Sustainable Finnish brands collapse while the world is drowning in the waste of fast fashion: MORICO dreams of the rise of slow fashion
The biggest emission reductions in the Finnish textile and fashion industry would be achieved if clothes were used twice as many times. That's why every piece of clothing in the MORICO 2023 Dream Valley Summer Collection is designed in such a way that there are more than two ways to use them, and the life cycle of the material never ends.
Spring has been tough for consumers who love Finnish sustainable fashion. Nudge, the forerunner shop for sustainable fashion in Finland and which operated in the center of Helsinki, went bankrupt. Arela, a sustainable clothing brand focused on contemporary knitwear, has been put into liquidation, and all of their operations will end. The grandmothers of Myssyfarmi asked their followers on social media for help to save their brand which manufactures accessories from Finnish sheep's wool. Tampere-based Uhana had a SOS! sale campaign in the spring.
Although Myssy and Uhana survived, the unstable world situation has disciplined other Finnish small businesses as well, including the MORICO brand. Producing sustainable slow fashion products has always been more expensive than fast fashion. Now, inflation and rising interest rates, and electricity prices are increasing the costs of materials and textiles even higher.
– In this situation, it is difficult, especially for small companies like us, to transfer the increased costs to the price of the product. Many companies in the clothing industry, including MORICO, have invested in growth by increasing volume. Now, we all have large stocks of wonderful sustainable products, which we have not been able to sell, says Tytti Alapieti, founder of the MORICO brand and clothing designer.
The situation is contradictory. While the European decision-makers are preaching about the green transition and declaring target years for carbon neutrality, textiles are consumed more than ever before – even though a smaller share of income is spent on them than before!
According to a report by the European Environmental Agency, the annual number of uses of clothes has also decreased by about a third. In addition, consumers are said to throw away more than 400 euros worth of clothes every year as unusable.
The versatility also multiplies the number of uses
Globally, the clothing and textile industry's share of all greenhouse emissions is estimated at around 4–10 percent. In addition, the clothing and textile industry consumes enormous amounts of natural resources, land, and water and causes harm to the waters. Therefore, the transition of the clothing and textile industry to a resource-based circular economy is considered necessary in order to solve the biodiversity and the climate crisis.
According to a report examining the global climate impacts of the Finnish textile and fashion industry, the biggest emission reductions would be achieved by wearing the clothes twice as many times. In this case, the need for new clothes would decrease by 46 percent.
By switching to renewable energy in production, the sector's emissions would decrease by 40 percent. If all virgin cotton and polyester were replaced with recycled fibers, emissions in the value chains could decrease by 19 percent.
– Causing emissions and the environmental burden should be made economically unprofitable for companies. That is not the case yet, and that is why we hope that consumers would vote with their wallets, i.e. buy products from responsible domestic small businesses, says Tytti.
All MORICO products are designed in such a way that they are suitable for many purposes, more than two. All swimsuits, tops, and bottoms are reversible. One side has a beautiful pattern and the other side is unicolor, so it's easy to combine them with many different outfits. The dresses, shirts, and pants are also designed in such a way that they are suitable for everyday life, parties, and sports.
The summer 2023 MORICO collection is made of sustainable textiles such as recycled polyester and ECONYL® regenerated nylon. The raw materials for ECOVERO® viscose fiber come from certified and sustainably managed forests. The fiber is EU Ecolabel certified, which guarantees environmental standards in fiber production. All MORICO clothes are designed in Finland and responsibly sewn in Estonia.
In Tytti’s opinion, the company's responsibility is not limited to the design and manufacture of products. That's why MORICO also offers information about how to care for and wash products, how to extend the life of a used product, and how to recycle it at the end. In addition, MORICO can repair and recycle products on behalf of its customers.
The Dream Valley of slow fashion
Although times are challenging for responsible fashion brands, MORICO designers hold on to their dream – a world of slow fashion where humans are one with nature. The Dream Valley Summer Collection makes the path easier with its new charming pattern.
Dream Valley invites you to float to a faraway fairyland. There are no specific boxes in which you should fit or rules on how to live. You can just enjoy the stillness of motion, listen to the flow of the river, and be completely safe, surrounded by the miraculous mountains of Lapland and the midnight sun.
In addition to swimwear, the Dream Valley pattern blossoms in MORICO dress novelties.
– Looseness and shape play an important role when designing clothes that must fit people of different heights and shapes. Our new dress models can also be adjusted with a belt to fit. And of course, they have to be comfortable to wear, and they have to last from this summer to the next ones to come. The loose cuts of our dresses are also suitable for plus-size or expectant mothers, Tytti advises.
Read more about the design and the designer of the new Dream Valley pattern from our blog post Dream Valley of slow fashion. You can also read more about our novelties from the post Dream Valley novelties - Our new slow fashion pieces.
MORICO co-founder & designer Tytti Alapieti. Pic: Veera Uutinen
MORICO co-founder & designer Jenni Koli.
Milja Horneman is the third owner of Mori Collective. Pic: Iisakki Kennilä
Slow fashion to the moon and back
Happy Birthday to 8 years old MORICO!
Sources and further reading:
Finnwatch, 2022, What after fast fashion?
Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2017, A New Textiles Economy: Redesigning Fashion's Future
European Environment Agency, 2019, Textiles and the environment in a circular economy
McKinsey, 2020, Fashion on Climate
STJM, Carbon-neutral textile industry 2035
Suomen tekstiili ja muoti, 2021, Suomalaisen tekstiili- ja muotialan globaalit ilmastovaikutukset