Today with Nurmi from Nurmi Clothing
From: Lahti, Finland
Works as a: Designer, Blogger, Lecturer
Loves: her old and cozy sweatpants!
Please, give us a brief introduction – who is Nurmi?
I’m Anniina Nurmi from Lahti, Finland. I’m a designer and an entrepreneur – specilized in sustainable clothing industry. My label is called Nurmi and was founded in 2010.
How is a typical day of yours?
There really isn’t one. Every day is a bit different. Nowadays most of my time flyes by in front of a computer: going through emails, organizing excel files, making work instructions and being in contact with suppliers. Not that glamorous as some might think!
What do textiles/fashion mean to you?
I have to confess: I don’t like fashion. To me the word „fashion“ equals rapidly changing trends where a garment can be worn for only a certain period of time. Then it’s „so-last-season“ and ready to be thrown away.
Don’t get me wrong, I do like garments and designing them, for sure – but for me „style“ is much more interesting than „fashion“. I wish to design garments that will last for a long time as the cornerstones of a wardrobe – both style-wise and design-wise.
What is sustainability regarding your job?
Sustainability is the core of my job. Through the Nurmi clothing label I want to do my part in transforming the fashion industry towards a sustainable future. For us sustainability means quality, long-lasting design, ecological materials, transparent production process, ethical working conditions and most of all, designing clothes that you will cherish forever.
Sustainability was the starting point of the whole business. It all started already during my fashion design studies when I began to question my career choice: I wanted to be as sustainable as possible in my private life so how could I justify my career in fashion business which is everything else but sustainable?
Soon after that I read Eternally Yours: Time in design, a book about long-lasting and sustainable industrial design and realised that ok, perhaps clothes and sustainability can be combined. I started to search for information about sustainable fashion and this became also the subject of my thesis in 2007.
After my graduation I started working as a sportswear designer in a big Finnish company but also during that time my passion for sustainability grew and grew. In spring 2008 I had already gained quite a lot of information about this field and I thought perhaps this information could be useful for others as well. This is how the blog Vihreät Vaatteet (in english: Green Clothes) came to life.
Soon after that I built up a webstore selling ecological clothes from Germany, UK, Sweden and Finland. I wanted to give Finnish consumers ecological yet stylish clothing alternatives to choose from. Nowadays the webshop is run by another company but this was the first step for me in becoming an entrepreneur.
It was the year 2009 when I started to think that ok, I write about other ecological labels in my blog and I sell other brand’s clothes in the webshop – but as I am a designer myself why wouldn’t I create a sustainable clothing label of my own? And so the story of Nurmi began.
Nowadays the main focus is on the clothing label but I still write the Vihreät Vaatteet blog and I also teach and give lectures about sustainable clothing industry.
What inspires you creatively?
Everything around me. I subconsciously observe everything around me and it all effects my design process.
How do you consume? Clothes, food, etc.?
My clothes are pretty much all second hand or from the Nurmi collection. When it comes to food, I’m a vegetarian and try to choose organic and non-processed alternatives, when possible.
I also try to avoid shopping malls whenever possible, I enjoy more going to fleamarkets. All in all I consume as little as possible and prefer to spend the little money that I have on services and not stuff – and beer every once in a while!
Do you have any advice regarding conscious consum?
As said, I mainly shop second hand and from Nurmi collection, so here’s a few tips regarding those two: A new Finnish shop called Remarket is a cool new online market place for second hand clothes, worth checking out. Secondly, I have to mention our own webstore: Nurmi webstore.
Also, we have a Nurmi store in our home town Lahti as well and in addition we just launched a Nurmi Clothing Library which we are really excited about.
From the library you can borrow two garments at a time for two weeks. This is a great way to refresh your wardrobe without having to buy anything. (Anm.R. German readers should have a look at the Kleiderei – leihen statt kaufen. They have a shop in Hamburg but also an online shop where you can loan clothes.)
Is there a textile item that is like a good companion to you? Why?
My dear old gray sweatpants which might just be the ugliest trousers ever seen but boy aren’t they comfy. I only wear them at home and they keep me cozy and warm during the cold winter days when it’s even minus 20 outside.
When are you happy?
If we are talking about work: I’m happy when a customer is really happy wearing a Nurmi garment.
If we’re not talking about work: I’d say I’m happy when I’m surrounded with friends and family.