The newly-launched Saga Furs Creative Hub is the company’s new high-end platform for engaging suppliers, buyers, brand customers, and designers from around the world on every aspect of fur fashion design, artisanship and sustainable material use.
Saga Furs CEO, Magnus Ljung, describes the Hub’s launch as very successful. “Despite continuing challenging macro conditions, a small return to profitability has made it possible for us to invest in this very important industry level space, here in Finland.”
The new Hub has its beginnings in the Saga Design Centre, founded in 1988 in Denmark. At that time, the company wanted to start taking a more active role in educating fashion customers on more effective fur use. During its more than 30 years in operation, the Design Centre hosted an estimated 30,000 visitors.
“Bringing the Design Centre to our Head Office in Finland closer to our suppliers and our core business operations was a natural next step for us,” Ljung explains. “Now buyers and brokers at our auctions can come into the Hub and see and feel the fur, as well as test the quality.”
The company still retains a small unit in Denmark of two furriers and one designer. But, legacy furniture and a wall of fur fashion retro photo frames have been brought from the Design Centre and installed in the new space at the Saga Head Office. The combined effect is a distinctly Scandinavian feel, characterised by clean lines, clear surfaces, natural wood tones and a lot of natural light. There is also ample display area for the nearly 2 500 natural fur samples and garments that make up the legacy collection.
“What’s really amazing about this space,” Leena Harkimo, Chief Officer, Saga Furs Creative Hub, enthuses, “is that the techniques developed at these tables by our skilled furriers in Denmark and Finland do actually end up on the runways in fashion capitals around the world as part of high-end collections.”
Sustainability a licence to operate
The Hub is also a place for educating stakeholders on broader sustainability issues. “Sustainability and transparency are becoming increasingly important to fur fashion consumers,” says Marja Tiura, Executive Director of the Finnish Fur Breeders Association. “They want to know where their products came from and how they were produced.”
Saga Furs leads the industry with its strict farm certification program that holds its farmer suppliers accountable to the highest standards of animal welfare and environmental farm management.
Saga is also investing heavily in transparency and traceability with its new RFID solution that will allow consumers to place their device on a Saga Furs hang tag and trace a garment or fur trim back to the country and farm of origin. And this will eventually be available for customers to test out at the Hub.
Farmer information sessions will also be held at the space as well as other cross-sector education and discussion forums, once Covid restrictions are lifted. “Our fur farmers understand that sustainability has become their licence to operate in today’s fashion market,” says Tiura. “They also understand that good environmental practices such as zero farm waste, closed loop energy, and developing a growers market for nutrient-rich manure all make good business sense too.”
“Our decision to relocate to Finland and rebrand as the Saga Furs Creative Hub, combined with the company’s status as the number one fur auction house, looks set to position Finland as the world’s new home for global fur fashion,” Harkimo concludes.
“It’s an investment into our resilient future,” adds Ljung, “educating and inspiring our partners in the fur industry and promoting confidence in certified fur as an exciting material to work with and a sustainable choice to add to their collections.”
Read more about the creative part of Saga Furs Creative Hub here.
Please also visit our choose.sagafurs.com site to learn more about the history of Design Centre, sustainability and our latest article about Saga Furs Creative Hub here.