HELLIN

HELLIN

Finland
vappu@hellinsinua.fi
Heikkiläntie 3
00210 Helsinki
Finland
GENTLE TO YOU, GENTLE TO OTHERS
Scandinavian Artist Made Clothing

*HELLIN = Superlative form of hellä ( gentle -the gentlest). First-person singular indicative present form of helliä (I'm being gentle).*

*HELLIN clothes are made to become your wardrobe essentials.
Whether you are going hiking, figure skating, sailing, to a fancy dress-up ball or couch hibernating - they are always just right!

How do I make every day an adventure? Can it be done right here at home? Can I bloom where I'm planted?

HELLIN clothes are meant for all occasions, to last for years and be worn to shreds. Clothes you can jump in, ice skate in, mountain climb in. Or cuddle up with a good book and a cup of coffee. Or wear to bed on a chilly winter night. You can even wear one of the fancy gowns to a formal party - and eat the cake too, because your beautiful gowns will be made of comfortable fabric that conforms to your body and is comfortable even after dinner!
HELLIN pieces are meant to be your wardrobe essentials, like they are mine.

HELLIN is not "fashion" -and certainly not fast fashion. Comfort, functionality, aesthetics, clothes, yes - and also ethical and environmental sustainability. HELLIN is not into seasons, because there is always summer somewhere, and somewhere snow always adorns the tops of mountains. HELLIN is where you are and gentles you with comfort, warmth, beauty and functionality. HELLIN gentles others with ecological sustainability, ethical production, less waste and caring about animal rights.

You want to know who made your clothes? With HELLIN you know - I made them, and I had fun!

At HELLIN we love to cuddle cats, so if you are very allergic to cats, I can not promise that you won't get symptoms from the clothes. Please take this into consideration.
Company
Who is behind the shop and where the idea came from? 
HELLIN is a one-woman company. I am Vappu Aneri Kärkkäinen, and worked as a visual artist and taken care of my daughter for the past years. Six years ago I edited my own belongings and started being more intentional about what and where I buy from and own,

I appreciate comfortable clothes, and so does my daughter, In the morning I want to get dressed in clothes, in which I can comfortably work in my home studio, go to the laundry room, run errands and then meet a friend in town for lunch.
To a part I want to put on a dress in which I can eat and drink, and still dance and breathe - and which I don't have to tear off the minute I get home to change into "something more comfortable" -because my gown is already comfortable!
This is where the slogan "Comfort Couture" came from. Multi-functionality, practicality and comfort all matter in addition to being visually pleasing.
How many people work for your company? 
Only me - and occasionally my daughter models children's clothes for me!
What have been the highlights for your company? 
Seeing a new idea and sketch become an actual piece of clothing is always great, as are the moments when someone in this general flood of clothing notices my clothes and asks about them, and positive feedback from customer. Repeat customers are the most honest compliment!
How do you aim to improve the welfare of the environment and human. 
I use GOTS certified organic cotton which uses a fraction of the water than growing regular cotton does and is a much better option for the environment and human's health otherwise too, and merino wool which has been produced without using the cruel mulesing process or bought from factory overstock. It is harder for me because I can not be certain how much of the fabric I will get, but it is wonderful that the small amounts of these high quality fabrics can be used for small production of handmade clothing. Wool is an ecological fiber as is.

I offer a free repair and small modifications for customers and let them know how to take care of the clothes so that they will last longer.

I am interested in charity action. for example I could donate clothes that have not sold to low-income families. This is an area that needs more planning.


Has your company had to give up something to be more sustainable and responsible? 
I have to decide against many beautiful fabrics, because I want HELLIN to be made mostly with organic cotton and ethical merino wool.

I have also not yet found a fabric production /printing house that would have organic cotton jersey in high enough quality and would offer printing my own designs in batches small enough for my brand at the moment. So for now, I'm not able to use my own designs on the fabrics I use, but I do hand print and paint some clothes!
What are your visions for the future? 
I want to make reasonably priced wardrobe staples that are independent of changing fashions and can stand time and wear, without compromising ethics and ecological aspects.
In the future I would also like to design my own fabrics!
What is your motto? 
HELLIN sinulle, HELLIN muille.
What inspires you? 
Finding joy in ordinary every day life, the small good things and moments, nature, the feel of materials, and colors.
Products and product creation
Which product best describes you and why? 
Short, short sleeved dress - because you can wear it with jeans, a thin under layer and a cardigan on top for winter, and with leggings or as it in warmer weather. You can add nice heels and a necklace and go to a nice restaurant in it, and afterwards come home and take a cozy nap with a full tummy! And after you have worn and worn it, and it starts to look, well, a bit worn, you can still wear it as a night gown!
How do your products add value for your customers compared to basic market products? 
Everything is handmade in my stdio in Helsinki, Finland, Europe, by me, so there are no questions about the origins.
I can make individual alterations, like shortening a hem, or making a piece to the customers specific measurements. In small production the clothes retain their individual artisan feel.
How do you aim to produce long lasting products? What this requires for example from the product design? 
HELLIN collection consists of timeless, classic wardrobe staples. The materials are high quality and durable.All the inside seams are sewn with an over locker and I do my best to finish the clothes so that the seams don't unravel or rip. If that should happen after all, the piece can be sent to me and I will repair it for free.
What is the best feedback you have received from your products? 
I have gotten positive comments for stylish comfort .
And when someone has been searching for their style for decades, stuck in a limbo between cheap high street fashion and designer wear, having a closet bulging with things they invested a lot of money in but never wear, and HELLIN has helped them find their own way of dressing in a comfortably stylish way.

Repeat customers are perhaps the most honest form of compliment!
What product do you find superb that was made by someone other than you? 
I adore the Finnish knit wear brand Kaino.
What materials you prefer in production? 
Organic cotton jersey, sweat shirting and velour with or without elastane, Mulesing free or factory over stock merino wool jersey and sweatshirting.
What makes your products environmentally friendly? 
The ecologial production of fabrics from fibers to dyes, and as short cargo trips as possible. The cotton fabrics come to me from Finland or Europe. Some of the merino wool is produced in Denmark.
Are you aware of where the part of your products (materials etc.) are made and by whom and in what circumstances? 
For the GOTS- and Öko-Tex certified organic cottons and mulesing free merino made in Denmark, yes.
For the factory over stock merino wool I know which country they are produced in (New Zealand).
How do you pack your products? 
I wrap the items in tissue paper and mail ion plastic mailing bags to protect the clothes from getting wet. I will use recycled packaging when possible and if the customer is not opposed to it.
What alternatives you prefer for the product delivery? 
I use the regular mail, with the option of first class tracked shipping.
5 tips you could give someone interested in a more sustainable way of life. 
1. Edit all unnecessary stuff from your home and life. Think about what you really need, and keep the things you actually use and have room for, and the things that give you joy, like beloved mementos, photos, and that wall hanging that grandma made.

2. After you have stripped away the excess, donate or sell them to someone who has use for them, or recycle appropriately. Then organize what you have left so that every single thing has a designated place where it is returned after use. This way you can find your things and don't end up with three pairs of nail scissors, because you keep losing them in your own home.

3. Change the way you shop. Before buying anything new, find out if you can get the item second hand somewhere? Is the thing something you have use for in your real, actual life (not just some imaginary fantasy life)? Will this thing last for one month, one winter, or can it be passed on to other users during it's life cycle?
Does it cater to one very specific need or use, or is it multi functional, having a broader range of use?

4. Lend to others and borrow from others.

5. Think about whether buying a service or product helps advance the kind of world you want to live in and want your children to live in?