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On Wednesday, 23.9.2020 Makia closed down its website and flagship store for the day to address responsibility and sustainability issues regarding the clothing industry and consumption habits.
Claiming to be responsible is ultimately irresponsible. That’s what we at Makia think. We certainly can’t claim to be responsible – few of us can.
There are almost eight billion people in the world, and we all need clothing. Western consumption habits and intense competition for customers have led clothing companies to produce collections at an unprecedented pace – far too much, far too fast, and at the cheapest possible manufacturing cost. This has led to a completely unsustainable situation for the environment and people.
Makia is a very small player on an international scale, a veritable Lilliput playing against giants on the global playing field – a field that is full of manufacturing options, certificates that are available for a fee, and a wide range of operators. The field is so complex that even responsibility experts may not be able to make the right decisions or offer the one right option. According to the ethical trade association Eetti ry, responsibility audits and systems have become a billion-dollar reputation industry that does not necessarily guarantee the protection of employees’ rights, the improvement of working conditions, or sustainable environmental solutions. The only way to solve the problem would be to introduce a binding international corporate responsibility legislation.
Responsibility for responsibility lies with each of us – each company and each individual. We at Makia strive to improve our responsibility from one season to the next. Very little competitive manufacturing is available in Finland. Over the years, we have selected a small group of reliable suppliers of similar sizes from around the world with whom we share the same values. Currently, 64% of our manufacturing comprises of environmentally preferred materials (EPM), online orders are sent out in RePack reusable packaging made from recycled material, oversees shipments are carbon neutralised, and we use solar-generated electricity in our flagship store.
The most important way in which we strive to be more responsible, however, is by designing long-lasting clothing. We encourage our customers to take ten extra seconds before each purchase and ask themselves: Do I really need this clothing? We welcome both responses.
Elina might be smaller in size but her relentless work ethic and humane approach for design have made her a giant powerhouse in our design department. Combining timeless style into functional solutions make her designs top acquired items from season to season.
With one of the busiest shopping seasons of the year in progress, amidst all the consuming hysteria, we want to emphasize the responsibility for sustainability that lies within all of us. This is why we encourage our customers to take a moment and ask themselves – “Do I really need this product?”
Kimmo Syväri is a longtime Makia family member and the other founder of KOSKI SYVÄRI, a Helsinki based entrepreneurial venture. In the early years of Makia, Kimmo was a large part of creating the high standard visual identity behind Makia, and today continues to push the envelope through his own company.