Giving knitwear a new lease of life
TEXT: NDÉLA FAYE | PHOTOS © MIIKA KOSKINEN
Tackling a small – but irritating – problem: reigning in unruly cardigans getting caught in doorknobs, Klipsutin is the accessory many did not realise they needed, but will now no doubt find it difficult to live without. Klipsutin is a Finnish handmade accessory that can be used to brighten up clothing for any occasion, or everyday use. Helping to close a cardigan with no buttons, or helping to set your favourite scarf nicely, Klipsutin is handy and multifunctional.
Klipsutin is designed to attach two pieces of clothing, such as a cardigan that has no buttons, but it can also be used to attach any piece of fabric to another. “I needed a product like this, but could not find anything suitable, and so Klipsutin was born out of personal need. We took an old idea and brought it to the modern day,” explains Tuire-Sini Koskinen. The result was a beautiful and practical product with multiple uses, suitable for everyday life. From shortening long skirts so the hem does not get wet or dirty outside, to using it as an identity card or tie clip, or as a fashion accessory, the options for its use are almost endless. “I even use it to clip my curtains at home, and to attach my keys to the inside of my bag so I can find them easily,” Koskinen adds. A year ago, she and her husband, Miika, took a leap of faith, and dedicated themselves to making and selling Klipsutin full-time.
A beautiful multifunctional accessory
The idea for Klipsutin was born out of a rather mundane – but irritating – problem: “I love knitwear and use it with most of my outfits. My only annoyance with knitwear was that I would constantly find myself getting caught in door handles, or with the cardigan floating about on a windy way,” laughs Koskinen. “I used to sell our product only as a hobby, alongside my day job – but one day, a woman came up to my stall at the market and told me I have a very unusual and special product, and that I should pursue selling it as my career. I took her advice and haven’t looked back since.”
With over 100 retailers and small businesses selling Klipsutin in Finland, and around ten in Sweden, business is booming and demand is growing. The product is designed, handmade and packed at the small Klipsutin factory in Hyvinkää, Finland. “My husband and I make the product, and we have two people in charge of packaging, one consultant, and one trainee. We’re a very small family business, and I am so happy that my hobby became my main job; I am very proud that we are able to support our family doing this,” Koskinen continues.
Giving clothes a personalised look
Many people often find themselves hoarding wardrobes full of barely-worn, ill-fitting clothes – something the Klipsutin also tackles. “Many of us feel embarrassed about how many clothes we own; most of them forgotten about, hidden at the back of the wardrobe for whatever reason. Often, the reason is the wrong sizing, or the garment not fitting us as we would like. The quick fix is to adjust it using safety pins, but this leaves holes in the fabric, and rarely offers a viable long-term solution. Besides, the needle isn’t pretty to look at, and needs to be hidden – with the risk of your finger getting poked somewhere along the way,” says Koskinen.
Made by hand from high-quality materials, the product is durable and safe to use on skin as it does not contain common allergenics, such as nickel, lead or cadmium. In addition to its practical aspect, Klipsutin is also an accessory that can be tailor-made to customers’ requests. Klipsutin does not need to be hidden under clothes – it is designed to be worn and displayed. With a variety of designs and colours to choose from, customers can make Klipsutin look like their own, and it can be customised to give it a unique look. “We can use almost any material: pearls, different metals or braided designs, for example. For business clients, we can use company branding to give Klipsutin a branded touch, and for individuals, we can carve initials and names into it, or create a figurine of a special pet, for example,” says the owner.
For such a small idea, Klipsutin has huge potential in terms of making people reuse their unused clothes, and giving them a new life. “We’re helping to make knitwear wonderful again,” Koskinen concludes.