Luhta is one of the largest sportswear companies in the Nordic countries. Active people in over fifty countries around the world appreciate and depend on our personal smart-choice brands, all of which reflect an uncompromising Finnish heritage and Nordic know-how.
We are committed to intensive customer and end-user focus, creative innovation consistently delivering dynamic design, quality production and effective marketing.
Our unswerving passion and purpose is to make you win – by offering unmatched experiences to our end-users, or real value to our employees, partners and investors.
Luhta Sportwear Company in brief
Luhta Sportswear Company is a Finnish family business founded in 1907 in Lahti, where we still maintain our headquarters. Well established, financially robust and a trustworthy employer, partner and corporate citizen, we are one of the largest sportswear manufacturers in the Nordics. We employ 1,330 people. Group turnover is some €204 million.
Our best-known brands are Luhta, Icepeak, Rukka, Torstai, Dachstein, Ril’s, O.i.s. and Your FACE. Our retail brands are Luhta Brand Stores, Aleksi 13 and Top Sport. Our principal export markets are Europe, Asia and North America.
Luhta Sportswear Company combines dynamic design, quality production, solid customer understanding and effective marketing into a portfolio of smart-choice brands. This focus gives us deep insight into creating maximum long-term value for all our stakeholders.
We strive to anticipate evolving consumer expectations and continuously reinvent our forward planning to match them most profitably. By maintaining close customer and end-user focus, we have the most powerful tools for achieving commercial success and building an enduring reputation.
To be the most preferred sportswear company in the industry, delivering measurable value to our employees, partners, end-users and investors.
To continuously explore new profit opportunities, and develop our brand and product offering to meet tomorrow's market expectations today.
ENTREPRENEURSHIP is our foundation
We are a Finnish family business with a history spanning more than 100 years – a well established, financially robust and a trustworthy employer, partner and corporate citizen. A close-knit group of committed, actively involved individuals with a shared ambition to excel. We respect knowledge, experience and each other. Believing in ourselves and in what we do makes the difference.
INNOVATION is our core competence
We question everything, because curiosity is the route to innovation and success. We combine design, production and marketing into a portfolio of smart-choice brands.
Our focus on these 3 perspectives gives us deep insight into creating the best long-term value for all parties who sell or use our products – and it helps us to increase our competitiveness in the marketplace.
TRANSFORMATION is our edge
At every stage of development, operations and transformation, we stay close to our customers and act more agile than our competitors. We strive to anticipate future changes and continuously reinvent how we work to match them most profitably. We remain focused and decisive, and move quickly to create the best long-term value for ourselves and our stakeholders.
EXPERIENCE is our future weapon
By combining our experience and insight with strong customer and end-user focus, we create powerful tools for achieving commercial success and for building a trustworthy reputation.
By making the most of our family business heritage and by grasping constantly evolving end-user expectations, we help everyone to stand out – however and wherever they challenge themselves
PERFORMANCE is how we build success
We add long-term value to everything we do. We listen and learn, and optimise the way we operate to address our markets in the most profitable way.
Our heritage drives us to deliver value and return on investment to our investors, retail customers and consumers alike – while sustaining our financially robust, trustworthy and caring reputation.
You WIN WITH US
Winners never stop at the finishing line. Their sights are already on the next challenge. We stay curious, always on the lookout for new directions in design, production and marketing – always responsive to the ever-changing dynamics of end-user and retailer demand. We draw on the unique insights of a business history spanning more than one hundred years, as well as today’s solid reputation for financial strength, close relationships and corporate trust. We listen and learn. We question everything. We anticipate the opportunities of tomorrow, and encourage our people to maximize their true potential. Staying alert and flexible enables us to create competitive advantage, transform our insights to differentiating end-user experiences, and deliver long-term value for our employees and partners.
With us, you win.
Vihtori Luhtanen decided to start his own company in 1907. His wife designed and sewed whilst Vihtori was responsible for the sales. In the early 1910’s Vihtori Luhtanen employed two seamstresses and this was the first step towards creating his own sewing workshop.
The first industrial sewing workshop
At the age of 23, Jaakko Luhtanen travelled to Helsinki where he contacted successful negotiations with the Board Members of the Wholesalers Association which accepted his company as a customer. This was a significant step in the growth of the business. The operation was expanded. The construction of the first industrial sewing workshop was completed in 1928 at the old business location close to the railway station in Lahti. The workforce now consisted of 30 people.
Thrift saved the company during the recession in the early 1930’s. Its economical operating methods were emphasised when the competition was tough. Only direct labour costs and material were taken into account in the pricing. Everybody was working hard and at great speed. Moleskin trousers, Regatta-tunics and men’s flannel underpants were in production.
Trust between generations
Vihtori Luhtanen gradually delegated the business responsibilities to the next generation and in 1944 Jaakko Luhtanen became the managing director of the company. The war years were difficult for the company, and the years immediately after the war were not easy either as there was a constant shortage of textile materials. Fabrics were mainly woven from paper. Nearly every possible item of textiles or clothing was included in the production programme from hats to vest and to ties. The demand was high and the supply was limited. After the war the company sold only to its former customers and even to them only in the same ratio that they had made purchases from the company in 1939. New customers were not accepted and no short term profit was sought. Profound trust was developed between the seller and the customer.
Rationalisation of production
By the 1950’s supply and competition had returned to normal. the range of products was retrieved and more emphasis was placed on leisure wear.
A decade of fashion and globalisation
In the 1960’s Luhta had a huge success as a brand name in Finland and it offered a pioneering collection which was modern, colourful and light. The main products were blouses, shirts and trousers. Simultaneously, new distribution channels were developed. The products were now sold directly to specialist shops and department stores instead of to wholesalers.
Radical product development
Luhta penetrated the international markets in the early 1970’s. This was advanced by Luhta’s competitive prices as a result of the devaluation of the Finnish mark in the late 1960’s, Luhta’s successful factory investment in Portugal and the decline of the clothing industry in Sweden.
The unique Luhta style develops
In the early 1980’s Luhta sales continued to grow, both in Finland and across the Continent. Luhta’s unique design was just right for the fashion trends of the day. Luhta had found its niche in skiwear in the international markets. The production of its old lines was discontinued, although these were to be re-started later.
Period of significant changes
A severe recession hit Finland in the early 1990’s and the consumption of clothing decreased. Many clothing manufacturers ceased trading and the total workforce fell from 30,000 to 6,000.
Luhta had become a group of companies and its name was changed to L-Fashion Group. At the moment the group’s business units are creating their visions for the new millennium. The units are determined to succeed.