Marimekko Oyj
·4-min read

Marimekko Corporation, Press release, 30 November 2020 at 2.00 p.m.

As part of its fall 2021 collection, Marimekko will launch its first garments, bags and home items that are printed with a natural dye. The blue shade of the fabrics is the result of collaboration with Natural Indigo Finland, a Finnish company concentrating on natural dyes.

Marimekko and Natural Indigo Finland began their collaboration on the industrial use of natural dyes in August 2019. Marimekko’s printing factory in Helsinki has, among other things, been involved in developing the recipe for the blue dye obtained from the woad plant as well as testing the fastness of the dye in use.

“It is important for Marimekko to be involved in finding and developing new, more sustainable material solutions for the future, among other things. Our own printing factory in Helsinki offers unique possibilities for testing new fabrics and dyestuffs in the printing process. We are very pleased that, together with Natural Indigo, we have been able to bring a natural indigo dye into use on an industrial scale,” says Minna Kemell-Kutvonen, Marimekko’s Director of Home and Print Design. “We continuously aim to increase the share of sustainable cotton as well as of other more sustainable materials in our products and packaging and to find more environmentally-friendly alternatives to the substances used in the manufacturing processes. The use of natural dyes in textile printing is a very interesting option. It is always a pleasure to find good Finnish partners and together develop solutions that can bring the whole industry forward.”

The following items printed with a blue dye obtained from woad will hit the stores in July 2021: Norkko shirts and cotton purses featuring the iconic Unikko design, classic striped Jokapoika shirts as well as fabric, cushion covers and bags in the Silkkikuikka pattern.

“The aim of Natural Indigo is to produce dyes sustainably and ethically and so offer the textile industry one way of enhancing sustainability. I am glad that Marimekko early on wanted to engage in this project and participate in furthering the use of natural dyes on an industrial scale,” says Pasi Ainasoja from Natural Indigo Finland.

The industrial use of dyes derived from nature is only in its early stages, but the products to be launched as a result of this collaboration prove that natural dyes are an interesting option for textile printing in the future. In addition to the indigo dye obtained from woad, Natural Indigo Finland has also tested extracting yellow, green and gray dyes, for example, from various industry by-products, such as onion skins. The use of natural dyes requires new thinking about pattern design and coloring, as growth conditions, among other things, affect how the color appears on fabric. Also, it is characteristic of indigo obtained from woad, as of all natural dyes, that the intensity of the color changes with washing and use.

The launch of the products printed with a natural indigo dye will take place in the 70th anniversary year of Marimekko. Through the decades, Marimekko has remained true to its original mission of bringing joy to life with bold prints and colors. During the whole anniversary year, Marimekko’s prints and colors will be in the limelight.

Pictures of the products are available on Marimekko Media Bank:

Further information:
Asta Halme, Marimekko Communications, tel. +358 9 7587 233 /
Pasi Ainasoja, Natural Indigo Finland, tel. +358 40 028 2370 /

Key media

Marimekko is a Finnish lifestyle design company renowned for its original prints and colors. The company’s product portfolio includes high-quality clothing, bags and accessories as well as home décor items ranging from textiles to tableware. When Marimekko was founded in 1951, its unparalleled printed fabrics gave it a strong and unique identity. Marimekko products are sold in about 40 countries. In 2019, brand sales of the products worldwide amounted to EUR 251 million and the company's net sales were EUR 125 million. Roughly 150 Marimekko stores serve customers around the globe. The key markets are Northern Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region. The Group employs about 450 people. The company’s share is quoted on Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd.

Natural Indigo Finland produces natural dyes in Nivala, Northern Finland, for the textile industry, among others. The main product of Natural Indigo is a blue dye extracted from the leaves of the woad plant cultivated by the company. Natural Indigo has also developed woad cultivation and dye production as part of the international multidisciplinary BioColour project.