I know the title is dramatic, and by all means I don't mean any actual human being. I'm talking about the finnish shoe brand: Pertti Palmroth.
My relationship with this brand is shallow and superficial to say the least. And the recent bankruptcy of Hamken Oy (the company's name) isn't in itself a melancholic event. What saddens me is that this is only one of the signs of a sure downfall of Finland's once glorious shoe industry. It was never internationally glorious, but served it's purpose as the people's choice when there still was no import, and all of those millions of shoes were made just for two nations: Finland and Russia.
Now, for the reasons why the finnish shoe industry has plummeted during the last decades, there's not an easy answer. And frankly, how on earth should I know? All I have are the few small details of what I've heard or seen. So the death of this company shows just the reality of what's going on with the industry.
After the studies last week, I visited the silent factory last wednesday evening. Like I said, I've no nostalgy or emotional ties with this brand. But stepping into the factory and seeing the silent and still space filled with machines, equipment, parts and lasts, made me realize that that place had seen some busy times. For decades people have run across those floors, busy with producing millions of shoes worn by people across the land. The generations have changed, old masters teaching snot nosed kids how to start with their new summer job. There's been good times, and bad ones. There's been families forming and breaking. People dreaming of that something special for their future. Until...
...It all ends.
And a couple of vultures land on the carrion
hoping for a cheap and easy snack:
|We're at the front of Pertti Palmroth's factory. The lights are lit only because we're coming to meet the representative.|
|A general view of a part of the hall. It's quite tidy, I must say!|
At the front is the logo stamping machinist's desk. To the right, sewing machines with yellow hoods on them.
|In a shoe factory, the amount of required component's is huge. This is actually a small shelf filled with cutting patterns made of steel.|
|Here's where all the logos to your Palmroth's shoe insoles came from. You can see the metal folio running across the machine on the top of the picture.|
|Here's the actual logo stamp, sitting alone next to the machine.|
|Hmmm... I think I've seen this model somewhere. The working just stopped and someone dropped this pair out of his hands and went home.|
|It's leather! Or is it? I think Palmroth's shoes were somewhat famous for their use of synthetic materials. Or infamous, depending on the view point.|
|This beauty had been stowed away between the shelves. A prototype?|
Even though I was never a big fan of their products, I must take off my hat and bow to Pertti Palmroth for contributing to the finnish shoe industry, and sharing his passion for the rest of us to enjoy.
Rest in peace.