Reima was born in wartime – during World War II, in fact – when the factory of the clothing manufacturers Pallo-Paita Ltd was moved from the city of Helsinki to a town called Kankaanpää, and then it moved back again when the war ended. Many skilled workers remained in Kankaanpää and decided in 1944 to start manufacturing women’s work clothes. Snow suits from the Finnish army and surplus U.S. army tents were used as raw materials. The following year, a new factory was built and started operations as Kankama Ltd. Soon after, children’s clothes as well as outdoor and sports clothes became the focus of the product line-up. The main goal was to develop industrially manufactured, affordable yet first-rate children’s clothes to help raise the standard of clothing in the rural families of the poor, post-war nation. In other words, our mission to guarantee children the freedom to be active dates back to 1944!
Today, the majority share holder in Reima Ltd is The Riverside Company, a global private equity firm. The management are also shareholders.
We have a staff of about 100 in Finland (in Kankaanpää and Vantaa), and an additional 50 or so people are employed in our offices abroad. In 2011, Reima Ltd had a turnover of EUR 58 million. Our most important export markets are the Nordic countries, Russia and Switzerland. Elina Björklund has been managing director since 2012.