Reima X Klaus Haapaniemi
Q&A with Klaus Haapaniemi
Why did you choose to make an innerwear collection?
We wanted to bring Reima’s expertise in children’s activewear to innerwear. The signature Reima functionality, combined with designer Klaus Haapaniemi’s fantastical prints, allowed us to create a collection that inspires children and enables them to explore their imagination, regardless of gender or age group. The rich prints of the collection bring a hint of luxury and festivity to everyday life.
What are the key points of your design philosophy?
Quality and sustainability always come first for Reima. Product safety is a top priority and our supply chain is transparent, with equal respect for human and animal rights. The clothes are designed to last for years, and we aim to use 100% certified organic cotton and 75% of outerwear materials bluesign® approved by the year 2023. Reima champions an active childhood, to raise a generation ready for the world to come. Reima’s design principles include innovation, functionality, safety, and fresh Finnish design, and the clothing is approved by the world’s toughest testers: children.
Why did you choose Klaus Haapaniemi for Reima’s first designer collaboration?
Klaus Haapaniemi and Reima share the same philosophy: age and gender are irrelevant, imagination is the key. Haapaniemi and Reima share a deep connection to nature, and the designer was tasked with creating a nature-inspired print that would feed the children’s imagination. The connection to nature is tangibly present in both Haapaniemi’s print and the materials used in the Reima X Klaus Haapaniemi collection. We wanted to collaborate with a Finnish designer, and Klaus Haapaniemi’s unique, fantastical art style made him the perfect choice.
What are the most important things to take into account when designing high-quality children’s innerwear?
We always think carefully about the unique needs of different kids – be it age group, physical measurements, or level of activity, every detail is taken into account. In the Reima X Klaus Haapaniemi collection it was important for us that the prints would inspire kids regardless of their age or gender – imagination is the key.
Where are the Reima X Klaus Haapaniemi collection fabrics sourced from?
The woven fabrics of the innerwear come from Italy and are made from cotton that originates from Shandong (Eastern China). The jersey comes from Lithuania and is knitted using GOTS certified organic cotton from India.
The swimwear fabric comes from Taiwan and the activewear (outdoor) fabrics from China.
Is it possible that some of your materials or products come from the Xinjiang region?
Reima has noted the situation in Xinjiang already in 2019, and at that time, we have made the decision not to produce anything in Xinjiang nor buy raw materials there.
How do you audit and monitor your supply chain?
Reima is a member of amfori, the world’s leading business association for open and sustainable trade. All our finished goods suppliers in so-called risk countries (as defined by amfori) are regularly audited via amfori BSCI (Business Social Compliance Initiative) or similar.
In addition to third-party audits, our own sourcing team regularly visits the factories. We believe in building long-term, collaborative relationships with our suppliers, and most of our suppliers have worked with us for a long time already.
In terms of production and the processing of materials, certificates such as GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) and GRS (Global Recycled Standard) help us trace the origins of raw materials, and ensure that the materials are processed with the least possible environmental impact, and with respect for labor conditions.
Could you tell us a bit about the materials used in the collection?
The cotton used in the innerwear collection jersey is GOTS certified organic. The waterproof outerwear materials contain recycled polyester fibers from recycled water bottles and in some styles, the polyester used is partly plant-based Sorona. All the polyester in the UV-protective swimwear is recycled from PET bottles.
How do you make sure that Reima respects human and labor rights?
All of our suppliers must commit to our Supplier Code of Conduct that is based on the United Nations conventions on human and labor rights. As a member of amfori, we are also committed to the 11 principles of amfori BSCI (Business Social Compliance Initiative), aiming at the highest level of labor protection.
To ensure that our suppliers comply with these principles, all our finished goods suppliers in so-called risk countries (as defined by amfori) are regularly audited via amfori BSCI or similar. In these audits, unbiased third-party auditors carefully investigate all documents and conditions related to the operation of the factory, to ensure that the factories comply with the amfori principles on human and labor rights. The auditors also conduct confidential interviews with randomly chosen workers.
We also conduct our own audits and build long-term relationships with our suppliers to foster an open dialogue and continuous development. Together with our suppliers, we can develop our cooperation toward a sustainable direction, in terms of safeguarding human rights as well as improving environmental performance.
Do you use plastic in your clothes?
We repurpose used recycled water bottles into high-quality polyester. The waterproof membranes in our outerwear are polyurethane. It is a more harmless option compared to the PVC or PFC materials, which some brands use to make their products waterproof.
How do you make sure the clothes are safe to use?
We obey the strictest safety standards set on children’s wear. In addition to that, as a bluesignⓇ system partner, we require the full chemical safety of the materials we use.