Five from Finland
When it comes to bags, these Finnish companies seamlessly blend sleek design, functionality and innovation.Julia Helminen
These five Finnish companies are making sure that customers are getting carried away with their different approaches to making bags.
Finnish innovation has got it in the bag when it comes to style and durability.
With its timeless designs and durable materials, Kasperi promotes a more sustainable approach to consumerism.Kasperi
The Kasperi crew is keeping a close eye on maintaining high quality with its leather bags. The company uses not only Scandinavian bull and cow leather, but also yak leather sourced from Mongolia and tanned in Finland. The changing nature of the source material encourages customers to form a long relationship with their bags.
“Consumption cycles are getting very short, especially in fashion and consumer electronics,” stated marketing strategist Michael Tervanen. “But, if we give a consumer a product that they really like and they notice that it is only getting more personal and better with time, we can communicate the value of investing in more lasting stuff.”
Kasperi's dedication to sustainability is evident not only in the use of responsibly sourced materials, but also in ethical production methods. All the bags and backpacks are handcrafted in Forssa in Southern Finland, which helps to maintain product quality, respond faster to design and manufacturing issues, as well as preserve and cultivate local craftsmanship.
According to PIHKA, its products are “made to be loved and used throughout life”.PIHKA collection
With two passionate entrepreneurs behind the company, Sofia Salmi and Roosa Mattson, PIHKA collection has been designing and crafting eye-catching leather bags of different sorts for 10 years. Meticulous designs paired with responsibly sourced materials and domestic manufacturing guarantee that “one bag is enough”.
PIHKA also aims to foster a sense of community and togetherness. The company organises regular workshops at its studio in Helsinki, allowing people from all walks of life to learn about Finnish craftsmanship and participate in hands-on experiences.
Among PIHKA’s customers is Finland’s prime minister, Sanna Marin. The company got into the media spotlight after the politician wore its AAPO city backpack in 2021.
“We are on a journey to bring joy into people’s lives, and we’d love everyone to join us,” Salmi and Mattson say.
LUMI Accessories is famous for merging fashion and sustainability, which appeals to consumers worldwide.LUMI accessories
Co-founded by a Finnish-French designer duo, Sanna Kantola and Bruno Beaugrand, LUMI Accessories is best known for its leather bags, characterised by clean lines, minimalistic silhouettes, high quality and functionality. All LUMI products are designed in Finland and manufactured in Portugal, Spain or India, with sustainability in mind.
The company’s philosophy has resonated well with consumers beyond Finland, with the bags being sold in over 25 countries. Fashion professionals have taken note of the company too. Since its foundation in 2000, LUMI has received several industry and design awards, including the Golden Hanger (Kultainen Vaatepuu) in 2011, becoming the first accessory maker to receive the honour.
“Fulfilling our own passions is the most important thing,” Kantola noted. “In the future, we want to invest even more in quality and develop new things.”
Golla products are designed to complement people’s personal style while addressing their daily needs.Golla
After specialising solely in camera and mobile phone bags, the zeitgeist dictated it was time for Golla to shift its focus somewhat and expand its product range in 2012.
Now, Golla designs minimalistic, Nordic-style bags for portable electronics and more. All the products are manufactured using some of the most sustainable materials, such as eco-leather, as well as premium polyester and neoprene made of recycled PET-bottles.
“A lot has changed indeed,” stated CEO Petri Kähkönen. “But the idea has remained the same: designing consumer products with a distinctive twist and pushing them abroad furiously.”
Indeed, Golla’s commitment to quality and style has earned it a loyal customer base in over 100 countries worldwide.
By choosing sustainable Paptic material for bags and pouches, brands can communicate their values.Paptic
And now for something different: this Finnish startup aims to substitute plastic bags with a new material based on wood fibre with plastic properties. It mainly consists of renewable wood fibre but isn’t like paper. It is lighter, more durable and even stretches.
“The business idea of Paptic was originally established as a response to the banning of plastic bags in numerous countries,” CEO and co-founder Tuomas Mustonen explained a few years ago. “We wanted to provide an alternative to plastics: the wood-based, recyclable and reusable Paptic material.”
The solution is now in high demand among brands and retailers. For example, Paptic has collaborated with Finland’s two major department store chains, Sokos and Stockmann, Moomin Characters and Wolford.