Finnish sustainability in fashion for adidas

German sportswear firm adidas has made three Finnish fashion-related headlines in as many months, involving Marimekko, Infinited Fiber and Spinnova.

James O’Sullivan

By  guest author James O’Sullivan from Good News from Finland

All captiosn courtesy by Good News from Finland

It is not widely known that a Finnish firm played an important role in building brand awareness for German sporting goods manufacturer adidas. The company’s iconic three-stripe logo was in fact bought from Karhu Sports following the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, in which 15 gold medals were won by athletes wearing Karhu-branded spikes.

Fast forward to 2021 and Finnish firms are still playing an important role in the adidas story, with an eye determinedly on the future. When adidas and Finnish fashion house Marimekko announced a collaboration in May, this was the first in a trio of recent Finland-related headlines for the German sporting goods manufacturer, each with an eye on achieving its strategic ambition to have nine out of 10 articles made from sustainable materials by 2025.

The resultant adidas x Marimekko collection utilises new materials, including recycled yarns, and methods to help reduce the environmental impact of production.

“The opportunity to collaborate with [Marimekko], a brand who shares the same values of combining functionality and style whilst using more sustainable materials and methods, felt like such an exciting and natural opportunity,” said Josefine Aberg, VP of design at adidas. “The collection spans many sports and outdoor activities and truly combines the best of our expertise in sports performance fabrics with the bold and playful prints of Marimekko.”

Renewing its interest

The following month adidas doubled down on its ongoing development collaboration with Finnish sustainable textile material company Spinnova, pledging three million euros to Spinnova’s initial public offering.

“With Spinnova’s scalable technology platform that can make textile fibre out of abundantly available, renewable materials such as wood and agricultural waste, and provide full recyclability and quick biodegradability, we feel we are an ideal match with the ambitious and pioneering adidas sustainability strategy,” said Spinnova’s CEO and co-founder, Janne Poranen.

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