Last summer we had the opportunity to visit Ruskovilla Headquarters in Artjärvi, Finland. It was amazing to see that it is still possible to produce clothes by hand in Finland. Everything is done with such precision, care and dedication that just warms the heart.
On a warm summer day, we took the direction to Artjärvi, a small town around 100 km northeast of Helsinki. The workshop of Ruskovilla lies in the middle of a beautiful area with lakes, fields and forests. Ossi and Leena Näkki, the second generation owners of the company, welcomed us warmly. Over coffee and “pulla”, the Finnish cinnamon rolls, we had a chance to share experiences from Finland and Switzerland and think about the future.
Ruskovilla is one of the rare producers of quality clothes in Finland. The company is the anti-thesis of “fast fashion” – the company only introduces a selected few new products each year, while offering the same high quality trusted by generations. At the time of our meeting, the COVID-19 crisis had had a significant negative impact, as many retail shops selling Ruskovilla had to keep their doors closed for an extended period of time. Nevertheless, Ruskovilla managed to keep their team busy by starting instead to produce face masks out of organic cotton. We also had a discussion about products that have become the new favorites of customers like the merino wool fleece hood scarf that we just added into our selection here in Switzerland.
After the discussion, we had a private tour of the workshop. All the stages of the manufacturing process from weaving to cutting, to sowing and packaging happen in Finland. There is a team of around 20 skillful employees, who work together since years. And they have a lot of fun while preparing the lovely clothes! We also got to admire the new merino fleece colors: fjord blue, sand dune, and gold, which were just being prepared into lovely baby overalls, fleece jackets and scarves.
If you are visiting Finland, don’t hesitate to drop by to Ruskovilla! The factory shop is an excellent destination for a day trip from Helsinki.