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Recycling and reusing in the Palace

Like promised in the latest post, this post is about dresses seen on Finland’s Independence Day reception , “Linnan juhlat” (eng. the Castle ball) last week. This year the theme of the reception was our environment what was also shown in dresses, but in my opinion, not more than past few years, when sustainability and recycling have become bigger themes in general in the reception fashion.

Some of the guests who have been celebrating Independence at the presidential palace many times before were wearing the same dress, some of the guests had modified their old dresses to fit this occasion, some used recycled, sustainable materials in the dresses. Recycling can be seen in many ways. Some of the dresses seen at the reception were rented and some will end up to renting racks after the reception, some dresses created of two pieces when for example the top can be used again with another bottom. I really put my thumbs up for this kind of thinking. I’m not for one-time-only dresses or clothes in general at all.

But what was seen on the red carpet? I have to apologize for the bad quality of the pictures. The pictures are taken of the television screen during Yle’s live broadcast from the reception. See better pictures through links. But let’s start going through dresses with materials used. First lady Jenni Haukio‘s dress was made of new Ioncell textile fibre made of birch cellulose. Ioncell fibre is still in production and only a few prototypes are made of it this far. Ioncell is described at as following: ” Ioncell is a technology that turns used textiles, pulp or even old newspapers into new textile fibers sustainably and without harmful chemicals. The process converts cellulose into fibers which in turn can be made into long-lasting fabrics.” Hopefully, this new sustainable fibre takes soon over in the industry.

Old newspapers were used as material at Nya Åland newspaper’s editor in chief Anna Björkroos‘ dress. The top of the dress is black sateen and the bottom made of old bed sheets and old Nya Åland newspapers (Ilta-Sanomat). Björkroos’ dress also represents her occupation and the newspaper she is representing at the Palace.

Para athlete Ronja Oja was carrying her old medals from Finnish championships in her dress. The ribbons were sewed into a top of the dress and medals were decorating on the waist. I think the idea is amazing. Recycling old medals that may otherwise just be hanging in a closet and taking them to the palace. Medals also reflect Oja’s identity as an athlete, and Finnish championships medals fit perfectly to celebrate Finland.

I think it is nice that the persona of guests is visible in their appearance. I like unique dresses that maybe have some story behind.

Professional boxer, European Champion, Elina Gustafsson did not care about the etiquette. Instead, she came to the palace as herself. I think it is okay to break the etiquette as long as it is done with a style that anyway makes honour to the occasion. If you are not a dress person, do not wear a dress, wear a suit instead. It would not be nice to watch someone pushed herself in a dress just because “have to”. Gustafsson’s suit was made of nettle with leather details from industrial surplus. (Ilta-Sanomat, Helsingin Sanomat).

Laura Karjula wanted to pay attention to food loss with her dress dyed with red cabbage. The dress, designed by Outi Les Pyy and Paula Malleus, was made of 100% recycled materials: Pure Waste recycled cotton in the base, plant dyed silk on the top, strengthened with used fair carpet. (Ilta-Sanomat, Länsi-Suomi)

Jaana Pelkonen and Henriikka Strand were not wearing their dresses for the first time. Pelkonen had bought the dress originally to her friend’s party, whereas Strandwas wearing her wedding dresses. I think wearing a wedding dress at the Independence Day reception is a brave choice, I mean that it needs to have a silhouette that does not make it look like that you have become to a wrong party. Strand had modified her dress with a blue top part and thus carrying Finland’s colours. Sanna Marin’s white dress was designed so that she can wear the same dress again, for example at her wedding (Anna). Her whole appearance at the reception was elegant and beautiful. See pictures of her outfit here.

Finally, two outfits that are always in fashion at Finnish Independence Day reception: a folk costume and Lotta Svärd costume. Both can also be used at other events.

This year the presidential palace was full of colours. It was nice to see how much bright colourful dresses were seen on the red carpet together with darker shades. Here I just picked a few examples of dresses seen at the reception, focusing on sustainable perspective, but there were so many amazing pieces of clothing in the palace that I recommend you to google “linnan juhlat” to see more.

To end this post, I want to share a couple of my favourites.