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Marimekko Brings Its Bold Prints to Spinnova’s Sustainable Fibers

Finnish companies Marimekko and Spinnova are joining forces to show how sustainable fabrics can be printed with eye-catching patterns to attract a conscious contingent of consumers.

In a statement on Wednesday, iconic fashion label Marimekko, which is known for its bright and bold graphic prints, said it would be working with cellulose-based textile maker Spinnova on a series of prototype outfits that showcase the sustainable material’s versatile applications.

The collaborative products will feature Marimekko’s emblematic Unikko, or poppy, print on a denim-like jacket and bag, while the company’s signature stripe motif will adorn a jersey shirt. The demo products were designed with oversized proportions and fresh colors by Marimekko’s Riika Buri, and manufactured at the label’s facilities in Helsinki.

Both the woven and the jersey fabrics used in the products were made with Spinnova fibers that were blended with cotton and lyocell.

According to Marimekko, the partnership with Spinnova on the development and marketing of new, wood-based textiles began in 2017. 

“The work to maximize a product’s life cycle and make it as sustainable as possible begins on the designer’s drawing board and material choices play an important role in this,” Minna Kemell-Kutvonen, Marimekko’s design and product development director of prints and home products, said in a statement. She added that the company’s textile printing factory in Helsinki serves as a production facility as well as a creative hub where research and development projects take place.

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“Together with Spinnova we have been able to take major steps in developing new sustainable materials from wood-based fibers, and we are proud to present the Marimekko prototype outfits made of these transformational sustainable fabrics and featuring our distinctive, bold patterns,” she added.

A patterned jacket, shirt and tote from Marimekko's prototype collection with Spinnova.
A patterned jacket, shirt and tote from Marimekko’s prototype collection with Spinnova. Marimekko

The brand’s sustainability agenda includes the goal of continuously increasing the share of sustainable materials being used in its products and packaging.

According to Spinnova, the company’s proprietary technology allows wool pulp to be spun into textile fibers without the need to regenerate, dissolve or use harmful chemicals during the production process. This puts less strain on the environment than the manufacturing of cotton, for example, which requires 99 percent more water to produce. Fabrics made with Spinnova fibers are fully circular and biodegrade quickly, further reducing the material’s environmental footprint.

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