand shop chain Fida, I witnessed millions of kilos of textile passing us by. Around 80 to 90 percent of the clothes were unusable and were taken straight to landfills or for energy use. I had this urge that something needs to be done. In 2013 I started a company called Tekstiilipankki Oy to redistribute second hand textiles. This resulted in establishing Recci and its two shops in Kruununhaka and Kallio, near central Helsinki. In addition, we have Recci’s collection boxes around Finland. Recci accepts all textiles and shoes, even those that are no longer usable. For the consumers it’s the easiest way to recycle. Apparel that is still in good condition is sold and what cannot be used anymore is transported to Europe. There the material is utilised, for example, by the automotive industry. The Waste Act is problematic in Finland. It doesn’t support circular economy while also causing additional work, continuous reporting and
HEN I WORKED
The company, founded in 2015, specialises in recycled textiles. City of Helsinki granted Recci the Environmental Award 2017 recognising the company as a pioneer of circular economy in Finland.
additional payments. According to the legislation, companies that collect material deemed unusable and carry out the collecting outside of their premises, are defined as operators in waste management. This means that a shirt that has been worn perhaps only once is considered as waste as soon as it is taken to a recycling box. If the instructions on our Recci boxes were to say that recycle only what is clean and reusable, there would be no problem. But we want to collect also textiles that are no longer usable. This is where the Waste Act gets you. You should not apply the same legislation to both textiles and old cars or other hazardous waste. The dream scenario would be for the Waste Act to be relaxed. The government would support circular economy, recycling would be made easy and a part of everyday life. When it comes to clothing, people would choose quality over quan tity. Companies would cooperate more and discarded material would be utilised already within Finnish borders.”
In Finland around 70 million kilos of textile is discarded each year. Around 55 million kilos of that consists of clothing, interior textiles, pillows and mattresses discarded by consumers. “People could make an effort and make more informed shopping decisions.”
M I N N A K E M E L L- K U T VO N E N design and product development director, Marimekko
M A R I M E K K O PA R T I C I PAT E S I N S E V E R A L R E S E A R C H P R O J E C T S . ONE OF THE MOST INTERESTING ONES IS THE FIBRE D E V E LO P M E N T P R O J E C T I O N C E L L- F. I T H A S TA U G H T M I N N A K E M E L L- K U T VO N E N A LOT A B O U T T H E F U T U R E .
People become more knowledgeable –
“A generation is coming up that is even more knowledgeable than us. For example, the traceability of products and materials will become more important in the future. Marimekko wants to continue to offer their clients the best possible design while also focusing on materials that feel good and adhere to the principles of sustainability. This is why we participate in the development and testing of new materials.”
Forests can yield fabric –
“I see huge possibilities in our forests here in Finland. The wealth of material it provides us. I love talking about green gold. For example, the Ioncell-F method aims to make textile fibres from cellulose using an environmentally friendly technology. This is something I'm really excited about. On top of that, Ioncell-F is special because the aim is produce not only textiles but products such as furniture, jewellery and kitchenware.”
Join forces –
“To someday have a new material in our hands requires a tremendous amount of expertise regarding raw materials, chemical and technical processes, textile industry, design and environmental issues. Finland has amazing knowledge in all of these areas.
When we join forces, we can achieve something truly remarkable, something that makes a difference worldwide. Nobody can do that on their own.”
Small becomes big –
“There is a need to examine the whole value chain from fibre all the way through to manufacturing the material. First we need to be able to produce small prototype series in order to test the new materials thoroughly. This, of course, requires investments. Simultaneously, as new solutions are developed, we need to press ahead with the development of the end-product as well. This will help in commercialising new materials. Collaboration among different industries and fields will lead to creating a new future for the Finnish textile manufacturing. It requires belief that through small-scale deeds we can achieve something big.”
The industry needs patience –
“The forest industry makes substantial investments in research. The textile industry has a great deal to learn from it. When it comes to achieving something radical and new, you need to play the long game. Our industry needs patience. That’s something I’ve had to learn myself, too. I would like to be able to use the materials produced by these new methods right now, but unfortunately research and development isn’t instantaneous as it will take some time.”
“I have realised it takes vast amounts of expertise from different fields to create new, meaningful solutions.”
The design house was established in 1951 and in 2016 Marimekko reached net sales of 99,6 million euros.
“I love talking about green gold.”
TouchPoint aims to become the most responsible workwear manufacturer in the world. â€œWe would like to be a part of building a recycling plant for textile in Finland, one similar to Frankenhuis in Hollandâ€?, says Carita Peltonen.
“If you get excited, go for it”
C A R I TA P E LTO N E N f o u n d e r a n d p a r t n e r, To u c h P o i n t
C A R I TA P E LTO N E N K N O W S T H AT TO B E C O M E A P I O N E E R YO U N E E D TO C O L L A B O R AT E W I T H P I O N E E R S .
I R S T C A M E T H E E C O LO G I C A L business gifts, and after that the ecological modern workwear. TouchPoint, a Finnish trailblazer company in circular economy, has been determined in developing its concept. Yet, Carita Peltonen, founder of the company, was caught by surprise by their latest breakthrough. “We were not planning on entering the composite business!” Peltonen declares laughing. Nonetheless, TouchPoint is now shipping to Holland material that is discarded by its clients including discarded workwear and material such as crawler tracks and helmets. Their partner company Dutch Awearness grinds the waste and turns it into composite material. That, in turn, can be used to manufacture, for example outdoor furniture. Now Peltonen is looking for retailers for the furniture in Finland. Comprehensive circular economy projects like this would not be possible if TouchPoint had not eagerly looked for partners abroad and contacted them. And not just any partners but people who are “absolutely brilliant”, pioneers in the field. Dutch Awearness made it possible to use Infinity, a polyester fabric that can be recycled into
new fabric up to eight times. “The world has changed and in the recent years sustainability has become an important part of corporate values even for bigger companies. According to the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, Finland can become a pioneer in circular economy with a value creation potential of 2,5 billion euros for the country’s economy.” TouchPoint has also an another Dutch partner. Waste2Wear produces fabrics from PET bottles and TouchPoint manufactures clothes from the fabrics. “These companies also act like an international mirror for us: they help us recognise our strengths. Furthermore, we have been able to utilise their contact network.” TouchPoint has been exploring the Central European market and began negotiations in Switzerland. How does a small Finnish company get important international partners? “You need to be fast and persistent. If you see something interesting, go get it. We put a lot of effort in presentations, we give out samples, get excited and do this with passion. That excites others, too.” Fab
TouchPoint is a modern workwear company that was founded in 2008. Its turnover in 2016 was 1,9 million euros. The objective is to go global and reach a turnover of 5 million euros in 2020.
“Our partners help us recognise our strengths.”
The future awaits those who make things happen. WE BELIEVE IN COLLISION OF IDEAS AND PEOPLE. SOMETHING N E W A N D I N S P I R I N G A LWAY S EMERGES.
FUTURE, I N N OVAT I O N S & BUSINESS
Issue 2 2017
F U T U R E , I N N OVAT I O N S & B U S I N E S S
E t e l Ã¤ r a n ta 1 0 | 0 0 1 3 0 H e l s i n k i | s tj m . f i
The quest for the green gold: Wood to fashion
Sensors for trousers & other smart textiles
Business tips from the futurist
Published on Sep 18, 2017
Finnish Textile & Fashion publishes two Fab magazines this year. This is the second issue, and the theme is future & innovations. www.stjm.f...