How Reima discovered the joy of recycling and is still leading the way

It all started with recycling

Today, Reima is loved around the world for its high-quality clothes that allow kids to explore the outdoors in every weather. 75 years ago, however, we started by doing something very different. After World War II, the company that had been moved up North to be safe from attacks found itself with a trained workforce and a factory with unutilised potential. To keep up the good work, they founded Kankama, which later became Reima. In the tough post-war economic climate, with raw materials in short supply, Kankama began making clothes from old army snowsuits. This put recycling at the heart of Reima’s business from day one. Since then we’ve continued to make the most of materials and even created some of our own.

A stitch in time saves nine

Rips and tears are a natural consequence of the rough and tumble of play. This is something Reima realised very early on. In the 1950s, we pioneered the development of genuinely durable kidswear, which was advertised by children rubbing a whetstone on their pants to highlight their hardiness. At the time, money was scarce for Finnish families and this innovation was welcomed mainly for economical reasons.

Fast forward over half a century and we adhere to the same philosophy. We still make clothes to last, but today it’s to diminish our impact on the environment. To ensure that Reima kidswear makes it through as much fun as possible, we continue to innovate forever better weatherproof and playproof fabrics. What’s more, we offer patching materials and foot loops for repairing our clothing – free of charge if the item is less than one year old.

The more wearers the merrier

In contrast to fast fashion, we want our clothes to have a long and eventful life. That’s why we get involved with cutting-edge recycling schemes such as trash-2-cash, a project that aimed to regenerate fibres from clothes that would have otherwise gone to waste disposal plants or landfill. The three and a half year project was a success, resulting in the production of new, high-quality materials from waste.

Now, thanks to our partnership with Finland’s largest online store of second-hand apparel, Emmystore.com, Reima products enjoy a longer life. When your kids have grown out of their gear, we’ll help you sell it to a new owner either in Finland or internationally.

While we’re happy to see every item of Reima kidswear worn by as many active children as possible, we’re keen to take our sustainability even further. Along with minimising lost material in production and removing any excess packaging, we’re working hard to recycle our fabric all the way back to new polymers. Our ambitious aim is that tomorrow’s Reima clothes will create zero plastic waste. After all, don’t we all want to leave our kids a clean and healthy planet to play on?

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