Nomen Nescio is a Helsinki-based clothing design studio focused on minimalistic and sustainable style and values. When Niina Leskelä couldn’t find clothing that she liked and that reflected her values, she used her skills in design and sewing to create her own new clothing brand.

One definition of sustainability is the quality of not being harmful to the environment, or depleting natural resources, and thereby supporting long-term ecological balance. Nomen Nescio is built on these values. To define what that means for them, co-founder and designer Niina Leskelä explains: “Sustainability is not just about using ecological materials; it’s about changing how people think about and use clothes. It’s about timeless design that does not follow seasons or short-term trends. When you choose clothes that you really love and feel comfortable in, instead of buying many pretty garments, your wardrobe is much more functional, and you can easily match the pieces together.”

“We are not just another fast fashion brand. We put effort into designing the garments. We have our own design and production cycle and don’t bring out a new collection every season,” she says. This permanent, seasonless collection is updated regularly to improve the garments even further. The choice of colour is also unchanging: at Nomen Nescio, it’s all black. “We think that black is the most usable and suitable colour for all occasions,” says Leskelä.

Another way to ensure a collection is ecological and sustainable is to make the clothes long-lasting, even with heavy use. “We always advise on how to take care of the garments, and we also offer repair and alteration services,” she says. In the rare case that the client no longer has use for the clothes, they have set up the Nomen Nescio Second Cycle, in which they take back used clothes, and even compensate for them depending on the condition of the garment, or recycle it appropriately.

Nomen Nescio: Finnish fashion with sustainability sewn into the fabric

Functional design

Nomen Nescio’s clothing is very functional, without many decorative details. “It’s even more important to me how the garment makes the person wearing it feel, than what it looks like,” says Leskelä of her design philosophy. “During the design process, the clothes are fitted repeatedly by people with different body types, so that I can find the most functional design and overall result. You should be able to feel good and safe in the clothes you wear.”

“Although we feel that Nomen Nescio style is very Nordic, it has many mutual aspects with, for example, Japanese minimalism, and it has received a very warm response there,” she explains. They also have stockists all around Europe, as well as Asia. “Many stockists in North America are also closely watching our progress and it is likely that our clothes will be available there in the near future,” she adds.

A decade of dedication

The company is celebrating its ten-year anniversary this year. The past decade of dedication to changing the way we think about dressing has had many exciting twists and turns. “I am grateful for all that has happened, and I’m excited about the future for Nomen Nescio,” Leskelä says, contemplatively. She remembers how exciting it felt when she first noticed people wearing a Nomen Nescio jacket on the street. Since then, it has grown into an international brand. Along the way, it has been featured in several international fashion publications and visited landmark fashion events, including Paris Fashion Week and Pitti Uomo in Italy.

Last year, their flagship store moved to the heart of the shopping district in Helsinki. “We have a great team here. They all approached us, having recognised themselves in our design and values, and they are strongly committed to Nomen Nescio,” Leskelä says. “Our loyal clients are also part of the family. When they experience that this is exactly what they have been looking for, they often return for more.”

Nomen Nescio: Finnish fashion with sustainability sewn into the fabric


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