Only Heli Elina Pesukarhu Listen gets their hands on a bag of used clothes, a bohemian “madness” arises.
Bohemian Insanity is a passionate recycling and guaranteed personal style. Recycling gets reflected in the products and nostalgia and humor are their absolute salt.
Only used clothing and textiles are used as materials, including those that may have already been rendered unusable.
Upcycler's selection includes casual Rönsy hoodies from Bohemian Insanity, as well as large personalities, Madame handbags. While there aren’t many designs, there are unique styles to suit many tastes.
You call yourself an “old hippie”. What does hippie mean to you?
The name old hippie came from the mouth of the offspring a few years ago. The old hippie is reminiscent of such a slightly special person, colorful, bohemian, out of the ordinary, and in a positive way weird. I see such traits in myself.
You make clothes, bags and even shoes. Has dressing always been your profession?
I drifted into the clothing industry a bit by accident. I got my child at a very young age and at the age of 22 had maternity leave and care leave in a package and applied to study. I primarily focus on completely different fields, but I put the artisan studies in the clothing industry at Wetterhoff, half of my play, as a last resort on the joint application form, I never thought I would sew anything at all. So it so happened that I ended up studying the clothing industry and before long I realized that this is exactly what I want to do.
Where did your love for recycling and reuse of materials come from?
My passion for recycled materials also comes from study times. As a studying single parent, I couldn’t afford to buy new fabrics. However, the passion for doing it was hard, so I got big old clothes from the flea marketers and sewed new ones.
The versatile and colorful style also requires a lot of different materials. Where do the materials you use come from?
I obtain materials mainly through a few players in the recycling industry. Unsalable clothing is a great material. I also do weekly flea market tours and the local people already know that old clothes can be brought to my office, so few of those days have a bag waiting at the door.
Hoodies in a sprawling style
Heli's rich style has been refined in hoodies with feedback from the offspring, but the colors and patterns continue to be a delight. The Rönsy hoodie now has a well-proven formula, the variation of which material brings to life time and time again as a different, completely individual product.
Muppetie's Elukka, Tipi, and the skull fit well in the same hoodie.
You are especially adept at combining different colors and patterns. How do ideas come from different combinations?
Ideas often come from a particular garment, pattern, or print. For example, a frog-themed print brings a vision of different shades of green and a frog in the middle of it all. Or there are several shirts that fit the same theme, such as shirts from a particular band or representatives of different bands but of the same genre. And then there are the “disturbed” hoodies, which combine the most insane patterns, texts and colors. Humor always and often works in the hoodies of a hidden tank with the hood of a hilarious detail like Pipsa Pig’s hoodie.
The hoodie may be born in half an hour from start to finish or it may wear out in five hours. It depends a lot on the excitement to pile up small patches and think about whether this is good for each song and what if I put this and this and this or that ... Sometimes the hoodie practically tells itself what it will be like and I just work as instructed: D it so happens that I dig up lining material from a material warehouse, for example, and come across a fun print while digging in it, which gives rise to a new idea and before long it has four new hoodies in progress in addition to the original one.
Recycled materials have a story to tell
You’re quite a wordmaker, and after every Madame handbag, you write a story where the bag tells of its journey from abandoned material to a new, handsome bag. The stories are a big part of the charm of the bags and also show how much of the idea for the work has actually been used. What does the stories mean to you?
Stories are born as if by nature. I have always been a storyteller and it has been my habit to develop life stories, especially for inanimate objects. For example, I always name my car, shape it, and annoy my adult children by talking about the car as if it were a living being.
I feel that the story adds value to the product, it gives it a voice, a face and a personality. The journey of the material with all its stages also brings soul and edge to the new product. The story brings out the personality I imagined in the bag and speaks it with a voice.
Excerpt from Madame Ingrid's story:
"I'm Madame Ingrid, born in the limelight! It was the 1970s and I was at the top of my career. I could list a long list of big stars who have started their careers under a gentle look. I was once a curtain. And no ordinary window curtain, but rather a curtain. So in a very important position.
The soloist of a singing and playing band had enjoyed too many refreshments and faltered in the middle of the performance. Of course, I was there when my help was needed and bravely fluttered to soften the collision between the soloist’s forehead and the floor. He survived the bruising, I tore my entire top length into two parts. My career ended there. My injuries were too serious. But look at me now! "
How was the first Madame bag born?
The precursor to the Madame bag was born about 15 years ago from an army weapon. It had the right collars as handles and the material was a gray tab from the State Costume Factory's warehouses. It’s a terribly dull and gloomy material, so I set out to develop the model in a more spacious direction and changed the material to a lighter one. Jackets, woolen skirts and the like were first, and since then I have expanded into curtains, tablecloths and other home textiles. Today, Madams are born from almost every possible material. One of the wildest was Madame X, made of faux leather, latex, lace and mesh with metal rings and rivets.