Touchpoint makes modern work wear with recycled materials
The consequent use of recycled materials to design modern, functional work wear characterises Touchpoint’s niche from where it sets out to conquer international markets
Red bricks as far as the eye can reach. That could be the slogan of the modern event venue Teurastamo where the Finnish design company Touchpoint decided to launch its latest work wear collection Rafla.
Work wear for restaurant staff is nothing new for Touchpoint. The designers have plenty of experience in producing work wear collections for companies such as Finnish fast-food giant Hesburger and British cosmetics chain The Body Shop. With Rafla, the Finnish designers are testing new waters by offering a fashion line made from recycled materials available for each and every restaurant, hotel or other service sector business.
“We do not see any exciting work wear clothing anywhere. In general, what you can find is quite boring. We created a collection that is really fancy and sustainable. What we did is putting together the fashion world and ecological materials and that is something totally new in entire Scandinavia,” says Carita Peltonen, director of sales and marketing at Touchpoint.
“It is very important that you are looking and feeling good because we are keeping our clothes on 15 hours per day, six days a week. I always thought that chefs have to feel good in their uniforms. If you are feeling bad in your clothes you cannot give your best in the kitchen,” says Kari Aihinen, master chef and kitchen manager at the renowned Savoy restaurant in Helsinki.
As a member of the Rafla team, Aihinen has provided invaluable feedback and information to Piia Emilia and Sirpa Anundi, the designers of the Rafla collection.
“We took the functional aspects into consideration. The visual inspiration came from street wear and current fashion trends. We tried to keep it as ‘street smart’ as possible”, adds Piia Emilia, who won the Young Designer of the Year Award in 2014.
The feedback provided by professionals taught the designers that chefs are generally satisfied with their uniforms but that additional elements of functionality, such as deep pockets, are a welcome asset. To make the Rafla work wear viable for restaurant purposes, the clothes are made of denim-lookalike materials that easily withstand being washed at 95 degrees.
There is certainly something to Touchpoint’s event in the industrial ambience of Teurastamo, an old abattoir turned into a cultural and business venue. The old factory flair combined with dim light and the generous use of smoke machines creates an atmosphere akin to the finest steampunk fantasies of science fiction fans. Just that there are no steam engines and people with gas masks but two dozen young models wearing Touchpoint’s newest piece of work wear. Towards the end they dance to a somewhat unorthodox music mix of Metallica and Wham.
As the event unfolds into the after-show mingling, the audience seems pleased and Peltonen and her team are visibly happy to finally reap the fruits of their labour almost a year after they started working on the project. So, what’s next?
The successful cooperation with The Body Shop is set to continue and Sweden and the United Kingdom are next on Touchpoint’s bucket list. New international clients interested in trendy work wear for their employees are aplenty and while Peltonen states that the names are still a secret until the deals are sealed, the team’s excitement is conspicuous.