When Essi Enqvist saw Anna-Mari Niutanen’s mail, in 2015, she immediately thought “this is something I can’t miss!” Soon, the textile engineer and the Bachelor in Business met, and shared the vision of sustainable activewear – something they hadn’t found at the market. And so, Népra was founded.
What’s Nepra’s “secret ingredient”, in other words, what makes Nepra a better choice in activewear?
Ama had been looking for a sustainable activewear brand to wear at her CrossFit training but to her surprise, she couldn’t find any. The idea of doing sustainable activewear was born right there.
Neprá’s secret ingredients are pattern making and material selection. In other words, the fit and feel of Népras but also real partnerships. Making patterns and the fit with right materials is the key when it comes to making long-lasting sustainable activewear that also feels good on the skin. The longer we use a piece of clothing the more sustainable it is. We as a sustainable activewear brand, take our responsibility that for and make our items last.
Moreover, we believe in real partnerships. Together we are always stronger and the quality of our partnerships affects the quality and sustainability of our brand and activewear as well.
Last but not least, we like to add customer care to the list. We truly love our customers and want the best for them and every decision is made based on. That’s the reason we are called ‘Activewear that makes you feel good‘.
How do you ensure the sustainability and transparency in Nepra’s supply chain?
We believe sharing is caring and our decision making about supply chain is based on choosing the ethical option. We don’t claim to be 100% perfect, nobody is, but we share our journey to increase transparency. We have decided to keep our own production inside EU because that we believe that is something we are able to manage when it comes to ethics.
As we said earlier, we trust in partnerships and for us, it’s crucial that we can visit our partners e.g. in Estonia. Our manufacturing partner in Estonia, on the other hand, has been co-operating with the fabric manufacturer in Italian for years.
What are your values and how do they happen in your everyday life?
We believe life should not be taken too seriously. Life gives us ups and downs, we can choose how to react to them and take the opportunities, which lie in challenges, to grow. This mindset applies Népra too. We see creating Népra as a big playground. We can try things out and adjust as we see them working or not. Some things work and some don’t but as long as we are trying we can find out path.
Essi: I concentrate on the basics. When making purchasing choices, I prefer Finnish products and items produced near to me. I’m interested in the origin of brands and value companies that are transparent and share information. I buy clothes when I need them, and I often plan my purchases beforehand. Long-pastiness and quality of materials and design are things that I find crucial, and it’s important to me to take good care of my clothes, and I also repair my clothes if I can.
Ama: I value kindness and sustainability in every aspect of life. Since my teenage years, I’ve planned my purchases based on my needs. Along the way, I’ve got better and gained more knowledge. For two years, I have eaten mostly vegetarian or vegan meals, if I find quality second-hand products I choose them, I avoid products that include palm oil, and I walk or go by bike most of the time. My next step is to change all my cosmetics to organic, and one day, I would also like to try the zero waste challenge to be even more aware of the waste I’m making. I have adjusted my habits as my knowledge has grown over the years, and I see that sustainable lifestyle is an ongoing project not as a black and white topic.
Share a training tip for January?
January is the time of the year when we all want to start a new life full of new routines, for instance, a new diet and a new training schedule. In order to make the changes sustainable, our tip is to set the bar low. Choose one new routine per month and by the end of the year, you have 12 new routines or healthy habits.
Photos by Népra, Phillip Sauder, Julius Töyrylä and Nanna Talvitie.