Responsibility is much more to us than just words - it requires everyday, concrete actions. We see fashion with new eyes - we say ‘no’ to seasonal thinking, underselling and overproduction. We say ‘yes’ to beautiful, timeless products as well as materials that are gentle on the environment. We want to set an example in the clothing industry, that is a matter of the heart for us. We wonder every day what we are producing for a world that would no longer need to produce anything at all. A beautiful everyday life belongs to everyone. Finland also needs entrepreneurship and families need work and livelihoods. These are the preconditions for Vimma's existence.
RESPONSIBILITY PROMISES 2020-2022
1. Avoiding unnecessary production: analyzing and specifying production volumes that are produced only for what is in demand.
2. Reducing own cotton production and replacing it with recycled or other more environmentally friendly materials. During 2020, we have managed to replace about 20% of the need for new cotton production with surplus materials from the domestic textile wholesale.
3. Raising material awareness of all materials used, including those purchased through textile wholesale. The aim is to find out a) what exactly their origin is, b) what is the manufacturing process of each fabric and c) what are the conditions of the employees of the fabric factories.
4. The research and assisting in use: the opportunity to return used products Vimma-Store or Outlet.
5. Improving corporate responsibility communication and raising awareness among customers. The goal for the rest of 2020 is to calculate our company's carbon footprint and communicate it on the website.
SET OF VALUES
All of Vimma's activities are guided by responsibility, honesty, and transparency. We exist for our customers. Successful customer experience and adding value to the prevailing market is a matter of the heart for us. In products, the most important thing for us is its message. We make design products so people need less stuff. Our core values include making good taste decisions that think of ourselves, our neighbors, and the environment. We exist for our customers, listening to their needs and wishes. Domesticity is an important value for us. We favor Finnish designers and co-operate with domestic subcontractors, for example in zoning and dimensioning. It is important for us to produce everything close.
From the beginning, Vimma's design has been based on an ambitious goal to make the models and their zoning so functional that we can only produce products of one size. They dress beautifully in users of at least three different size classes (S-L) and are suitable for different body types, not forgetting plus size people. With this, we have sought to increase the efficiency and speed of production and to make it as easy as possible to sell and recycle a used product from one consumer to another. As part of ecological thinking, Vimma’s clothing is designed so that the same product could be used in many different situations; silk caftan can be put on after a sauna, but at the same time it also bends perfectly into a work outfit or a party with a small settlement. We already consider at the design stage what we want to communicate through the product, as we only make products with a message. The best known examples of these are Don’t forget to play and Be kind take care. By choosing a Vimma product, our customers also have the opportunity to communicate their own values.
60% of the materials used in Vimma's collections are new, self-printed cotton, which is ecological. GOTS cotton and ECO-TEX certified. The certificate guarantees that the material does not contain substances harmful to humans or the environment in accordance with the criteria of the standard. However, we are aware of the challenges posed by water and energy consumption in cotton production and have set out to look for alternatives to cotton.
We have also made products from recycled polyester, Tencel, Lyocell, bamboo and viscose in search of an answer to the need for new materials. Of these, the qualities found to be functional and suitable for our various products remain in our production. We will continue to study different material alternatives, trace their origin, map the environmental impact of production processes and find out the working conditions of the factories that manufacture them. Each material has its pros and cons in relation to the intended use and the load on the environment, so finding the best possible material requires a lot of research and testing. Our promise in 2020 has been to produce less of our own, new cotton, use more recycled and surplus materials, and explore new materials and their potential in our own production.
We have found high-quality old so-called so-called treasure hunts made at domestic textile wholesalers. surplus materials (deadstock), from which we manufacture limited batches of collections, thus avoiding the need for all materials to be printed by ourselves. In this way, we save energy, nature and resources, as some of the collections can be made from existing, surplus materials. The durability and quality of these materials are still so good that they can still be safely used to make products for today’s needs, and we get to give existing materials a new life in the form of a product.
Currently, these treasures have replaced 20% of our need for new cotton production, which has currently been our response to a business strategy to reduce the use of materials. In addition, when designing clothes, we are constantly considering that they will work for as many different uses as possible. This also reduces material consumption, as there is no need to produce so many different models when one product can be used both in everyday life and at a party. The materials of the textile wholesaler all come from Europe.
We test all materials ourselves by doing washing and use tests on them, so that we can find out e.g. shrinkage of materials, wash times of paints, pimples and tear strengths. We want to use only high-quality materials in production, so that the life cycle of the products is also as long as possible in terms of materials. We are also very interested in new ecological materials, but we have not yet found solutions for our own production. We are looking for new partners who would be able to process and produce new pulp or bio-based fiber fabrics for our needs, also suitable for print printing. If you have up-to-date information on this, you can give us a tips here.
It is estimated that about one third of the carbon dioxide emissions during the life cycle of textile products are caused when the product is in the end user, as a lot of energy is needed for maintenance (Tekstiili ja muoti ry, 2016: 35). Therefore, unnecessary washing should be avoided if the product can be refreshed, for example by ventilation, or the stain can be removed by local washing. We recommend washing Vimma products only when they are dirty and following product-specific care instructions to ensure that the products remain good for a long time. Doing so prolongs the life of the product, which is also an effective way to reduce its environmental footprint. In case of problems, our customer service is happy to advise.
Our subcontractors strive to make the most concise cutting plans possible with the available means, and the resulting cutting waste is currently utilized by making it e.g. hats and children's leggings. We agreed with our subcontractors on the re-use of all cutting waste from production, so little cutting waste is generated in our operations.
The manufacture of products as local production in Tallinn, Tuusula and Tampere already guarantees product safety with legislation. Fabrics come from within Europe, so their manufacturing process and factory working conditions are also bound by EU regulations and laws.
Vimma's goal is to produce everything close by. We have set the so-called the three-hour rule, which means that the trip from the factory to the office can take up to three hours. This limits a lot of partners, but fortunately we have found partners nearby and all production facilities are located within a radius of up to an hour from the center of Tallinn. Vimma's clothes are cut and assembled in Estonia and Finland, which means that the employee's rights and environmental legislation are in order. The socks are made in Tampere by Sidoste and the sweaters come from Tuusula from Holopainen.
Most of the cotton used in production is printed in Lithuania, second most in Germany, and metal prints in Pälkäne. Opening up processes and making them transparent allows us to have confidence in factories. The use of dyes has been discussed with the factories, and so we can also rely on the certificates of the fabric printing and dyeing factories.
About 60 percent of all fabrics used in Vimma's production come from Vilnius, including almost all of the leotards and elastic collars used in production, as well as some new materials such as some viscose and Tencels. Most of the Vimma prints are printed here. Certificates received by the factory: GOTS and ECO-TEX Standard 100.
Smaller fabric deliveries: e.g. viscose fabrics and thin cotton fabrics, mainly for the production of women's clothing. About 12 percent of Vimma's fabrics come from here.
Smaller fabric deliveries: bamboo viscose, in addition to which black monochrome fabrics such as cashmere blend and inelastic, thick college.
Smaller fabric deliveries: monochrome college fabrics and elastics.
Smaller fabric deliveries: recycled and surplus fabrics, as well as most specialty fabrics such as Sorona. The fabrics come from textile wholesalers in Europe, and our goal is to obtain even more detailed information about the origin of these materials, the method of manufacture and the conditions of the factories. About 27 percent of the fabrics used to produce Vimma come from here.
Printing of metal printing fabrics, base fabrics we deliver to the factory ourselves. The electricity used by the factory is 100% renewable energy. The production does not use plastisol inks containing PVC or plasticizers, but only water-based inks. Inks are removed from the weight chart as accurately as possible before washing to keep the load in the wastewater as low as possible. The process water is treated in a treatment plant with a good biological purification process. Solid waste is sorted to reduce the proportion of landfill waste.
Factory 1. Tallinn, Estonia
Types of products to be manufactured: products made of woven fabrics such as dresses, skirts, trousers and products made of leotard and elastic college, such as leggings, t-shirts and tunics.
Thanks to seven years of cooperation, we have been able to employ the factory so well that it has been able to concentrate its production mainly on Vimma products, and that factory is the main manufacturer of our products.
Factory 2. Tallinn, Estonia
Products made of woven fabrics such as, dresses, skirts, trousers and overalls.
Factory 3. Tallinnm Estonia
Products made from leotard and elastic college, such as leggings, t-shirts, tops, bodysuits and leotard tunics.
Factory 4. Tallinn, Estonia
Factory 5. Tallinn, Estonia
Factory 6. Tallinn, Estonia
Woven and printed fabric fabrics:
some of the size labels, care instructions and labels added to products.
Factory 7. Tampere, Finland
From the beginning, since 1945, the production of the dressing has been located in Tampere. Product development and innovation have enabled the company to take environmental and social responsibility with pride.
Factory 8. Tuusula, Finland
Kutomo Holopainen Oy is a high-quality knitwear company operating in Tuusula. All knitwear is 100% domestic quality work.
We always start cooperating with factories by visiting before concluding contracts. We communicate closely with the management of Vimma's strict values and start cooperation only if the values are common. After finding a good factory, we cherished long-term cooperative relationships. We visit factories frequently, even monthly, to get close monitoring of production processes and to connect with employees. The significance of the visits is that through them we see where the products are actually made and how employees can work. The cooperation is really close and we communicate with the factory management almost on a daily basis.
In our opinion, the greatest success is the opportunity to act according to our own values. In principle, Vimma never compromises on the prices offered by the factory, so that the factory does not have to compromise on the safety, salaries and working hours of its own employees. Instead of bidding on prices, we prefer to pay for factory workers to be treated well in the workplace.
The environmental impact of our operations
We want to be one step at a time in ensuring that future generations also have the opportunity to live a quality life on our planet. We aim to analyze production volumes even more closely in the future so that we can produce exactly the products for which there is certainly a demand. Vimma does not have seasonal thinking, but Vimma's collection includes products that are constantly being developed only for the better based on customer feedback. Our goal is to have only products in our range that circulate from the factory to the consumer as quickly as possible and that we do not produce any surplus.
We’ve also outlined not participating in sub-campaigns designed to get people to buy more. We strive to produce products for real demand - at prices at which consumers can buy them without discounts, so that a beautiful everyday life is available to everyone.
Product price structure
In Vimma's own Outlet stores in Nurmijärvi and in the online store, individual copies of the collections, products in descriptions, quality II and returned as returns are sold. We also donate Outlet products to people who need help. Our goal is for every Vimma garment to find a happy wearer. Vimma recommends recycling used clothes and does Emmyn, an online store selling used designer clothes, bags and accessories. Vimma's customers can send old and small Vimma clothes to Emmy free of postage, and as a reward Vimma will refund them with a bonus, which can be used when shopping in Vimma's online store.
In addition, flea market activities have been organized from time to time at Vimman Outlet, where both Vimma's staff and customers have been allowed to sell their used Vimma products. In local second-hand stores and Facebook's regional recycling groups, Vimma clothing moves quickly and its resale value remains good, as the products are of high quality and the production batches are small. Most of Vimma's products are one-size-fits-all, which makes it easy to sell and recycle a used product from one consumer to another. The possibility of returning used Vimma clothing to the Vimma Store or Outlet store is currently being considered. Vimma aims to make it possible during 2020.
Product lending service
Vimma does not have its own clothing lending service, but new clothing lending companies have sprung up all over Finland, which are Vimma's retail customers and thus serve our customers who want to borrow Vimma clothing instead of buying it.
With regard to children 's clothing, the current resources are not sufficient to provide a repair service due to the high volume sales. These products are more consumer goods due to the high utilization rate and the need for washing. We recommend extending the life of the products, for example by repairing broken areas at the knee positions and adding elastic to the short sleeves or replacing the buttons with new ones.
The sale of women's products is the core of our business today, so it is also important to find out the need for a repair service. So far, however, we have rarely encountered a Vimma garment being broken, as the dimensions are quite loose and care has been taken to select the materials. Occasionally, we have repaired or modified the products either ourselves or by purchasing the service from nearby sewing shops. If you feel that you need a repair service for your Vimma products, you can let us know here.
Vimma has also designed custom-made products for Independence Day Receptions and film festivals, among other things. These products have been sewn by both our trainees and seamstresses at Helsinki's nearby sewing shops.
The factories that manufacture Vimma's products are located nearby, so the use of harmful chemicals is already excluded by law. We better study the origins of fabric production and the manufacturing processes for each type of fabric so that we can ensure the safety of all the materials we use for the environment and people.
As a logistics partner in Finland, we support Posti's environmentally friendly services. In Tallinn, our products are transported by local operators in the transport industry who have excellent local knowledge and with whom we have been cooperating for a long time. Our products are never transported by air, but transport from Tallinn to Finland, for example, is arranged by sea and road. We strive to minimize the need for logistics, among other things, by ensuring that our product descriptions in the online store are accurate so that customers get what they have ordered. This avoids transporting the same product back and forth. Selection of partners the three-hour rule principle guarantees that the products do not have to be transported over long distances.
In all of Vimma's logistics, there has been a policy from the very beginning that plastic is not used at all at any point in the production chain. We do not want to burden the environment by making bags for individual packaging that would be used in products or storage that leave the factory for us or for us to our customers. The production of products as local production has made this policy possible, as it does not require long transport journeys due to the risk of mold. Only the fabric packs are protected with plastic for truck transport to prevent losses from stained fabrics. When we send products from stock to our customers, we pack them in cardboard boxes or bags. From production, the products come to us in cardboard boxes, inside which the products are tied together with wefts made of fabric surplus, and there are only intermediate cardboards between the different products.
We utilize the cutting waste generated in production by making it e.g. hats and children's leggings. We are informed of the possible surplus from the factory and a purpose is always agreed upon, ie little production waste is generated from our production.
From our own operations as waste, mainly cardboard is generated, which we strive to reuse as far as possible, for example by sending products to our retailers in intact recycled cardboard boxes. We deliver non-reusable cardboard for cardboard collection.
Vimma's responsibility promise for the rest of 2020 is to use more resources to improve responsibility communication and also to reduce the company's carbon footprint. After calculating the carbon footprint, we can find out the emissions from our own operations and get a compensation plan for them. The aim is also to find out the carbon footprint of an individual product.
Tripla shopping center, where Vimma's stone foot shop is located, has received LEED Platinum-level international environmental certification. The energy consumption and clean water consumption of the shopping center are about 40% lower than those of similar new buildings in general. Energy efficiency saves the environment, but also saves costs. Low electricity consumption reduces property maintenance costs and environmental impact. The stormwater system in Tripla is built in such a way that the stormwater is either absorbed into the ground or recycled, for example as washing water used in a car wash. The green roof space, built to increase greenery and comfort and to control stormwater, accounts for about 40 percent of all Tripla roof space. Heating and cooling with the city's district heating and cooling network.
Vimma's personnel policy is guided by Vimma's golden rules. We respect and value each other. At us, every person is valuable and every employee has their own role and place. The people of Vimma are like one family with common goals. One important mission of our company is to enable our employees to have successful experiences. Our personnel policy is guided by openness and honesty. We talk about things directly and strive to maintain a good team spirit in all our activities. We hold development discussions with our employees on a regular basis and develop our operations. Vimma has five permanent employees, part-time emergency assistants and summer employees.
STORE AND CUSTOMERS
Nemo architects designed the look of our Tripla pop up store with recycled materials and furniture in accordance with Vimma's values. The furniture and surface materials are made from the materials of the Habitarematerials exhibition stand seen at Habitare, including the clothes hangers. The pop up store offers the opportunity for an unforgettable visitor experience, complemented by a scent and sound landscape. The grass mat is a strong symbol of the store: the power of growth and life. The stone foot shop is a seamless part of the Vimma brand. It is important for us to meet our customers, hear their thoughts, see product adaptations and receive immediate customer feedback to improve our products and operations. We want to be able to buy our products also experientially - by meeting each other, instead of pressing an e-commerce button.
Global Organic Textile Standard. Ecology & social responsibility, 2016. Global Standard gGmbH. https://www.global-standard.org/the-standard/general-description.html
Kutomo Holopainen Oy. http://kutomoholopainen.fi
Nemo arkkitehdit. 2019. Vimma pop-up -myymälä. https://nemoarkkitehdit.fi/portfolio/vimma-tripla
OEKO-TEX®. Inpsiring confidence. 2020. OEKO-TEX Service GmbH. https://www.oeko-tex.com/en/apply-here
Suomen tekstiili ja muoti ry. 2016. Vastuullisuuskäsikirja. Grano: Vantaa. https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/stjm/test/stjm_vastuullisuuskasikirja.pdf
Special mention is also made to Outi Les Pyy, the responsibility influencer, and Maija Lummi of Eetti Ry, when you cheated on us and were involved in influencing and helping us to map and communicate responsibility issues.
If you still have any concerns about Vimma's responsibility or brand, or if you want to give us feedback, feel free to contact us. We will answer with pleasure!