The idea of using wild fur came from Marita’s father. Like many men from the Finnish countryside he was a regular hunter. Hunting in Finland, especially in the countryside, is a traditional activity. It is not considered a sport or hobby, but rather a way of being in touch with nature. Hunters usually display a high respect and appreciation towards nature and the life of the animals.
In Finland, a large number of animals is hunted in order to control the animal populations and to protect other animal species. For example, minks are not indigenous in the Finnish natural habitat. They have escaped / were released from mink farms. Because they are a foreign species, they have caused damage to the natural wildlife: in certain areas specific birds have been severely decimated or became extinct because of minks. In Lapland the red fox is more and more invading the territory of the arctic fox (which is under protection and of course is not hunted) and the government is paying hunters to hunt red foxes in order to protect the arctic fox. Racoons (the common name for the Finnish racoondog) are also not originally from Finland. They are responsible for spreading diseases and causing general damage to Finnish wildlife. For these reasons the Finnish wildlife authority would like to make racoons extinct in Finland and is strong encouraging them being hunted.
Hunting in Finland is regulated by strict quotas that the government is giving out. These quotas are then broken down into the regional districts where the local hunting association oversee their adherence. For most fur bearing animals, the quotas a very large and often they are not fulfilled. Acting against these quotas is a severe offence and guilty hunters risk losing their license and being expelled from the hunting associations.
While hunting is necessary in Finland to ensure a balanced ecosystem, to protect smaller animals and to contain the spread of diseases there is a challenge of what to do with the bodies and skins of the hunted animals. They are valuable raw materials after all. The meat is rarely edible, with the except of elk, but the skin, i.e. the fur, could be considered for further usage. Surprisingly, there is almost no use for it. Often the hunters leave the animals behind in the forest or the fur is thrown away as waste or burnt.
So, it was no surprise that hunters have approached Marita with the wish that she would use the skins of the animals they have hunted for her designs. Afterall, the furs are perfect material for winter clothes to keep warm. From the wish to further respect and cherish the life of the hunted animals the Marita Huurinainen wild collection was born. As an interesting note, Marita herself is a hunter, but it was her father and his hunting colleagues who really had to push her to take up the idea of using wild fur and to develop it further. All fur that Marita Huurinainen has the origin mark Wild Finnish Fur. That ensures that only for that has been hunted in Finland is used.