A patch on a patch is relevant now

Tapio Anttila

Pumped inner rubber in the sink, let's see if there are bubbles... already found. Drying and roughening patch with the roughener in the box. Tinner smelly and finger-sticking rubber glue on the patch and around the hole. After a while, when the glue is dry, the patch is pressed into the inner rubber. Now it's ready. The inner rubber is carefully placed in its place and soon you can pedal again. Do you remember the last time you did this? Or have you ever done? And what does this have to do with furniture?


Yes, at least I don't remember the last time I did that operation - it's been a long time. I vaguely remember that the same thing was also done for rubber boots. Then why don't we fix tires anymore or fix anything else? Well, the answer to this is easy. We will buy a new one because it is much easier and faster. So does that make sense? Maybe not always.

Our parents and grandparents always repaired all the things and only then threw them away when the repair was surely impossible - until it was impossible to put a new patch on top of another patch. Often, the item was also used for another purpose. The used up bed sheets became carpet rag and bottle caps picturesque door curtains. At that time, there was no talk of responsibility or carbon footprint. However, both issues were factory-installed in the working memory of our people, which the generations who experienced the war passed on to the next. Back then, they were talked about with the terms thriftiness and common sense, which were considered qualities of a decent person.

Then why was it done this way at the time? The way of working was guided more by necessity, there were no options. It wasn't trendy in any way, rather it was just ordinary. We no longer have to act like that, because only now can we afford alternatives. Or so we thought? We have the financial means, but we don't have "ecological" means to waste - literally!

Photo: National Museum of Finland, Seurasaari Outdoor Museum collections

So what could we do? Should we go back to that time? It probably won't work. First of all, because our consumables are not made to be repaired. Secondly, longing for "everything was better before" leads nowhere. Rather, we should learn from that wise tradition of ours and innovate applications for this time. The task is our own generation's version of thriftiness and common sense, which we could now also call responsibility.


"As a designer, I have thought a lot about how we could extend the life of our products."


There are many ways and we have taken all of them to use. Timeless design, durable structures, high-quality and beautifully patinated materials are among them. In addition, we have paid special attention to maintainability. All of our upholstered products have removable and washable upholstery parts, so minor damage or dirt can be treated easily by washing.

How could we facilitate the repair of our products? Even the best material sometimes comes to an end, or damage can occur before that, which cannot be repaired by washing. That's why we have included spare parts for sofa beds in our collection. In other words, it is possible to purchase all covers, mattresses and bedding as separate sets to replace damaged or worn out ones without purchasing the entire sofa again. In this way, we can offer consumers the opportunity to act in accordance with the principles we advocate.

I remember how my grandmother darned woolen socks and my mother skillfully pimped clothes, extending their life. None of the food was thrown away, it was turned into something else, like delicious French toast (I don't remember having them for a long time!). Maybe something from that attitude has remained inside me, which I now continue and share as a designer.

- Tapio