As a young girl, Paula dreamt that one day she would be a designer – and finally, that started to emerge in 2012. She had been coaching and supporting a group of young professionals by creating a collective called Remade. The aim of this collective was to find ways and methods to create upcycled pieces from discarded clothes, but also make it so that the products could be produced in series – not only uniquely. After two years the project came to end with good results, but no full collection. It was time to do it herself. It took two years to design, test, and create the process for MEM as it had never been done and no examples were available. And finally 2014 the first Done for Reality (DFR) was launched.
Since 2014 MEM has launched six collections. To every one of them, Paula has chosen a bit different approach in form, pattern production, material, or methods to refine the material for production. During its eight-year-long process of development over 70 pieces of serial producible items has been created for the collections and it has been proven that clothes to clothes production could not only be one of the ways to, first of all, reduce textile waste, but also a way to save a lot of natural resources by producing the clothes. Even if the aim was never to reach high levels of sales, MEM´s aim also was to become sellable. Paula also chose to follow her own path in defining the warranty as long as 12 months and the production volume of new pieces was equal to sold items.
MEM has been produced locally in Helsinki where it has been sold. It has also been sold online and for it, Finnish sustainable online shop Weecos adjusted its selling procedure as the pieces were sold and produced to customer measurements and that had not been done online before that. For now, MEM is produced only from order, but Paula´s dream is someday to test the serial production in industrial facilities – for now, that has not been possible mainly because of the lack of infrastructure for the production itself.
This Planet Act shows how a business can innovate new ways to produce and design products and educate their customers about the value of upcycling. This act can be limitedly scaled by companies with smaller-scale product lines and where reusable materials are available in suitable form and volume.