At Finlayson, we love to make beautiful things. At the same time, for us, beauty goes beyond the surface. We believe that things that are genuinely beautiful are also beautiful on the inside. We want to improve people’s daily lives and make them more beautiful through our products and our actions. The only way to make a better world is through action, not just empty words. For us, action means designing higher-quality products, having a continuous interest in more eco-friendly and ethical materials, being interested in recycling solutions and, where necessary, even taking a stand against the injustices of life. At Finlayson, beauty comes from within, and we believe that our actions can help us build a slightly more beautiful world.
The Finlayson Story
A unique blend of courage, open-mindedness and confidence has enabled Finlayson to grow into Finland’s most beloved textile company. The company’s long history also includes a few surprising twists and turns.
Scotsman James Finlayson establishes a small mechanical engineering workshop by the Tammerkoski rapids to produce carding and spinning machines for spinning wool and flax.
A small company grows into a large operation
The Russian Emperor’s court physician Georg Adolf Rauch and businessman Carl Samuel Nottbeck from St Petersburg buy the factory. This initiates a period of rapid growth that sees Finlayson become the largest industrial enterprise in the Nordic region. Finlayson primarily employs women, providing them the opportunity for an independent life by having a home and livelihood of their own. Paid employment for women was uncommon at the time.
Hospital, daycare centre and social security
The factory had its own hospital, daycare centre, school, fire department, pharmacy and nursing home built around it. Finlayson also created its own social security system in a time when such a thing was completely unheard of.
The Crimean War resulted in paper money losing its value. Wages still needed to be paid, so Finlayson issued its own currency, which was accepted by all shops in Tampere.
First electric light in the Nordic region
The first electric light in the entire Nordic region was switched on in Finlayson’s weaving hall. Some of the workers decided not to show up for work, as they thought the new invention was the work of the devil.
First shop opened
The first factory outlet opens its doors at the Finlayson production facility. A Finlayson shop still operates at the same location today.
Finlayson opens a studio in Forssa. The creative and inspiring atmosphere of the studio fosters the creation of thousands of designs that nearly everyone in Finland remembers fondly.
An innovation called the duvet cover
Finlayson introduced the duvet cover to the market. It took a while for people to figure out how to use the new invention. One customer tore the duvet cover apart, thinking two sheets had been accidentally sewn together. Another customer crawled inside the duvet cover, believing it to be a sleeping bag. In its early days, the new product was called a cover bag and sleep bag.
Finland’s largest private employer
Finlayson kept growing and became the largest private employer in Finland: 11 factories and 6,500 employees.
Finlayson gets new owners and the company awakens from a few decades of slumber. The winds of change blow and the Tom of Finland collection, among others, is launched.
Textile recycling introduced
Finlayson starts recycling household textiles at its shops and later goes on to launch related products, such as Old Jeans towels made from used jeans and rag products made from old sheets.
Jesus duvet covers launched
Finlayson introduces the Jesus duvet cover, which comes with a unique 50-year warranty. The product uses the same linen material and the twill weave as the Shroud of Turin, which has lasted to this day.
Finlayson becomes the first company in Finland to offer a five-year warranty for its duvet covers, pillowcases and terry cloth products.
Finlayson launches a citizens’ initiative
Finlayson launches a citizen’s initiative to ban female genital mutilation. The initiative is signed by more than 60,000 Finns and is submitted to the Parliament.
Organic renewal and plastic-free packaging
Finlayson starts using traceable organic cotton and launches the world’s most beautiful bed sheet, challenging its peers in the industry to place a high priority on corporate responsibility. At the same time, the company stops using plastic packaging, which reduces packaging waste by an amount corresponding to as many as one million shopping bags.
Celebrating our 200th birthday
Let’s not miss out on the beauty that is already around us. The feature at the heart of our celebration is our wearable party collection, which can be summed up with the words Flower Power. The collection gets its inspiration from the powerfully expressive and large patterns of the Forssa and Tampere museums of the 1970s, which featured the era’s incredibly bold patterns and glittering colours. This era was the decade of love and good faith, a time in which people had the courage to dream of a good world and there was little room for hate speech.