25 March 2019

The reason Roots Living rugs are imported to Finland with Finnair Cargo

Quality, prompt delivery and ethical values are priorities for Finnish company Basico International who import high-quality Roots Living rugs and textiles to Finland from India with Finnair Cargo. 

The philosophy of sustainability behind the brand, Roots Living, is inherent in every aspect of their operations, from the sourcing of raw materials and the working conditions of their artisans to the transportation of their products. 

Underpinning this ethos is the ability to deliver products to customers promptly and in excellent condition via their showroom in Helsinki, their online shop and via high-quality furniture and design stores across Finland. The brand is also available through outlets in Norway, the UK, and Slovenia.
“Our roots date back to the 1980s when a Finnish man travelled to India to meet local carpet producers,” explains Pekka Ainamo of Basico International, who are well-established as a furniture importer in Finland. 

“A mutual trust and understanding led to cooperation with a family-owned business in Mirzapur in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India, and the relationship has continued to this day.” 

The company started life as Kevin Carpets, changing to Roots Living when Basico took over the business in 2015 and updated the product collection.

Common values are essential

Roots Living’s rugs, bedspreads, throws and towels are durable, high-quality and ethically produced and are a potent combination of Finnish design and Indian handicraft skills, explains Ainamo. 

“Our rugs are handmade of natural materials, including linen, wool, hemp and bamboo. They are designed to suit minimalistic Nordic interiors, and the colours of the rugs are derived from the Finnish natural environment.”

The brand manifests a set of clear values, supporting sustainability, ethical production and consumption. “We want to increase the wellbeing of people, both in Finland and in India,” says Ainamo. “This means fair wages and working hours for our rug makers, medical care for workers, no child labour, and support for the school in the local community.”

Roots Living’s partner in India has worked with the Finnish market for over 20 years and shares the same core values, Ainamo continues. 

“We always emphasise the core values in our partnerships. Finnair understands these values too, and we appreciate that it uses new technologies, seeking out innovations like low emission aircraft. Products are transported by road to New Delhi to be loaded on Finnair flights. Our products are handmade and therefore valuable, so must be packed and handled very well. The only challenge might be during customs checks in India, when packages are sometimes opened roughly and there is a risk of damaging the product.”

Increasing volumes

The aim is to make sure that customers’ orders for rugs are fulfilled as quickly as possible. Production of special orders can be time consuming – these are handmade artisanal items, after all – so it’s important to get them delivered as soon as they are ready. 

Air freight is the only realistic option, bearing in mind that transport of ocean freight can take as much as five or six weeks. Cooperation with reliable partners is important to ensure that the products do not go astray during their transportation, reaching their destination in good time and condition.

“We dispatch shipments of between 400 and 600 kilos every three to four weeks,” Ainamo says. “But those volumes are increasing all the time, as our brand awareness is expanding rapidly.”