It just feels right

Kaarna is an exquisite, exclusive and exotic elk leather product, designed for people who follow their own path in life and value premium quality and comfort that doesn’t come at the cost of sustainability.

Here in the Nordic North

Here in the Nordic North, in the endless expanses of wilderness, wanders a majestic and ancient wild beast: the Eurasian elk, a cousin of the North American moose. In this Arctic landscape, the elements create stark contrasts: the winters are long and freezing, the summers short and intense. From the blue hour of the polar night that paints the world in pastel colours and the bright green northern lights that dance in the night skies to the endless days of summer when the sun never sets, the Nordic North is full of magic.

The elk, the king of the forest, is perfectly at home in the extreme conditions of its habitat. Its fur is highly insulating yet breathable, protecting the animal from both frost and heat. These unique qualities, shaped by the harsh Arctic conditions, are transferred into the elk leather that we make.

Uniquely soft leather

Our tannery has been making our uniquely soft elk leather for three generations now. We have a deep respect for the life and dignity of the elk, Nordic nature and the long-standing tradition of leather making here. No elk are killed so we can make leather: we only use the skin of elk culled for the purpose of population control.

Our family company makes leather that meets the most demanding needs, leather that you can wear with great pride and in good conscience. Kaarna Elk Leather – it just feels right.

Feels good, feels right

When you touch *elk leather, you can feel its exquisite softness and breathability. It radiates warmth, luxury, safety and comfort. You have to feel it to believe it.

Elk leather is buttery soft to the touch, an unequalled combination of the strength and durability of thick leather and the suppleness and pliability of soft leather. It is exactly these qualities that make elk leather excellent for year-round use, putting it in a league of its own when used in shoes, gloves and accessories.
When you wear Kaarna Elk Leather, you’ll appreciate how natural and comfortable it feels. It feels good, and it feels right.

Exceptionally valued

*The elk is an untamed animal. It has always lived and will always live wild in its kingdom, deep in the wilderness. Elk can only live in certain environments and will not submit to being domesticated or kept in captivity.

The elk is a highly valued game animal that is difficult to hunt. In Finland, elk are only ever hunted to control the population, never for their skin. This is why the availability of elk hides is limited.

Because elk hides are such a rare and precious raw material, the focus of our production is on a limited product palette and long production runs. Kaarna will never be mass-produced. Each hide we process is a unique natural product: the leather bears the marks of a life lived in the wild.

We supply Kaarna Elk Leather only to select customers in the footwear, glove and bag industry around the world. Kaarna Elk Leather is exceptionally valued everywhere.

The right choice

Genuinely ecological and ethical leather is made of the hides of animals that have led a free and happy life in the wild. Because the elk’s only natural predators are wolves and bears, the elk population must be controlled by licensed hunting to prevent overpopulation and preserve the vitality of the species. If we did not salvage the hides, they would be left to rot in the forest.

Sustainably produced genuine leather is a more ecological choice than synthetic leather, which is made of fossil fuel-based chemicals and other materials that are not biodegradable. Some of our Kaarna hides are vegetable-tanned. Vegetable tanning is a method that has been used for thousands of years, and getting it right requires an in-depth knowledge of this traditional craft. Combining the craft with modern production planning and control has allowed us to reduce our ecological footprint.

Kaarna can be worn in good conscience. It’s a responsible right choice.

Sustainably produced genuine leather is also a more ethical choice than leather produced industrially in low-cost production countries. Because we depend on forests for our raw materials, taking care of the environment is a matter we take very personally. We treat all our employees with respect and dignity and ensure that they have equal opportunities and a safe work environment.

Products made of Kaarna leather are long-lasting and durable. With the right care, genuine leather ages beautifully and lasts for generations.

Long live the king of the forest

The elk has been leaving its mark on human culture since the Stone Age. This massive solitary beast has ruled the wilderness for thousands of years, inspiring awe in people throughout the ages. The elk plays a central role in the mythology of most northern cultures, from the Nordic countries to North America. The national epic of Finland, the Kalevala, includes a tale in which forest demons fabricate an elk and give it a skin made of spruce bark. This is the inspiration for the name of Kaarna Elk Leather: kaarna is the Finnish word for tree bark.

Much like the elk, the people of the Nordic North are strong, determined and resourceful. Harsh conditions have turned us into a hardy lot, able to survive in the Arctic environment. In the old times, Finns were in fact called “the tribe of the elk”.

Even today, the king of the forest rules over the vast northern wilderness. Elk are at home roaming the forests, wandering the wetlands, grazing by the thousands of lakes, drinking from the crystal-clear brooks and wading through the deep winter snow.

There is order in this kingdom. Everything is done as it always has been done. Because it works. Year after year, decade after decade, century after century, passed down from generation to generation.

Kaarna Elk Leather is about preserving this age-old wisdom. It is about leading by example. It’s our legacy. And it just feels right.