Aino Kovalainen, the founder and designer of Nokonen, tells us about her brand:
How was Nokonen born?
I founded Nokonen in May 2017, so the brand is only a few months old. I had been dreaming about my own brand for ten years - ever since I graduated from the Vocational College of Arts and Craft. But the timing wasn't right back then and it didn't feel right. However, during the past ten years I have been collecting experience from different aspects of the fashion industry - in the fields of production, design, and sales. I also graduated with the degree of fashion design. Then, all of a sudden, I was unemployed, and it felt impossible to find a job that would meet my expectations and values. The time was finally right to find my own voice and found my own label.
I love to create new designs, but I'm also worried about the environmental effects of my work. I have always aimed to choose the best sustainable options when it comes to the materials used in my designs. I don't think that for instance eco-cotton is sustainable enough for me, because of the vast amount of water used in its cultivation processes. The main material used in Nokonen products is nettle. Nettle is a perennial plant that manages to grow in almost everywhere. It doesn't require irrigation or pesticides to grow. I also use hemp and raw silk in my designs. By choosing to use materials that are somewhat considered as "hippie" I want to raise awareness that timeless and luxurious design can be created from many things.