The Utua Story & Values
The Utua story started back in 2013 when Piia Vähäsalo was thinking about her future options. She had then left her dear job in the rescue service behind and was trying to find a new direction in her life. Piia was born in a creative family and she had always loved handbags. At the same time, Piia’s sister Terhi, who leads the Sievi brand company, which sells high-quality Finnish Sievi shoes, constantly received requests for high-quality handbags suitable for Finnish women. Piia decided to take up the challenge, and the first collection came out in 2014.
Today, Utua’s offering includes a wide range of bags and accessories. Through our bags we want to offer our customers luxury for their daily lives. This means offering long-lasting products, which are carefully handmade out of high-quality materials. Utua products suit the Scandinavian taste well with their clear, simplified designs. Utua is also knows for the joyful colours of their products!
In the summer and winter mornings, you can see delicate fog hanging above the Ostrobothnian fields. This fog, utu in Finnish, gave inspiration for the company’s name. The Utua logo also symbolises this beautiful nature’s phenomenon.
Utua is a Finnish brand, whose designer is Piia Vähäsalo. Her studio is located in the old town part of Raahe, by the Pekka Square.
The Utua bags are made out of high-quality leather, produced in Italy. The most important criteria for choosing partners for Utua is their ethical and ecological values. We want that the leather production takes the environment into consideration, so modern processes, dealing with water filtering for instance, are very important. We also want that the people who handle the leather material to have a good and safe working environment.
The Utua bags are sewn in a small family-owned studio in Greece. Production is mainly done by hand, and the people in the production have decades of experience in handling leather. Manufacturing is done by hand; thus, production quantities are small.
The leather used in the Utua bags is a by-product from the food manufacturing
industry, which makes the re-use of this leather as material for a long-lasting bag an ecological act itself. The leather manufacturing is done according to the
ISO14001:2004 environmental standard, and the leather hides usually come, to the large degree, from the Nordic countries. Material efficiency and product life optimisation are taken into consideration already in the design part of the process. Manufacturing of the Utua bags takes place in Europe, thus transportation distances are shorter than for products made outside Europe.
Founder, Head Designer
Utua’s Designer Piia Vähäsalo has always loved handbags