Friday, June 17, 2011

Future vintage 1: Marimekko

With an awful lot of cheaply made, poor fitting and/or badly designed clothing available now, I do sometimes wonder what the future's idea of vintage clothing will be. What other than couture fashion will be worth having from the year 2011? Will clothes even make it long enough to be worn in 2031?

I've decided to search out clothing that meets my idea of really worthwhile: 1. well designed, 2. well made, 3. created by reasonably-paid people working in safe, humane conditions.

A label known to vintage collectors is Marimekko, a Finnish company in existence since 1951. Marimekko has always been known for its bright modern prints and clean-lined clothing, and I'm delighted to see that the current designers have carried on these traditions.

Responding to my request for information about the manufacture of Marimekko's clothing, the Communications Coordinator Minttu Kuoppala wrote that Finland is responsible for 36%; more than 80% is manufactured in the EU. Wherever the clothing is made (and some is made in developing countries) responsible sourcing is part of the company's business strategy.

New clothing by Marimekko has my vote for Future Vintage!

Do you have any suggestions for this series? Any favorite labels that meet my 3 requirements? Any individuals making clothing that you believe has a great future as well as a great present?


Louise said...

Great post- this is something I am very concerned about. Our planet and people are suffering for our love of 'fast' fashion.
While I personally wear mostly vintage, my children don't and I'd love to hear more about green and fairtrade children's clothing companies.

denisebrain said...

Louise, you probably know about Boden? (you can adjust the site to other locations). They have lots of nice children's clothing.

Posted on the site is this message about country of origin: "All Boden clothing and footwear is exclusively designed in London, England. Our clothing has been made to the highest standards in one of the following countries; China, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Italy, Lithuania, Mauritius, Morocco, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Turkey, UK. We visit all factories we use to ensure that they are high quality, safe places and that they adhere to high ethical standards." The company is a full member of ETI (Ethical Trade Initiative).

I had not heard of Boden before but hope to explore further.

As to fairtrade AND green, I may need to keep looking.

Thank you for caring about this!

Midge said...

I can't think of another label, but it's true, Marimekko is great! I love and just recently blogged about them since they celebrate their 60th birthday this year ( They don't make just clothing, but also all sorts of housewares, and, best of all, you can buy just the fabric too and make your own dress. From the clothing, I can recommend the stripy t-shirts - the quality is incredible!

denisebrain said...

I agree from experience that the quality of Marimekko is excellent. I bought my husband a striped terry robe that is downright plush, and he bought me a pair of socks. The jacquard knit is the softest, finest and most beautiful...Who would have thought it was possible to love socks this much?

Your pieces sewn from the fabrics available (seen on your blog) make great use of the prints!

denisebrain said...

I did find an interesting site called Inhabitots that has an article on clothing and toys for babies and children that might interest those looking for green and/or socially responsible companies: