Without a design there is nothing – therefore every R/H piece is designed by our talented founders Hanna Riiheläinen and Emilia Hernesniemi. At R/H we want our products to be unique, well put together, and to have value. Instead of following changing trends, we aim to have seasonless pieces that stand the test of time and will be loved forever. This philosophy has led to R/H changing the way we produce collections. We don’t want to produce a new collection every season just for the heck of it, but to have a few limited and well thought drops throughout the year. In 2020, we produced three special surplus fabric drops for Spring, Summer and Winter.
OUR PRODUCTION PHILOSOPHY
Being mindful about people and the planet is important for us. Our aim is to minimize the amount of pre-consumer waste and pollution in everything we do and to ensure good working conditions for our employees and partners. We strive for environmental sustainability in different ways:
- Small stock and no fabric waste. We want to be smart with what we produce and limit the size of inventory to create a more sustainable R/H fashion cycle. In order to maintain a stock that doesn’t exceed our needs, we carefully calculate how many pieces per collection we should produce. This way none of our products are left without an owner. As there are always production minimums for materials, most fashion brands end up with surplus fabric. In R/H no fabric goes to waste, as we utilize everything by making scrunchies, baggies and even entire collections!
- Local production practice. All our garments are manufactured in factories within the EU. Fabrics are produced in Italy and Portugal, the clothes are made in Estonia and the jewelry is made in Finland. We’ve worked with these factories for years, since we want to know where and how the raw materials, fabrics and products are made. Local production practice enables us to use truck transportation instead of air freight to keep our carbon emissions down.
- Mindful design. We aim to be inclusive by making silhouettes and sizes that fit various body shapes. Simple silhouettes and versatile sizes also reduce the amount of leftover fabrics and make purchasing the product easier for customers. A perfect reflection of this is our Square Dress silhouette, which is always made in one or two sizes only.
WE KNOW THE PEOPLE WHO WORK WITH US
We have worked with the same people since R/H was founded. Of course, on the way we’ve gained also some new additions to the family. We want to know the people who work with us - this is our small family. Some of us are really close relatives and others a bit more distant, but we always help each other out when needed. We regularly visit our factories and partners, to communicate and discuss how we grow together in a sustainable way.
It’s important for us that people who work with us get a fair pay and have good and healthy working conditions. This makes the product costs higher, but we could not do what we do if this was not the case. And we believe that our customers value this as well!
Sustainability regarding fabrics is complicated. There are many aspects to consider when choosing a fabric or a blend, as they all have different sustainability benefits and disadvantages. For example, our classics are mostly made of GOTS certified organic cotton but in some fabrics we use elastane to prolong the lifespan of the garment. Elastane makes a garment easier to care for and more comfortable to wear. However, we are continuously working towards making our choice of fabrics more sustainable, one step at a time.
USE, REUSE AND REPAIR
We want our products to stay in use for as long as possible, therefore we encourage our customers to repair broken items instead of replacing them with new ones. By offering specific care instructions for each product, we hope to reduce the environmental impacts of our products while they are being used. Also, we know R/H products are in demand among some online flea markets, which makes it easy for our customers to recycle the wearable clothes they don’t use anymore! We instruct our customers to recycle any unusable garments appropriately and to not discard them in the mixed waste.
CONSTANT MOVEMENT TOWARDS BETTER
We know there are still some further changes required to make all areas of the business, including production, even more sustainable. It’s a lengthy process but we are constantly moving in this direction. Read more about our future plan in the Sustainability Report 2020.