Finnish fashion mentioned in Vogue – what is a cactus bag?

It's not unusual that Finnish design is seen in headlines all over the world. Nevertheless, being mentioned in the USA Vogue piloted by Anna Wintour is a special honor and pride for Finnish clothing.

ASK Scandinavia is a business founded by two women from Helsinki, producing sustainable bags and accessories. The idea of ASK was born when these two ladies – both fresh mothers – wanted to create a stylish, organized, and ecological baby caring bag.

Ever since, ASK Scandinavia has produced eg. weekend bags, laptop covers, and make-up bags. ASK Scandinavia finds a good bag very important; it makes everyday life easier, more organized, and more beautiful.

ASK has been successful before, but what was it that made the Bible of Fashion turn its eyes on Helsinki? The cactus bags that made the fashion world go whoa! They combine awesome design and ecological material – exactly the combo we all crave in 2021.

Petra Jousimies from ASK Scandinavia, what are the cactus bags and what are they made of?

”We got interested in this innovative material because we wanted to continue the ecological line of ASK Scandinavia products and create a new, strong bag style. We found this “plant leather” made of Opuntia ficus, also known by the name prickly pear.

Our designer, Anette, found this high-quality leather-like material, that is sustainably grown without pesticides and irrigated with rainwater. When the crop is collected, the material gets dried in the sun and turned into this lovely “leather” called DESSERTO®️ .

This is how we produce this awesome, vegan, and sustainable material that saves a huge amount of resources and is 100% cruelty-free.”

The two super products of the Plant Leather collection

ASK Scandinavian Plant Leather collection made of fig cactus has dropped the first two products.

Willow Tote is a perfect everywhere-bag – big enough to carry anything you need with you; from a water bottle to a cardigan, and from your phone to your laptop.
Ivy Clutch is perfect to hold in your arm or wrist and looks good even on festive occasions.

”We are producing the bags of this collection as pre-orders so that we can be as sustainable as possible and avoid overproduction. Plant Leather collection will probably contain more sculpture-like products like Willow & Ivy.”

What is the meaning of being in Vogue as a small Finnish fashion brand?

”It is a huge honor to be seen in the magazine, of course – it’s worth gold! Especially that our ASK Scandinavia bag was not in the editorial shoot as a part of an outfit but in a whole picture of its own.

This lift by Vogue has brought more traffic to our page and social media and raised some interest in the Finnish media as well.”

What kind of role does sustainability play in the operation of ASK Scandinavia on a wider scale?

”Sustainability is present in all of the decisions and choices we make concerning economical, social, and ecological actions. A good example of this is the restrained volume of production and the option of pre-orders that saves us from overproduction.

Social sustainability is visible in f.ex. working conditions in the production chain of ASK Scandinavia. A good reason to make the products in Portugal is the local law that assures fair pay and safe working conditions to all the workers.

We strive for using recycled, recyclable, and environmentally friendly materials in all our products. Also, our packing materials are recyclable and partly made of recycled materials.”

We interviewed the Sales Director of ASK Scandinavia, Petra Jousimies.

ASK Scandinavia Plant Leather collection is available now for pre-order in our online shop at IVALO.COM here. Get your 20% discount!

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