The Recycling Factory (slideshow below), an event held every spring in Helsinki, promotes two central trends of contemporary Finnish lifestyle: innovative design and ecological and sustainability issues.
The family-friendly Recycling Factory offers a free-of-charge market operating on a “bring and take” principle. It also includes workshops and shows that fit the global rise of ecological issues and awareness.
“Bring and take” means that throughout the weekend, you can bring clothes, toys, books and household goods that are fit for use – and you can take anything you need away with you.
Another part of the market features some 70 pioneering Finnish companies selling clothes, jewellery, bags and interior design items made of recycled materials. Organic food products are available and ecological approaches to energy, beauty and nutrition are also represented.
Do-it-yourself workshops engage both adults and children in creative activities, offering a chance to make jewellery, clothes and other items out of recycled materials. Fashion shows and handicraft demonstrations are also held. The annual Recycling Factory attracts well over 10,000 visitors.
A version of this article originally appeared on Visit Finland.
The Recycling Factory floor includes sections for vendors and for “bring and take.”Photo: Tim Bird
In Finland, there’s always a sauna. This one includes recycled materials and is decorated with recycled toys.Photo: Sabrina Salzano
Since Recycling Factory takes place in the spring, it’s an ideal time to attend the do-it-yourself bike repair workshop and tune up for the warm season.Photo: Tim Bird
This guy is bringing a Jopo – the classic Finnish bike – back to life.Photo: Tim Bird
Marika Konga shows off her Kongaroo clothes made from reclaimed design fabrics.Photo: Tim Bird
Tanja Kristiansson of Tanyasum, makes stuff from organic cotton and recycled fabrics.Photo: Tim Bird
Men in khaki: Military surplus clothing forms one kind of recycling.Photo: Tim Bird
Dresses, jewellery, hats and more.Photo: Tim Bird
At one station, you can help extract gold – from old computers.Photo: Tim Bird
The goal is to contribute to filling this jar with bits of gold used in making computers.Photo: Tim Bird
One section of the Recycling Factory is devoted to a pay-by-weight area.Photo: Tim Bird
How about some zip-up slippers made from old jeans and other garments?Photo: Sabrina Salzano
Trashion forms a fashion show of clothing and shoes that have been reclaimed, remade and reworked.Photo: Tim Bird
A matter of perspective: The vendors’ hall viewed from above.Photo: Tim Bird
Photos by Tim Bird and Sabrina Salzano, updated April 2015