It´s all about Earth Rights. Buy Less, Live& Love more. We keep it simple and produce only Edition of 50 Signature Pieces.
PHILOSOPHY of Edition of 50 Pieces
Ivana Helsinki is the very first Fashion Company in the whole world to introduce a totally new sustainability philosophy based on the limited production volume. Revolutionary ” Edition of 50 pieces” concept means only 50 numbered pieces of each design will be manufactured. Each piece will be individually labeled and numbered, thus elevating them to the level of a collectors item, or a piece of art. Ivana Helsinki has always been a leading brand in the field of holistic sustainability.
”Over consumption, over producing, over marketing and shopping lobbying are the most toxic things in the fashion business. This ” Edition of 50 pieces” is the new way of thinking and next generation's 2.0 sustainability approach.
Million T-shirts made of organic cotton/ closed loop material/ wood cellulose fiber are still million T-shirts. This does not solve the core problem of the quantity, overproduction or surplus of fashion, it only gives it a stylized green wash, the responsibility card is cleared and there is no need to focus on the real problem, the volume”, states Paola Suhonen
We want every piece to be a statement piece, a meaningful edition of art, a loved and kept piece with memories of the moments when it’s worn, not mass produced fast fashion.
We are not on social media, we believe in real life encounters, humanity and earth rights. For our part, we want to create a responsible future that preserves the importance of presence, the beauty of personal experiences and individual, lifelong adventures.
"As an artist, I’m privileged to make brave decisions and question the prevailing norms. Ivana Helsinki is 100% family owned and also a fully vegan brand.” states Paola Suhonen.
CORE VALUES IN DESIGN
Ivana Helsinki design house is a pioneer in sustainable fashion in Finland. At the time when Ivana was founded, sustainable fashion brands were in few. However, the operations of Ivana Helsinki were based on green values from the very beginning. Limited production amounts, avoidig seasonal and trend based thinking, knowing the producers & factories have been the corner stones of Ivana Helsinki activities. Ivana Helsinki has been one of the first companies which has opened the discussion about responsibility in the Finnish fashion industry.
One of Ivana Helsinki’s main missions is to promote transparency, green values and conscious consumption. We are continuously trying to figure out better ways to bring these values into our production process and in the everyday life of our design house as well. Our philosophy is that every little action counts and art brands need to be brave in taking action.
At Ivana Helsinki, we believe in timeless design rather than trends that come and go. Statement pieces with meaning rather than mass production. Over the past two decades, Ivana Helsinki has created a well-known artistic look, to which we always remain faithful. We are best known for our signature print and unique fabric designs, original cuts and cinematic story-driven collection themes. Ivana Helsinki’s aesthetics are a contrasting combination of bold and delicate, girly, eccentric and cool. Ivana Helsinki lovers come in all ages, sizes and shapes. Our sizes range up to size 50.
Our latest strategy includes story-driven collections, one per year, that has several drops. This way we are not part of the sale season driven fashion cycle. Ivana Helsinki's designs are part of the slow fashion movement.
We aim to keep our collections exclusive - in other words, the amount of each design produced is relatively small. Our seasonable collections are planned to fit seamlessly together over time. Every collection is a true continuity of the Ivana Helsinki signature design style, providing our retailers and customers timeless art pieces, that are never out of style.
We consider our dresses as art pieces, and art never goes out of “fashion”. They also have the collectable, resale and reuse value, as design objects do have. We want to create dresses with meanings, memories and stories. Dresses that our customers want to wear forever.
Ivana Helsinki products are 100% Vegan. One of Ivana Helsinki’s key value is animal rights. This is why we do not use any animal-based materials. Whenever we arrange events, we serve only vegetarian or vegan food: our annually held Superwood Festival is also fully vegetarian.
All our collaborators and licensors also commit to the same key values and guidelines in their production.
Our CEO and art director Paola Shonen has always based her ideology on animal rights. We regularly donate funds to different animal welfare and rescue organizations. Paola has personally worked as a volunteer at animal shelters and conservation camps both in Europe and Africa. She has written a children’s book serie” Special Dog Affe”, about her first rescue dog named Affe and his adventures.
In addition to our work with rescue animals, we take part in a variety of different charity work. It has always been important for our head designer Paola Suhonen to donate her time and know-how for a good cause. As an example, she did a photoshoot for the Finnish breast cancer awareness association "Tunne Rintasi "and has done a multitude of other charity work, for example with the human rights association Plan. Paola is also an ambassador for the humanitarian organization World Vision. Furthermore, Ivana Helsinki has been involved in a women’s clothing production start-up projects in Peru and Romania.
Our key value is to respect every single person’s equality, freedom and self-determination. We believe in taking responsibility, acting in real-time. Dreams can be made real. Life is a road trip and everyone has the right to enjoy the ride.
” In our ideologically polarizing humanity, I think it is even more important in the future to aim for genuine equality and mutual understanding. It is beautiful to try to understand people whose opinions differ from your own. The basic principles of diversity and equal humanity must include the ability to accept the existence of different people and thought patterns. Each of us has a genuine right to our own unique, free and self-determined life.
In addition to freedom, this should also include responsibility and respect for the integrity of others' right to self-determination.
The realization of one's freedom must take place with the support of other people's voluntariness. Transferring one's responsibility to others cannot be considered a self-evident right, and one cannot pursue or realize one's freedom at the expense of others. Responsibility and a genuine desire to understand differences should be the most sought-after goals of the future.
This does not mean silencing brave openings or stifling new ideas, these are needed to preserve the right to a happy life for everyone. But this work can be done by listening, discussing and analyzing the opinions that differ from your own values. Exclusion only accelerates polarization and does not truly lead to the well-being of humanity or the happiness of existence”, explains Paola Suhonen.
Please also check our manufacturing info for ethical production.
SMALL BUSINESS / ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Ivana Helsinki is a Finnish independent fashion, art and cinema house founded by two sisters, Pirjo and Paola Suhonen. Paola´s namesake (Paola Ivana Suhonen) fashion label was established in 1998, however clothing business and entrepreneurship lifestyle had been a big part of the Suhonen family story ever since the late 50s. Ivana Helsinki is still a 100% family-owned company today being one of Finland’s best-known independent art and design brands worldwide.
Ivana Helsinki started as Paola Suhonen´s art project. Her vision was to bring art and beauty into everyday life, where every single design is a functional, yet unique statement piece on its own. Paola´s ideology of being a free spirit is reflected in the image of the classic Ivana Helsinki user: “The one who carries the fire, not just shines”. After more than 25 years Paola still leads the design processes of Ivana Helsinki with great passion and ensures that every design piece is carefully thought through to the last detail. She wants to create dresses for dreamers and lovers, dresses with a soul. Dresses for the road.
During the years we have created a deep relationship and mutual understanding with our manufacturers. All of our products are 100% designed in our Ivana Helsinki House in Finland - starting from the print and fabric designs. Our founder Paola Suhonen is still personally involved and monitors the creation of every collection.
Our main manufacturing partner is a small, family-owned factory, Simurg Tasarım, located in Izmir, Turkey. Paola has personally visited their facilities multiple times to ensure that not only the necessary quality but also the sustainability and working condition requirements are met. You can read more about our production partner here https://www.simurgtasarim.com/ and see their take on social responsibility matters like human rights and environmental programs here. We also have produced handmade knits in Romania and Peru, employing local artisans. Other knitwear is produced in Finland, collaborating with a local family-owned company.
We aim to use sustainable materials in most of our designs. In cooperation with our manufacturers, we source the latest, environment-friendly materials. We are focusing for example on organic cotton, recycled polyester and the good quality modified fibres like viscose and recycled fibres. Most of our products are mono material to ensure the better recycling possibilities. We don’t use real leather in any of our products and we make sure that all of our products are vegan. Our main production partner is located in Izmir, Turkey. The Factory is a leading organic material production unit in Turkey with GOTS certified production (includes also social conditions of the production unit as well as the sustainable materials).
CLOTHING RENTAL SERVICE
Additionally, to manufacturing new collections of clothes and accessories, Ivana Helsinki has a clothing rental service located at our Ivana Helsinki house. We rent out clothes that are currently in our collection or have been in our previous collections that are no longer available to buy in our stores. In the rental studio we also have some unique art pieces from our previous Fashion shows and art exhibitions. By having a clothing rental service, we want to extend the lifespan of clothes and therefore foster sustainability. We want to encourage people to rent clothes because you don’t have to own everything.
By renting clothes we want to make sure that people are buying less and focusing on quality. Please visit our Ivana Helsinki House for the Rental service or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We also ship rentals.
Our webshop orders are packed in recyclable paper bags and we are committed to not using any plastic wrappings in our packages. In case of a return, we encourage our customers to use the same paper bag to eliminate additional waste. All packing materials coming from suppliers are re-used, whether it is cardboard boxes or recycled plastic wraps.
Our main delivery partner is DHL, which has committed to being a climate-neutral company by the year 2050. We only have deliveries on demand, and we always aim to centralize deliveries from several days to make sure the delivery truck never travels for only one parcel. More details about our delivery partner’s sustainability commitments and reports are here. We have been taking part in the discussions about webshops´ sustainability, return policy behaviours and how to improve them in the future.
We use nearly 100% of all the fabrics that we produce. Since we design our prints, fabrics for our products are always custom made for our collections. This way the amount of leftover material is cut down to a minimum. After collection pieces are made, we buy any possible leftover fabrics from our manufacturers and create small items like hair accessories and tote bags. At times we also offer fabric materials for customers to purchase and create their own unique Ivana Helsinki design pieces. We also donate some leftover pieces for kindergartens, schools and nursing homes to be used at the art and craft classes.
We never dispose returned pieces - each returned item is carefully checked by our staff, and when the conditions are met, the item is returned to the store. In case of reclamation, our first option is to repair the piece - we have a sewing atelier at our Ivana Helsinki House for such cases. If the item is for some reason non-sellable, we offer it for staff to purchase before trying to figure out another purpose for the material, for example, pattern making and art projects etc. To maximize the lifetime of our products, we have Ivana Helsinki Vintage sales at our Ivana Helsinki House regularly.
As we do multiple design and licensing collaborations on top of our collection line, we always ensure that our partners are operating with the same core values as we are. Timelessness is the heart of Ivana Helsinki’s collections — including fashion, print and interior productions. Ivana Helsinki’s products are designed to last a lifetime. We want to produce meaningful individual statement pieces. We have also been a chosen collaborator for companies, when it comes to the long lasting design and functional design. Ivana Helsinki has been the partner to design Finland’s main children’s hospital patience gowns, a new experimental fire detector for safety and the largest hotel in Finland.
IVANA HELSINKI UNIVERSE/ IMMATERIAL DESIGN& ART
The universe of Ivana Helsinki expands into far more than just fashion. We believe that not everything has to be in concrete material. Through the Ivana Helsinki universe, we hope to take you on a journey across non-material projects. The founder of Ivana Helsinki Paola Suhonen has produced music videos, fashion films, documentaries and feature films. The way that Paola produces movies and videos is based on the style of true fiction, which centralizes on communality and art experiments. Paola also has a music project called Lone Deer Laredo. Lone Deer Laredo is a folk-duo of Paola Suhonen and Olli Happonen. You can listen to their latest single here. Lone Deer Laredo is all about loveland ballads, songs of solitude, melodies from the dark magic forests, light cotton fields, and the enchanting charm of the highways. Once wounded days of the lonely ones, powerful stories of conquests and the endless curiosity of the adventurers all come together in the songs.
We also have produced a music and art festival called Superwood. Superwood gathers people to enjoy music, art expert talks and food that is all vegetarian. Superwood Festival offers unique gigs, interesting talks by researchers, hot topics by professionals and finding the best tastes and new interesting producers. The main event of Superwood is the Woodtour. Woodtour is a unique blend of music, performance art and woodland atmosphere, curated by Paola Suhonen. Magical performances outside in the dark forest in surreal set-ups by a wide variety of artists, each set designed specifically for each artist.
We arrange events at our Ivana Helsinki house to increase everyones sense of belonging. Ivana Helsinki has also hosted many experimental experience projects like the Jollaskoti project and Kallio private home shopping. These projects give us and the audience a chance to experience something new together and share magical memories.
At Ivana Helsinki, we believe that you can use things second hand and rent pieces and still feel the experience of buying something new through that. By giving clothes and objects a new life we hope to encourage people to think more about the lifespan of products and sustainability. We also hope to inspire people to sell their items second hand or rent them out.
As a part of our value of sharing, we want people to experience the Ivana Helsinki home by themselves. We offer the possibility to rent our Ivana Helsinki home for private events such as birthday parties, graduations and photo shoots. Just send us an email and the house could be yours for the day.
EVERYDAY OPERATIONS AT OUR IVANA HELSINKI HOUSE
At Ivana Helsinki House, where all our main operations are located, we always recycle our waste, reuse all packaging materials, aim to minimize printed paper handling, monitor our heating and electricity consumption and overall try to make all stages of the daily office life as sustainable as possible. Ivana Helsinki House runs with renewable energy.
We have our own biocompostor.
We have an Ivana Helsinki bicycle to take care of everyday small tasks.
Spending your days in the working environment, which is beautiful and inspirational, is also a meaningful part of our employees welfare.
We have avoided flying for a long time and travel by train when ever possible.
BEING PART OF THE SOCIAL DEBATE
Ivana Helsinki wants to be part of the social debate through art and design and raise the issues based on brand values. These include human rights, animal rights, focusing on the rights of the elderly, genuine equality and the right to self-determination of one's own life. We have dealt with these topics through art, e.g. Paola Suhonen's films and art exhibitions, such as a documentary about the elderly man Erkki and a slow documentary about the world's oldest porn star Nina Hartley and her life choices. Discussions about the disadvantages and dark sides of social media are also among designer Paola Suhonen's favorite topics. She believes, artist do have the privilege but also responsibility to raise the topics and speak out.
NO SOCIAL MEDIA
Ivana Helsinki closed all its social media accounts in the spring of 2022. Paola has spoken about the flipside of social media. “I don’t feel like I’m that interesting so that anyone would have to follow me and my daily life personally. I hope that people would be more present and that they would gather around more, living and experiencing the world together not through social media. Also as an artist, I am no longer able to sign up to the values, operating models or visions of the future of the companies behind the major social media platforms.
So it’s time to leave and continue the adventures towards a new era, under new winds.”
We want head towards real encounters, authentic stories and a new social media-free world. For our part, we want to create a responsible future that preserves the importance of presence, the beauty of personal experiences and each individual’s lifelong adventures.
Ivana Helsinki has always looked to the future and made bold decisions against prevailing trends. That is the way art has always acted. In addition to raw materials and working methods, responsibility for the future is all about valuing each individual’s unique life, increasing self-determination, taking personal responsibility and being present. We will further promote these themes in all our future activities and actions. In our view, the debate can take place elsewhere than on social media channels, which we think take the focus off of the most important thing, life itself.
FAMILY OWNED COMPANY
As a 100% family-owned company, we are able to define our operating model, our values and our company's growth goals. Ivana Helsinki aims for an ideal size, where the meaning of what you do is at the center, not continuous growth. Without outside investors, this is possible. We call this value entrepreneurship. Being self-financed also brings complete independence and freedom to entrepreneurship. Art is made at one's own expense and not with the help of grants. This is ethical and independent art and design at its best.
Quality and values are at the center of what we do, not profit maximization.
We are also completely transparent about the ownership base, our customers know who finances the running and operating of the company, The Suhonen family. Our Family has been in the clothing business ever since our Father started in 1962 his own Jeans Factory Farmariteollisuus Oy in Lahti.
SIZING AND MODELS
Ivana Helsinki is one of the only designer clothing brands with a sizing policy starting from a Scandinavian size 34 to size 50. With this, we want to increase democracy and shape the diversity of consumers. Design belongs to everyone. The classic models also have a good resale value. The clothing models are also designed in such a way that they fit different bodies and thus also live together in people's everyday life and in different life situations. The online store's Measurement Tables help you choose the right product without unnecessary online store returns/exchanges. Ivana Helsinki House in Marjaniemi also offers a fitting/showroom opportunity to get to know the products of the online store before buying. We want to encourage people to buy only what they need or really love. Less consuming is more.
TRANSPARENCY IN PRICING
At Ivana Helsinki, we want to be completely transparent when it comes to pricing. We use the general pricing coefficient of the clothing industry, where the wholesale price is multiplied by a factor of 2.4, and this is the retail price. The final price also includes Finnish value added tax of 24%. With us, the producer/production unit can freely define the price, which we undertake to pay.
CLOTHING REPAIR ATELIER AND SERVICE
At Ivana Helsinki House we offer repairing and caring services for all purchased Ivana Helsinki pieces. Every dress with buttons, has a spare button attached to the item.
We also offer our clients the possibility use our atelier repair facilities at our Ivana Helsinki house. We also regularly organize repair and care workshops for our customers.
In our Ivana Helsinki washing and care labels we encourage people to take care of their pieces by airing them and washing them as instructed. We offer more care info at our webshop site.
How to take care of your dear Dresses
In today’s throwaway culture, many lack knowledge of how take proper care of their garments. It is easy to ruin even quality clothing by washing it incorrectly. Here’s some tips from the Ivana Helsinki -team on how to make your items last a lifetime.
This is quite an obvious one. Always make sure to read the care label of your item, it is there for a reason. The instructions provided by manufacturers are not recommendations. Even if you don’t see immediate imperfections in your product after washing it in too warm water or steaming it when it was prohibited, by continuing this you might be contributing to the discolouration or shrinkage of your item.
Air instead of wash. Did you know that when talking about garments made with natural fibres (eg. cotton or wool) you don’t need to throw them in the laundry machine if they start to get a bit of a stench. Hang your cotton dress outside and let the air do its thing. Excessive washing wears down the fabric as well as contributes to the contamination of the environment. Throw your jeans in the freezer for a day (but maybe make sure to have a drawer just for them unless you want some berries staining your pants).
Hand-washing stains. Now you might be thinking that airing is of no help if you’ve stained your dress, and you would of course be right. It is still unnecessary to wash the whole dress for a small stain. Gall soap is excellent for stain removal and you can get it in solid form, which is even better!
What do you do if your garment no longer fits your body or personal style? Throw it away? Wrong. Ivana Helsinki offers repair and altering services, such as hemming a dress, sewing back a button or fixing broken seams. These are thing you can easily do yourself as well. Got an unremovable stain? Cover it with a patch or a button depending on the size of the stain. Dress too tight? Sew a wedge with a piece of contrasting fabric to create a unique style. If you feel like you yourself are unable to do this, we offer help! Contact us about our repair services and let’s see what we can do!