Secco - Treasures of Wasteland

Monday 8 June 2009, by Lena Figge, Maxime Corteau, Nicole Uehlemann

5 inspired

The purpose of Secco is to give a second life to potentially useless waste. As a matter of fact, they acquire raw materials from waste collection and recycling companies. They create products such as handbags, bowls, jewellery, key chains, made for instance of inner tires, old key boards and vinyl records. The biggest part or the products is manufactured by hand. In Jyväskylä, Finland the main activities are taking place. In the company’s activities, the ideas of innovative designers, producers, material collectors and recyclers are combined. They state their products are of high quality, sustainable and made to last, with a strong interest in environmental issues. Their core customers are urban, educated and design-conscious people with a strong interest in innovation and environmental issues.

In addition to the production, Secco organises workshops, in which people are taught how to create a product out of waste. They also give people who are interested in environmental issues a chance to become a Wasteland citizen and through that part of a sustainable community. Therefore, they try to involve the population in their activities and increase their environmental consciousness. If one desires to become a retail seller, it is possible to apply for it. Secco co-operates with suitable local and international partner companies and prefers social enterprises which, for example, employ long-term unemployed, disabled and immigrants.

The ethical challenge which Secco addresses is to show that potential useless waste can still be used for making products when thinking in a creative and innovative way. This is amongst other things done by providing workshops as mentioned previously. In other words, Secco sees waste as an opportunity.

As shown by the figures above, the profit is not the company’s first priority. Instead of trying to make as much profit as possible they focus on values like sustainability, innovation, quality and cooperation. Secco has to differentiate themselves from other companies claiming to be ethical by demonstrating their ethical implications compared to the others. All in all, it is difficult for them to concentrate on operating ethically if they do not put enough importance on the economic side, from which their survival depends. Concluding, in order to be sustainable Secco must achieve a trade off between ethical and economic point of view.


1. Secco (2009). SECCO & the Treasures of Wasteland. Retrieved May 27, 2009, from World Wide Web:
2. Salo, Tommi (2008). Turning waste into treasure. Human Technology City Journal, 2008-01. Retrieved May 27, 2009, from World Wide Web:
3. Fonecta (2009). Secco Finland Oy. Retrieved May 27, 2009, from World Wide Web:ÄSKYLÄ/taloustiedot/545589/
4. Virtanen, Viivi (2007). Kun jätteestä syntyy uniikki aarre [When waste becomes a unique treasure]. Jyväskylän Kaupungin Tiedotuslehti, 2007-07. Retrieved May 27, 2009, from World Wide Web:

Location: Petäjävesi (Finland)

Sector: consumer products

Official website:

Key figures:

Secco is a finish company of 4 employees. By 2007 the company was working with 20 external designers as well as with subcontractors in Finland, Vienna and Frankfurt. Since the beginning of the operations in 2004, it has been operating internationally, namely in Europe, USA, Taiwan and Japan. In 2007 Secco products could be found in 50 retail stores. During the first four years of operating Secco’s profits were negative.
The turnover was 45 000 € in 2004, 98 000 € in 2005, 145 000 € in 2006 and 176 000 € in 2007, respectively. Consequently, a steady growth rate is noticeable.

Nbr. visits: 719

Nbr. inspires: 5