Local production against throwaway culture
The leading principle of Aurinkokehrä is to offer a sustainable product, a textile material produced without toxic substances, where the production proccess is transparent. The materials and the production proccesses have been planned so that they should load environment and people as little as possible. The use of domestic materials support local textile production and know how, strengthening local economics.
A major share of wool used in Finland comes from abroad, whilst a large proportion of Finnish Wool is destroyed because the sheep farmers lack the financial incentive to manage the animals for optimal wool quality, or to clean, sort and grade it, themselves or by outsourcing. Production moved to countries in which the supervision of working conditions is weak, and where the dyeing and other handling of textiles strain both the environment and the health of workers. In addition, non-sustainable use of natural resources and climate change are negative consequences of rapidly growing textile industries favouring throwaway consumerism.
A step towards a fairer and more sustainable production chain is unavoidable for us to prove together that other solutions are also possible.
Durable wool as material
The yarns of Aurinkokehrä are made of Finnish wool, which is not heavily industrially treated. It is spun and dyed in Finland.
There are many problems internationally relating to the environment and handling of animals in wool production, such as the painful mulesing-treatment of sheep, the erosion caused by huge herds, as well as the emissions of harmful chemicals used. On small domestic farms such problems do not exist, why Finnish non-industrial sheep wool can be considered a more sustainable choice. In addition to that the consumption of water and energy is small as compared to the production of cotton, viscose and many other synthetic fibres.
As material wool is long-lasting. It is not necessary to wash wool very often, because it gets clean by airing, which means that also the environmental impacts, such as energy and water consumption during use, remain small. Different from polyesterfleece, which is often used as warm medium shift to replace wool, wool is of course not emitting harmful microplastics to waterways.
Non-toxically handled wool
The products of Aurinkokehrä are dyed with natural dyes by myself in my workshop or at a finnish dye house. Many dyes used by Aurinkokehrä are eco-certified, and they do not contain heavy metals or other environmentally harmful substances. The coloring materials used are thus safer than synthetic reactive colors to both the dyer and the environment. The Aurinkokehrä yarns have not been handled with Superwash treatment which also is burdening the environment.
Local production and cultural heritage
The yarns of Aurinkokehrä are local produced and cherish millennial traditions in the dyeing of textiles and other materials by natural methods. When a product is made starting from the raw materials in Finland, the whole production chain is transparent: the wools coming from small farms, spinning in Hiirola and dyeing in Inkoo. By this, textile know-how is preserved in Finland. The natural dye extracts come from a reliable producer in France.
The Finnsheep, for its part, has a major role in our living cultural heritage and it also maintains valuable traditional landscape features and ecosystems which are being endangered by changes in agricultural methods.