One of the brands you will find at HipAndGreen, is Papu Stories. This Finnish brand has the ambition to create fun and mostly unisex clothes in an ethical and sustainable way.
To find out more about the company, HipAndGreen interviewed Jussi Kurkela, CEO of Papu Stories.
Papu Stories was first founded in 2012 by Anna Kurkela, wife of Jussi. She met with artist Hanna-Riikka Heikkilä and from there Papu Stories started its own story.
Jussi explains us that the name of the brand is based on ‘Papu’, which is a Finnish nickname that can be either used for boys and for girls. This links with the unisex graphics that are designed for the clothes. In addition, if you pronounce ‘Papu’ in a certain way, it sounds a bit like ‘baby’. Many Finnish words would not be suitable as an international brand name, as most words are very long and hard to pronounce for foreigners. As each season a new story is told about ‘Papu’, ‘Papu Stories’ became the name of the brand.
When Papu Stories designs clothes, they aim to have unisex graphics, clothes that grow with the child (foldable sleeves, extra buttons to adjust the size of the garment, etc.), and the fact the clothes have to be playful and comfortable.
Another selling point of Papu Stories is that the cotton is 100% organic. Jussi tells us that finding organic cotton, which is the only kind of cotton Papu Stories wishes to work with, is not straightforward: there is a lot of cotton in the world that is not organic or that is made under inhumane circumstances. Therefore they use GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) cotton. The GOTS certificate ensures the organic status of textiles from harvesting of the raw materials through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing. The cotton is imported from Turkey to the factory that produces the clothes for Papu: Cottonhouse Ltd., a factory based in northern Portugal in Ponte De Lima owned by the Finnish textile company Black Moda. With good cotton, you are able to make clothes that can be worn for a long time, which makes these clothes more sustainable, so says Jussi. We can testify too that the clothes produced by Papu Stories can be worn many times, as our own children wear them over and over again. Papu Stories also visits the factory themselves to make sure that the working conditions and material is up to their expectations.
When we asked Jussi if Papu Stories has achieved its goals when it comes to sustainability, he answers that there’s always more to achieve. Papu Stories is looking for alternative materials to cotton. In the future, they want to work together with more textile factories, for instance located in Estonia, Poland and Finland. Papu Stories also wants to grow bigger, e.g. through crowdfunding, and be available worldwide, not only to be able to sell more but also to create more awareness around sustainability and social responsibility of fashion.
As stated before, each season is themed around a story of Papu. The newly released 2016 spring and summer collection tells a story about kid’s parties and is called ‘where’s my treasure’. Probably, all parents of young children are familiar with the sweet mess after a children’s party: everything is turned upside down, traces of cake and lemonade, sticky fingers, laughter in the air… Well, that’s the inspiration for this summer’s collection. You’ll find cheerful prints of for example streamers, cake, popcorn, sausages and straws.
Competition: win a Papu Stories party box!
To celebrate the new summer collection, HipAndGreen and Papu Stories organize a competition. The winner is offered a party box including all the things you would need for a kids party (such as paper hats, confetti, paper cups and of course popcorn), but also one complete Papu Stories outfit for your child which you can choose from our webshop.
How can you win? Take a picture of the most original and sustainable idea for a kids party, post it on Facebook or Instagram before the April 15th and add hashtag #HipAndGreen and #PapuStories.
The winner will be chosen by our little angels on the April 16th. He or she will be informed through Instagram or Facebook.