19 May

Heidi Korva – Finland’s number one Fashion Revolutionist

The Fashion Revolution campaign was organized already for the third time this year. In Finland, this quick-witted, energetic, hardworking woman is behind it all! Why did she become Finland’s Fashion Revolutionist?

Heidi Korva is behind Fashion Revolution in Finland. Photo by Lotta Heinämäki.
Heidi Korva is behind Fashion Revolution in Finland. Photo by Anna Kurkela.

The Fashion Revolution campaign was held a few weeks ago and people demanded change to fashion industry’s practises worldwide. Among others was Heidi Korva, the founder of Communiké, who has successfully organized Fashion Revolution in Finland for the third time now. Voluntarily working Heidi says that lots of positive surprises came up in this years campaign.

Why Fashion Revolution is important to you?

I can’t stand the idea that so many people are suffering while doing clothes for us! Disasters like Rana Plaza should never happen again, and if I can do something for it, I certainly will. I do communications and campaigning for my work, it’s my profession, so it is something I can do to make fashion industry more sustainable.

After organizing the first Fashion Revolution in 2014 in Finland, I remembered that actually my Mum and Dad have also worked in a clothing factory in Sweden in the 60’s. I wonder if that is also one reason why this theme, fashion industry, is so important to me.

How did you end up being the Finnish co-ordinator of Fashion Revolution?

In January 2014 I noticed that something was going to happen around Rana Plaza’s first anniversary. Although, there was no official Fashion Revolution campaign I was immediately inspired about the idea of arranging something in Finland too and started to make arrangements on my own.

After a month of working I realized that a Fashion Revolution campaign was happening in Britain and a few other countries too. I contacted Britain’s campaign team and told them I was arranging some activities also in Finland – and that’s how I became the Country Coordinator in Finland.

Being part of an international campaign is great as the core campaign team in Britain coordinates so many things and also provides us lots of campaign materials.

How many people there are organizing Fashion Revolution in Finland?

Our core campaign team is about seven or eight persons. And then there are all these lovely people who arrange all the wonderful Fashion Revolution events around the Finland! This year there were 44 events happening in 12 different towns.

Everybody, including me, works pro bono for the campaign, and for me it is a great evidence of the fact that many people find this topic very important and meaningful.

Heidi Korva is behind Fashion Revolution in Finland. Photo by Lotta Heinämäki.
Heidi Korva is behind Fashion Revolution in Finland. Photo by Anna Kurkela.

How did the week go in Finland and other countries?

I am very happy and satisfied, although, of course, if we had somebody working full time for this, we could do so much more. Working as volunteers I think we have now reached the best we can do. The next step is to find some funding or sponsors and make this campaign even bigger in Finland.

Anyway, it was also great to see that some Finnish mainstream brands, such as Marimekko and SOK, also joined the campaign! Marimekko was telling stories about the people who make their products, and SOK published all those factories where from their clothes are imported. Marimekko’s stories were noticed also internationally.

Year after year the campaign team in Germany has been doing excellent work. There are also many interesting events and happenings in Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Britain and the Netherlands.

It is also great to see international celebrities, like actress Amber Valletta, participating.

Have there been positive or negative surprises during the campaign?

There have been lots of positive surprises! Especially the fact that so many different kinds of organizations want to participate in Fashion Revolution. Negative surprises? None! Campaigning for Fashion Revolution is lovely – everybody, welcome on board next year!

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