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Design and production

Our garments are designed in Kajaani, Northern Finland, with inspiration from the surrounding nature. We want our customers to have clothing worthy of them whether wandering in the bustling city, in the midst of nature or on the university campus.

Our R-Collection products are designed to be visually pleasing to our customers as well as durable.  As the quality of the materials is of utmost importance, the design is always based on the special properties of the materials used. We want our garments to survive long term usage and to be easily maintained. We also like to design timeless products, so we do not necessarily follow the latest trends.

The classic anorak is the base for several products. Simple design makes it possible for the garments to be suitable for both leisure and party, now and for years to come.  Light for the spring, protective for the fall.  With the change of seasons R-Collection exuviates its skin. As in nature: what is most valuable stays intact.

We want to make our products as close as possible. We design all our products in Kajaani. Once an idea becomes into a drawing, it is made into patterns and sown to a sample garment. The samples are further developed in Kajaani, enabling effective product development. The production ready garments are then cut, embroidered and printed in Kajaani and sent to Estonia for sewing.

There we have our own employee to guarantee the high quality of production and to ensure the local working conditions of the employees. Most of our products (about 90%) are manufactured in Estonia and Finland. We also strive to increase the transparency of our production because we believe that transparency is the key to a sustainable future.

We cooperate with two dyeing factories. Our anorak products are dyed and finished in Estonia and our sweatshirt and t-shirt material is dyed in Finland. Our knitted garments are made in Finland and Lithuania from Italian wool yarn. We only use mulesing free merino yarn in our products. We manufacture our silk products in Istanbul, where we found a small family business that really knows how to handle this challenging material. Our canvas bags and backpacks come from Portugal. Anorak bags are manufactured in Finland and Estonia from production surplus material. Socks and soaps are also made in Finland. Our woolen beanies come from Finland and Estonia, our caps from Estonia and China. In future will move the production of down jackets from China to Turkey because we want to make the products as close as possible. We regularly visit our factories and work on R-Collection's Code of Conduct that will guide our operations and decision-making.

ENVIRONMENT

We contribute towards the environment by utilizing environmentally friendly materials in the delivery of our garments. We pack our orders in recycled paper packages made in Finland and avoid plastic in delivery. In stores and factories, we only use cardboard boxes that we recycle. Our price tags and labels are made from recycled paper and instead of plastic bags we pack our products in paper bags in our stores. Also, R-Collection Gift Cards are made of paper instead of plastic. The production and storage facility in Kajaani utilize geothermal energy. Geothermal energy is renewable solar energy and therefore an environmentally friendly form of energy. In the future we are planning to calculate R-Collection's overall carbon footprint in our operations and start to reduce it.

We have cooperated with WWF by donating 10 euros for each Outa-anorak for the protection of Finnish forests.

Customer satisfaction plays an important role for us. If, despite proper use, there is a manufacturing error in our product within a reasonable time from the date of purchase, we will always try to repair it instead of throwing it away. We want to help our customers extend their clothing life and our shop staff will be happy to tell you about the proper care of clothes. We are also developing a garment collection service where the old R-Collection product can be returned to the store so we can offer it a new life.

Materials

It is important for us that the materials we use come from accountable resources and we continuously strive to find new, sustainable ways of producing and manufacturing high quality, long lasting products. We use materials produced as close to us as possible, and we believe strongly in natural materials. In our classic products we utilize cotton fabrics. Our seasonal collections contain besides cotton, other natural materials, such as wool and silk, which are practical, high class and timeless.

Most of the materials come from European suppliers, such as Finland, Portugal, Spain, Italy, France and sometimes from Asia. For years, our traditional sweatshirts and t-shirts have been made from fabric made in Orivesi, Finland. We collaborate closely with our suppliers to develop fabrics that fulfill the high standards of quality that R-Collection demands.

We are constantly striving to increase the use of organic and recycled raw materials in our collections. Our goal is to use only organic cotton in our classic collection by 2022. In 2018, we changed the material of our anorak products to US COTTON and used organic cotton in adult and children's seasonal collections. We are currently working on the development of organic cotton anorak and other recycled cotton products. It is important for us that these materials meet our quality standards, so we will test them carefully. R-Collection believes that a durable piece of garment that you use for years to come is the most sustainable way of consuming garments.

In the future, we want to further utilize recycled materials in our production. We have implemented several development projects with educational institutions and other experts in the field, where we have explored new uses for our production leftover fabrics. Currently, we utilize our leftover fabric to make new products such as anorak bags, pouches and pillow cases. We organize annual pop-up sales events, where we sell leftover fabrics and we have also donated fabrics to educational institutions.

We want to make sure that no environmentally harmful chemicals are used in production. Our anorak, sweatshirt and t-shirt materials meet the requirements of the international OEKO-TEX® Environmental Standard 100. Dyeing and finishing treatments use standard non-toxic colors. We require the OEKO-TEX® 100 standard for most of our products whenever possible. OEKO-TEX® tests fabrics for pH, formaldehyde, pesticides, soluble heavy metals and chlorine compounds, preservatives such as pentachlorophenol and tetrachlorophenol, as well as allergenic and carcinogenic dyes.

Our anorak products are finished with Aquatx coating, which makes the fabric dirt and water resistant and windproof. The treatment does not change the natural properties of the fabric but maintains its breathability and softness. Aquatx coating also meets the OEKO-TEX® 100 standard. We are actively looking for environmentally friendly and PFC-free options for water and dirt-repellent treatment, but we have not yet found one that meets our high-quality standards. For us, it is important that the finishing treatments remain in the product after washing cycles and do not dissolve in water. We do not use PFOA in our products.

History

Following the trend of the 70's, a time ruled by rock'n'roll and jeans, Pekka and Marjo Saastamoinen sold clothes onboard a bus circulating marketplaces. At that time the selection consisted of military surplus goods, sweaters and of course - jeans. Business flourished, customers grew keen and the Saastamoinens' passion for clothing deepened. It was time to start designing and manufacturing clothes of their own.

Collection of Rockville

Collection of Rockville, today R-Collection, had seen daylight. Pekka Saastamoinen knew he had hit a goldmine when he added silk screening to their original design. No compromises were made when getting the best of the best equipment.

During the first years of business the selection of R-Collection grew. Finally in 1982 the classic anorak was introduced and at the same time first R-Collection store opened in Helsinki.

"From the very beginning we had a vision of what useful clothing is like and we knew what feels good. That was something that did not exist at the time and we wanted to make it right", says Pekka Saastamoinen.

Family business

The family business of R-Collection was in great upswing during the 80's and 90's as new stores opened in several cities. R-Collection second boom is now in the 2010's when Pekka and Marjo Saastamoinen hand over the business to their descendants. Their children have been a part of the company's story from the very beginning.

"R-Collection has always been a part of my life. We have worked on this together as a family and with relatives, anywhere and everywhere. I want to cherish this tradition", says Olli Saastamoinen, son of Pekka Saastamoinen.

Together with head designer Lilli Norio he upholds and renews R-Collection both in domestic and international markets.

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