Our clothes are made in Portugal and there is a reason for that
This is something I would like to hear as soon as I get to know a new clothing brand. Where are those clothes sewn, where does the fabric come from, is the cotton Indian or Turkish?
However, at a surprisingly large number of companies, it is hidden in the side sentence of the sticky Responsibility page located in the middle of nowhere - even if there is nothing wrong with the manufacturing country itself. I believe that this is because everyone would like to manufacture their products in Finland, if only it were cheaper. Companies know that it would be best if the footprint of the product was 100% Finnish. It's just not always possible.
Of course, sometimes you come across online stores that strongly brand Finland, whose profit is ultimately collected from the fair margins obtained with the help of cheap labor in Asian countries. There is nothing wrong with this in itself, if ethical guidelines are followed in the production. The challenge is that the further the work itself is done, the harder it is to keep an eye on it. And if Inspection Day is like once a year, it's quite easy to see that nothing wrong happens on that day. The risks of work that violates human rights increase the further you go from Finland, in general terms. That's why I personally prefer to buy my clothes and, if possible, also other products made in Europe.
In this post, I wanted to tell you why we manufacture our products in Portugal. As I stated earlier, I don't see any reason why Finnish companies would not want to transfer their entire operations to Finland. It would be great to buy from Finland and sell a Finnish product. It would be even more amazing if our company would buy from another company for which even small customers are important in terms of their profitability. So why don't we make clothes in Finland? At the moment, it is simply money.
Last winter we started looking for a manufacturer for our clothes. We had an idea in our head, what kind of products we would like to produce and what our vision is. We sent inquiries to several Finnish manufacturers who were thought to be potential manufacturers. We didn't get an answer from everyone, probably because we were such a small company and we had quite a lot of growth ahead of us. Quite understandable. However, we received a response from a couple of places.
We also received sample prices for small batches of t-shirts. The resale price of the T-shirt would have been well over 50 euros and that would have been a bit too much for us. Prices would have been lowered by e.g. giving up organic cotton, significantly larger order lots or ready-made models that some companies were already using. However, none of this felt right. If we were more handy with our hands, we could have started production by doing it ourselves. Unfortunately, our sewing machine know-how pretty much stops at sewing a decorative pillow without a zipper: that is, straight, straight, straight, turn over and straight.
After this we came across our current manufacturer, Black Moda. We have already been told how our cooperation started, in short, everything went as planned, from the very beginning. The clothes would be made in Europe, a place we could visit if we wanted to. The entire production process was certified with Ökö-Tex and GOTS certificates. In addition to this, we ourselves liked Black Moda's own brands, such as Puuvillatehtaa and Aarrekid. What's not to love? It was easy to collaborate with them. Likewise, we feel that it has been easy to tell you about our production and what we have tried to take into account, so that the purchase of the final product itself would not have to be weighed in terms of ethics or ecology - we have already done that work when looking for a manufacturer.
I hope the text opened our way of thinking to you. In the end, we could summarize that of course we would make our products here in Jyväskylä if we could. It may be that in the future we will be able to order larger batches and also secure other Finnish manufacturers. It may be that we ourselves get excited about sewing and start making our own clothes (this is still quite unlikely, but a possible scenario). It can also be, and it is probably true, that we haven't even come across all the options yet. You never know what the future will bring! At the moment we are quite satisfied with the situation, but of course we will always prefer a Finn when the opportunity arises. I hope that you too will choose a Finnish product someday, just because of Finland. <3
<3: Eve and Riku