With a new Silver Medal Bag in the classic Unikko print on our shelves here at AlwaysMod, I decided to look into the sustainability of Marimekko’s practices. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this product, it’s just one of the ways Marimekko reuses and, in turn, reduces the amount of unnecessary waste.
However, with such strong trust and high expectations built on the brand, the company has a strict inspection process to ensure quality. Fabric must meet the “Gold Medal” standard to make it on the shelves for sale, which is fewer than four “flaws” per bolt. The solution? Those that don’t quite make that cut are deemed “Silver Medal” and made into these tote bags, and without knowing this secret, you’d never notice (I’ve seen them, and they look fine to me!) The product also encourages consumers to use these as reusable market totes instead of bringing home a plethora of plastic bags that will end up in the trash and eventually, a landfill.
According to Marimekko’s website, ecological sustainability is important to them, and they are aware of energy consumption and environmental impacts when manufacturing products. Materials used for products are tested regularly, and subcontractors, partners, employees and even the designers are obligated to shoulder their environmental responsibility. The head office has a WWF Green Office Badge to further regulate practices, which you can read more about here.
From product packaging to textie printing, environmental impacts are taken into account. Paper, cardboard, metal, computer and energy waste are all recycled, and any waste from equipment that cannot be recycled or disposed of properly is sent to a hazardous waste processing plant after use. Marimekko prints a “bolt load” of fabric, and this process could mean a big ecological footprint if done carelessly. The process at Marimekko’s printing works minimizes this impact by recycling water where possible, monitoring chemical contents, and using no volatile solvents which means no toxic emissions from the factory.
Those of us who don’t have a degree in environmental studies may not know all this jargon, but we can appreciate one of our favorite brands doing its part. With so many of their colorful patterns inspired by nature, it is only logical that they would want to preserve the beauty of the world we live in.
For a full list of what Marimekko does to lessen its carbon footprint, view the brand’s sustainability statement here.
What do you think about the eco-friendly initiatives Marimekko takes? Is a company’s sustainability policies important to you when buying and supporting a brand? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!