Can fashion be sustainable?
Do you know who made your shoes? The answer is likely no, but Pihka Collection, a group of young fashion entrepreneurs based in the Finnish city of Tampere, wants to change that.
Formed by shoemaker and founder Maisa Salonen, designer Roosa Mattsson, and economist-artisan Sofia Salmi, the ethically driven Pihka brand sells bags, shoes, and accessories hand-made out of sustainably sourced leather in simple yet colourful styles with classic appeal – nothing too frivolous. What’s more, they also run popular courses where anyone can make their own bag or pair of shoes from scratch.
“We want to prove that the fashion business can be sustainable. By offering people the chance to work with the same methods and materials we use ourselves, we make our business truly transparent,” Mattsson explains.
Their brand ideology champions the quest to slow down the speed at which contemporary fashion is consumed and created. Pihka aims to make products that last forever, provided they are cared for. A broken bag strap can be repaired, and shoes can always be re-soled. “We are worried about the irresponsible ways leather is used in fast fashion these days. It is such a durable, long-lasting material that it deserves to be respected,” Mattsson notes.
And while the team enjoys their current pace, they plan to expand in the future by making their brand internationally recognisable. “We want people to know straight away what our name stands for,” Salonen says: “Sustainable fashion without sacrificing playfulness and style.”
Text Laura Iisalo
Photos Roosa Mattsson