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Witnessing and being part of the change in the fashion industry

· Materiaalit · This Is Not a Webinar 2021 · Virtuaalitapahtuma

Hannele Piirainen wishes that women already working in technology would support other women. That is one reason why she participated in this event.

Hannele Piirainen works in Zalando in Helsinki’s office as the Principal Product Designer. She works in the Recommerce-unit which develops and maintains Zalando’s pre-owned business activity. The Helsinki based office offers technological support for these needs of the Recommerce-unit. Piirainen started her work-life in Nokia. After Nokia she worked as a consultant in multiple different companies.

“I liked how diverse my days were as a consultant. At some point, a dream of being able to develop products from the beginning to the end sparked in me. That is when I moved to Zalando,” Piirainen explains.

AHA-moments for you and for me

Piirainen gets most of her inspiration from other people. The moments when she gets to see how her work helps people in tangible ways are valuable.

“We always think big in Zalando. My work will end up being an experience for millions of people. We can affect people’s behavior with our new services. This is very exciting and carries a big responsibility within.”

The fashion and clothing industry, together with many others, are on the verge of big change. Piirainen finds it interesting to be able to witness this change. She hopes that she can add her own two cents into directing this development in a positive direction. For her future, Piirainen wishes more moments of epiphanies in her work.

“I wish I can provide these big AHA!-moments, too, so that I wouldn’t be just receiving them,” Piirainen says.

It is okay to take your time to learn

Piirainen wants to remind us that there is never any hurry. Sometimes learning something new will take its time but it is okay.

“The needed skills in the technology field can appear too much when you start in the IT-field because there is so much to learn. However, the work is always done in teams, so no one must have all the skills needed for the whole project or know everything by themselves. This is a mythical unicorn that doesn’t exist!” Piirainen laughs.

For women already working in the IT-field she sends the following request:

“Help other women out! I have been supported and helped so much in my career that now it is my turn to give support back.”

Investing in diversity and inclusion is the right thing to do

Zalando is a diverse, dynamic group of people, united by a shared purpose: to reimagine fashion for the good of all. Every day, Zalando brings style to millions of customers.

“We find new ways to push the boundaries of technology. We solve problems that have never been solved before. Everyone who works here has the chance to make a real impact – on customers, the fashion industry, and the wider world”, sums up the community manager Elina Zimpfer from Zalando’s Helsinki office.

Zalando aims to make every day a day where an employee can learn, develop and grow whilst being surrounded by experts who know the industry inside out. A career in Zalando is like a great adventure, where one can go as far as the ambition takes them.

Zalando is taking a part in This is not a webinar-event because they want to give back to the community. They want to give all their female employees an opportunity to grow by mentoring, workshop organizing and peer support.

“We invest heavily in diversity and inclusion in Zalando, because we believe it is not just the smart thing to do but the right thing to do,” Zimpfer says.

Zalando wants to remind everyone that we all are stronger together. The field of technology is wide and open with various roles besides the classic engineering. Technology is everywhere and it should reflect the diversity of society.

A better tomorrow for everyone, nature included, is an important goal for Zalando. Since October 2019, Zalando has been carbon neutral in its own operations, as well as all deliveries and returns. The company also has set science-based targets to reduce their greenhouse emissions, in line with the Paris Agreement.

This Is Not a Webinar

Hannele Piirainen was with Maria Lumiaho in #mimmitkoodaa event on spring 2021. Their speak was Zalando Zircle – Extending the life of fashion and presentation description belongs as follows:

A linear fashion system is not sustainable. Items are sold, worn, and – in the worst-case – put into landfills after the owner discards them. The fashion industry needs to make better use of the planet’s scarce resources and apply the principles of circularity to fashion. In the talk, Zalando’s Product Designers, Maria and Hannele will tell you about Zalando’s goal of creating a net positive impact both for people and the planet with Zalando Zircle.