Sustainable Fabric from Marimekko and Spinnova: Just in Time for Earth Day

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Marimekko and Spinnova
Marimekko and Spinnova

In February, before #SocialDistancing and #FlattenTheCurve were household words, Marimekko and the Finnish fiber technology company Spinnova presented the first ever printed clothes made of Spinnova’s wood-based fiber containing no harmful chemicals.

In development since 2017 with Marimekko and Spinnova collaborating, this wood-based textile is bringing great progress in fulfilling the fashion and textile industry’s quality and sustainability requirement.

Though the unveiling did not go unnoticed, it lost traction when the news of the pandemic sent shockwaves all over the globe. And yes, we are taking the Covid 19 scare seriously; but cabin fever is starting to set in, so it’s time to look into something optimistic, like the Marimekko prototype outfits unveiled last month.

Featuring the iconic Unikko (poppy) print and the brand’s signature stripes, this Marimekko capsule collection demonstrate the great potential of the fiber innovation for a more sustainable future of the textile industry.

The denim-like jacket and bag sporting the monochromatic Unikko print as well as the striped jersey shirt, all in strong primary colors of blue and red, comprise the timeless design elements of Marimekko.

Playing with these classics, Marimekko’s ready-to-wear designer Riikka Buri gave the demo products a modern twist with oversized proportions and fresh color combinations.

Both the woven and the jersey fabric used in these products were made of the Spinnova fiber (combined with cotton and/or lyocell). The outfits were designed, printed and manufactured by Marimekko at the Marimekko House in Helsinki, Finland.

Marimekko and Spinnova
Marimekko and Spinnova

“Sustainability starts with design. At Marimekko, we believe that timeless and long-lasting design that brings joy to our customers for many years is also a sustainable choice,” says Minna Kemell-Kutvonen, Design and Product Development Director of Prints and Home Products at Marimekko.

At Marimekko, the work to maximize a product’s life cycle and make it as sustainable as possible begins on the designer’s drawing board and material choices play an important role in this. The company’s textile printing factory in Helsinki, which serves not only as a production facility but also very much as a creative hub, offers unique opportunities to actively participate in research and development projects taking the textile industry towards a more sustainable future.

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

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

With Spinnova’s technology, wood pulp can be spun into textile fiber without regenerating, dissolving or harmful chemicals. The method is considerably less of a strain on the environment than e.g. viscose or cotton production.

The manufacture of the Spinnova fiber consumes some 99 percent less water than cotton production. A fabric made with Spinnova fiber is fully circular post-consumer and biodegrades quickly, which further reduces the environmental footprint of the fiber’s entire life cycle.

Photos courtesy of Marimekko