KIVAT

Production

Handmade in Tampere

All kinds of children's nature and outdoor activities are a matter of heart at KIVAT. Every detail is carefully thought through so that playing can be carefree for the small user. We however, are not care free in our process. We take 100% responsibility for our products as we make them ourselves at our own factory in Tampere, Finland. For us, responsibility means transparency in our production chain to create long lasting products that can be passed down from child-to-child.

Our own factory allows for careful quality control

KIVAT is created at Tampere! Our factory and production facilities are our crown jewels. Ever since the company’s establishment in 1975, we have intentionally kept production in Finland. We have been in our current facilities in Lahdesjärvi, Tampere, since 2003. In 2014, we expanded and modernised our premises. However, our very first production facilities were in the old industrial building Hatanpään Teollisuustalo in Tampere.

Our factory has:
- a knitting department with 21 different industrial knitting machines
- a yarn and knit storage
- cutting department
- sewing department
- warehouse
- webshop's warehouse
- packing department
- photography studio
- office and staff facilities, and
- factory store (only open on certain days)

Annually, our factory produces about 160,000 KIVAT products.

In the picture: Kristin is attaching a layer of cotton wool to the lining of a balaclava.

Our factory in Tampere, Finland.

In 2022, we set up a solar power plant on our factory roof. It produces about a third of our annual electricity demand.

Every product is finished by hand

Nearly the entire production process of KIVAT products takes place in our factory in Lahdesjärvi Tampere, Finland. The raw material – yarn – is turned into a knit in our own knitting room, and the knits are then made into products.

Mittens and gloves come through the smaller knitting machines as whole pieces, but skilled hands are still needed for their several finishing stages.

After being knit, the cotton knit will be delivered to our partner in Hämeenkyrö for dyeing. After being knit and steamed, our wool knit is directly transported to our cutting department, where patterns are applied to cut the knit into pieces.

The half-finished products are transported to our partners around the Tampere region for seaming. Some of our products are also seamed at our own factory, and during especially busy seasons, our partner in Harjumaa, Estonia, seams some of the products. We have four partners in our local region, and one in Estonia, in Harjumaa.

After the seaming, the products are always delivered back to our factory for finishing touches. Labels and bobbles are then attached to them, and a final inspection is carried out. Our bobbles are made and attached individually. When the products are finished, they will be sent to our customers around the world.

Sustainability is part of everything we do

We manufacture all KIVAT products using high-quality natural materials to make sure the products can withstand being used for hundreds of times. If they are correctly cared for, KIVAT products can last for years, to be passed on to siblings or neighbours' children. They also have a good resale value on second-hand sales channels.

We aim to keep the carbon footprint of KIVAT products’ manufacturing process as small as possible. The yarns we use as raw material arrive as large batches and are transported to us as road cargo from yarn spinning mills across Europe. Our own warehouse allows us to store large quantities of yarn, minimising transports. We do not use any air freight for our material deliveries.

Nearly the entire production process of KIVAT products takes place in our factory in Lahdesjärvi, Tampere. We transport the half-finished products to our partners for seaming by ourselves. Taking care of deliveries by ourselves makes our operations more agile and gives us an opportunity to keep personally in touch with our entire production chain on a regular basis.

Recycling cutting waste

Thinking economically when using materials is also ecological thinking. When cutting our knits, we place our patterns carefully so that as little goes to waste as possible. The small pieces are used for small products, such as baby mittens, so that we can use as much of the materials as possible.

The cutting waste from our woolly knit is utilised by Dafecor Oy that uses the wool cutting waste to make new products, such as oil absorption rugs.

At the moment, we generate such small amounts of cotton cutting waste that transporting it to collection plants is not sustainable from the perspective of transport emissions. Any cotton cutting waste is currently taken to Tammer Voima’s power plant for combustion, similar to all mixed waste. The power plant is only six kilometres away from our factory.

In the picture: Merja is using a bandsaw to cut out the shape of a balaclava. This ‘Dino’ balaclava Merja is making remains as one of our most popular products year after year.

Storage

We only use cardboard and wrapping tissue as our products’ storing and packing materials. We do not pack our products in individual plastic bags for storage. Instead, they are either taken directly from the production facilities to outbound orders or placed in cardboard boxes and taken to our warehouse.

Keeping the production and warehouse operations in our own factory removes the need for protecting the products with plastic and mould inhibitors for the duration of long transports. When packaging our webshop orders, we use cardboard packages of various sizes and use wrapping tissue instead of plastic to protect our products.

We trust that our customers, both consumers and retailers, recycle the cardboard packages correctly after receiving their orders. We have written detailed instructions for how to care for and wash the products, so that environmental perspectives can be considered also at this stage of the product’s life cycle.

In the picture: Johanna works in our packing department, and she knows the location of every hat and overall, keeping our warehouse carefully in order. Johanna also oversees the order deliveries to our retailers both in Finland and in our export countries.

KIVAT - made together!

We are a group of professionals of our specific fields who have fused together into a seamless team. We value a great team spirit and the energy of working together, it is the only way to get things done well! We solve problems together and we celebrate successes together.

We all share an interest in textiles and have solid professional competence in the field. Seeing our hard work in a KIVAT product outside the factory, worn by children, brings a great deal of joy to all of us, allowing us to really believe that “We made your clothes”!