Savotta

Savotta

Savotta

 

 

SAVOTTA - MADE TO ENDURE SINCE 1955

 

Well-known for their high quality backpacks combining Nordic simplistic and rugged design with the desire to make products that will endure, Savotta has been making quality gear for outdoor enthusiasts as well as professionals since 1955.

Savotta is a family-run business with head quarters in Karstula, Finland, where also one of their two factories is located. The other factory is based in Tartu, Estonia. Savotta products are manufactured in these factories to meet the highest quality standards and with unparalleled attention to detail. Product development is ongoing and small improvements on their product lines are continuously made based largely on user feedback.

The core business of Savotta is making high-quality functional gear, and one of their most well known products is the Jääkäri M backpack. The predecessors of Jääkäri backpacks were designed for the Finnish army, therefore extra attention has been paid to making the products highly durable and wear resistant. Also, the colour scheme reflects this origin, as most products are available in M05 camouflage pattern, as well as army olive green, and black.

When you get your hands on a Savotta product, you will immediately understand what the fuzz is all about. All the materials used are highly durable and of best quality. The focus on durability and functionality is immediately visible. If you want your outdoor gear to become your trusted companion for years to come, then an investment on a Savotta product is money well spent.

 

A Piece of Finnish Outdoor History

The story of what we now know as Savotta began in Pylkönmäki, Finland, on August 19, 1955, when Allan Halme and his wife Marjatta Halme founded a company called Pylkönmäki Nahkatyö (Pylkönmäki Leather). The first products, lumberjack's leather gloves and backpacks, were made on the attic of a private home. As production soon increased, a new production facility was built in Halla-aho, Pylkönmäki.

In the 1960s, Pylkönmäki Nahkatyö became Savotta-retkeilyväline (Savotta camping gear), and tents were added to their product portfolio. Around that time, Allan found production facilities in Onnela, Karstula, where Savotta still manufacture their products. This was the time when the first hiking backpack of Savotta saw the light of day. Several Savotta backpack models have been continue to be popular with outdoor men and women until today.

In the 1970s, Savotta grew and became international. The name of the company was changed to Finn-Savotta Oy and their entire production was moved to Karstula. The company underwent a generation change as daughters Riitta and Anita Halme joined the company in 1971. Shortly after her mother's passing away in 1974, Anita took charge of the company's production. One of Savotta’s largest customers in the 1970s was JOFA ABC. Finn-Savotta cooperated with Marimekko in designing different bag models for Marimekko, as well.

At the beginning of 1980s Savotta started manufacturing the metal parts for their products in their own facilities in Karstula as well. After this change, all the structural elements of the backpacks were made by Savotta themselves. In 1982 the legendary 906 backpack won a test by Tekniikan Maailma -magazine which helped in making it the number one backpack among hikers and trekkers in Finland. Savotta worked with Finnish Defence forces developing and manufacturing equipment for their needs as well.

In the 1990s the product selection grew even larger, now including sleeping bags, tent stoves, and hiking sledges. In 1992 one of the daughters, Riitta Halme, became the CEO of the company. Since 1995 Finn-Savotta has had the ISO 9001-2000 H quality certificate granted by the defence forces. In 1994 the family faced a great sorrow as the founder, Allan Halme, passed away.

In the 2000s Savotta new challenges arose from globalisation and the requirements of the EU market area. The company moved forward with a fresh new Savotta logo and a partnership with the Finnish Red Cross. The 2000s was a time for the next generation change within the company as brothers Elmo and Julius started working for the company.

In the 2010s several rearrangements took place within Finn-Savotta. The younger or the two sisters, Anita Halme, took the role of CEO as Riitta Halme moved on to take a new role as the CFO. Savotta’s first factory outlet opened its doors in Karstula. In 2016 Finn-Savotta established a new sister company in Tarto, Estonia, to streamline production without having to move it to China. In the spring of 2016, Anita Halme took the role of CEO in the sister company, making way for her son, Elmo Valkeinen to take the lead at Finn-Savotta.

This is now the third generation of entrepreneurs within the family guiding Finn-Savotta. During the past decades, the company has accumulated a knowledge base and a knowhow through skilled employees, product designs rooted in the needs of their customers, and overcoming challenges. During these years, the company has offered work for over 250 employees, some of whom have worked in the company for decades.

 

The Excellence of Savotta Products

“Let’s make it better than others. Let’s make it to endure!” This is the corner stone and starting point of Savotta ideology. This ideology comes a reality when we look at all the users of Savotta products.  Since 1960s Savotta has provided equipment for the Finnish defence forces, with their tents, combat belts, and sleeping mats still being manufactured for the demanding needs of the defence forces. Together with the defence forces, Finn-Savotta has developed a renewed combat vest as well. In addition, the Rajapartio rucksack is used by Finnish border patrol. More than 10,000 20-person tents have been manufactured and are used by scouts as well as hikers and trekkers.

The products of Finn-Savotta have also been used in peace keeping operations and in crises areas. The Finnish Red Cross has delivered Savotta tents to numerous disaster and crisis areas, for example to areas affected by the tsunami in Thailand, to earthquake recovery areas in Haiti, Japan, and Turkey, to civil war victims in Libya, and to areas with cholera outbreaks in Africa. Savotta backpacks have been delivered to serve as school bags for children in Jakutia, Siberia. And to top this off,  Savotta 906 rucksack has been used in extreme conditions by a research group at the glaciers of Svalbard, Norway.


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