Craft platform celebrates Nordic values and sustainability




Art gallery and webshop Lokal Helsinki celebrates Nordic values: the beauty of everyday life, craftsmanship, timelessness, functionality, and the relationship between design and nature.

The platform, which was founded by Finnish photographer Katja Hagelstam in 2012, has focused on local sustainable design, including homeware, jewellery and art. This autumn it launched a wider selection of objects, including clothing, wellbeing and artisan food.

”The importance of hand made things now and in the future will grow. We are in an era now where people increasingly value items with a soul that you want to use, touch and look at for generations,” Hagelstam says. To further grow the message, Lokal recently joined Glasshouse Helsinki, a business development company focusing on sustainable growth.

“If traditional rural artisanship and everyday craft skills are lost, we will also lose a part of our heritage,” Hagelstam says.

Lokal Helsinki

Local small scale production has remained central to Lokal’s ideology since the very beginning, along with aesthetics, the environment, and timeless quality. 


Jonna Dagliden Hunt

Some of the objects in the collection include stackable wooden storage boxes by master carpenter Antrei Hartikainen, wooden spoons and knives by carver Linda Laitinen, and poetic mobiles made from rye straw, grown and made by Eija Koski. There are also items for sell by established companies such as Tikau and Nikari, both with a focus on sustainable design craft.   

TNE           Why is it increasingly important to cherish artisan traditions?

K.H              Artisanship includes a lot of knowledge that is disappearing from not only Finland, but globally. It includes phenomenon such understanding nature, living though seasons, material knowledge and traditional techniques. This is part of our cultural heritage and our identity. We must ensure that these skills, and understating the rhythm and basis of nature, will continue in future generations. To build up the future, we need to understand and cherish the past.

TNE           How does Lokal Helsinki contribute to this?

K.H              Lokal Helsinki is a home for artisans and a way for consumers to find the best makers in the local market. It’s been a clear tendency for a few years already that consumers are willing to make more sustainable decisions and purchases. Whether it’s a clothing, coffee cup, service or food. At the same time, interest for art and crafts is increasing.

TNE               And what about Nordic values, will they stand stronger now you think due to the pandemic?

K.H               Yes, it has been a big trend already before the pandemic but got some extra attention this year. Locality is a strong value now.

“If traditional rural artisanship and everyday craft skills are lost, we will also lose a part of our heritage.”