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 Progressive Nordic design

About Iittala

Since 1881, Iittala has been dedicated to inspiring better living. What began as a glass factory in a small village in Iittala, Finland has grown into an internationally known brand that has played a decisive role in defining the Nordic way of life.

Our roots are firmly planted in Finland and Nordic values are what guide us. For nearly a century and a half, our core set of values have helped us in creating design that is balanced, progressive and essential.

Design philosophy and heritage

In our early years, we produced glassware by blowing and pressing, according to continental models brought to the factory by glassblowers. At the start of the twentieth century, we were one of the first companies to transition from ornamental dinner sets to tableware that combined function and form with progressive Nordic design.

However, we had our breakthrough in the 1930s and 1940s, during the early years of modernism and functionalism. Our now legendary collaborations with design pioneers like Alvar and Aino Aalto, Kaj Franck and Tapio Wirkkala helped shape our design philosophy: to create objects which by their progressive and functional, yet aesthetically pleasing design become timeless and will never be thrown away. We believe that good design is always designed with thought and with function in mind and made available for everyone.

Our focus on timeless, lasting design is why from generation to generation, we’ve been in your daily lives, your celebrations and your memories. For almost a century and a half, through personal milestones and dynamic societal changes, we’ve been a trusted part of the cultural landscape.

Sustainability

We value the social responsibility we’ve been given. Our focus on the essential means a continued commitment to timeless design and new solutions that don’t just create a better way of life but a more lasting, sustainable future.

We promote sustainability with three long term commitments: a carbon neutral business, circular products and services and a positive impact.

Recyclability and circular economy are considered from the beginning of the design process. We want to reduce waste in all of our operations and help our partners do the same. Our target is that by 2030, all waste from our own operations is recycled or reused with no waste sent to landfills.
We’ve already reached one of our sustainability goals at the Iittala Glass Factory in Finland. All clear waste glass and reusable coloured waste glass is melted again as raw material for new 100% recycled glass products. Waste glass that can’t be used in new items is used as insulation material by the construction industry.
In 2019, we became one of the first glassworks companies to create a collection of items made of 100% recycled glass – produced from waste glass at the Iittala Glass Factory in Finland.
We invest into circularity with our award-winning Vintage Service which buys and re-sells pre-owned Iittala products as well as enables people to recycle broken or worn-out glassware and ceramic tableware. The service is currently active in Finland and Sweden with plans to expand to several other markets.

Glass

Glass is at our core. Glass design and mastery of glass colours have always been and will always be fundamentally essential for us. For decades, we’ve utilized our unrivaled colour expertise to create 200 distinct glass colours that vary from the palest of shades to the darkest of hues.

We remain faithful to our heritage and are guided by the invaluable knowledge handed down to us by the master craftspeople who have been a part of our glass factory since 1881. The majority of our glass items, including the iconic Aalto vase are still made at the Iittala Glass Factory today.

Designers

Our collaborations with creative visionaries have helped build our global reputation. Every designer, collection, product, new material and innovation from our collaborations have shaped who we are, adding different layers to our story. We continue to seek out another generation of design pioneers who will move us forward while still respecting the qualities that make our design lasting, timeless and treasured for decades and generations to come.

Iittala logo

In 1956, designer Timo Sarpaneva created a red-and-white trademark, i-logo for his exquisite collection of delicate glass objects, the i-range. The symbol was later used for the entire Iittala brand. The lowercase “i” represents the blowing pipe and the glass bubble on the top of the pipe while the round shape is the kiln.

Moving forward

While we move forward, we will continue to stay grounded in who we are. We will always seek out new ways to inspire, experiment and stand for what matters.

Above all, we will remain faithful to the progressive ideas that keep shaping our way of life.