Jari Hakola, Director of Operations, owner, Hakola Huonekalu Oy
Throughout our entire 50-year history, we at Hakola have been wanting to make sustainable furniture classics that last for generations. Our principle is to respect the environment and fight against buy-and-throw-away consumption. Having grown strongly for years, our company already sells thousands of sofas annually. This also means that a large quantity of packaging material is consumed every year. For example, in 2018 more than 2,000 kilograms of plastic wrap was used at our Jurva factory.
We had been considering the idea of reusable packaging material for a long time. We wanted to develop a solution in which all materials in the transportation chain would feature the same level of responsibility as our furniture. As a result, we now have a durable and reusable transport bag for sofas. Uniquely, the sofa is packed in the bag for transport and after delivery the bag is returned to the factory.
For the reusable transport bag, we needed Intermedius’ expertise in material selection and the development of a composite. Due to our many years of partnership, we knew they had the right expertise in these areas. Together we created a composite that is a laminate of three materials: underneath is a non-woven fabric, the surface layer is a durable and compact plastic-based material, and sandwiched between them is recycled felt made of PET bottles. This is how we achieved a reusable bag that can be used from one transport to the next and is easy to keep clean.
Reusable products and recycled materials are important for us, because our customers are very advanced, and they appreciate our responsible actions. We all need to take care of the planet and do our part in recycling. Using existing plastic is a sustainable way to create new innovations. Currently, we are testing the reusable transport bag and aim to reduce the use of packaging material by 50 percent in 2019.
We want to work with a cooperation-minded partner, which means that the expertise and experts we need are easy to utilise. Working with a smaller operator is an agile way to work and ensure good availability. Our cooperation with Intermedius goes on and we will continue to take advantage of their expertise in laminating different materials.
Hakola Huonekalu Oy
“Wood is playdough for the people of Jurva” is a common saying in Ostrobothnia, where the Finnish furniture industry largely has its roots, going back to the 1800s. Hakola’s story began in 1963 with Jari Hakola’s grandfather Eero. The company is especially known for its beautiful sofas and other furniture items and interior furnishing accessories. Over the decades, the family business has gone through some great years, but also times of difficulty.
In order to overcome the challenges, Hakola decided five years ago to implement a major reform: a brand renewal was launched, the direct sale of products to consumers was started, an online shop was set up, and investments in digital channels were made. The courage paid off and Hakola’s turnover has increased many times over. The company is now going through a new period of growth.