Last fall, Elsa Heiko, 38, got bored.

She went to try on hiking pants one after the other, but no model fit.

Everyone was too scarce at some point.

- I got bored of the situation and sent a message to the 50-year-old Finnish company Sasta that I needed pants, but they run out of size 46 and are too narrow, Elsa says.

It didn’t take long for Elsa to sit in a meeting with the model master and fashion designer.

At the end of April, the first pants were already on the market, and now they can be found up to size 58.

The pants can hold an even wider hip.

- It feels really great.

Even globally, it is rare for technically high-quality camping clothing to be made for larger ones.

In addition, the trousers are made close to and use organic cotton and recycled polyester, among other things.

When the first batch of pants ran out to size 50, Elsa received a feedback rush demanding an even wider size range.

Ryöppy messages have also come from the numerous Instagram pictures in which Elsa enjoys exercise: hiking, paddling, cycling.

Wow, I never thought I could do that too!

Would I fit in a canoe or kayak too?

- People have not usually seen a large woman doing kayaking, Elsa says.

Exercise is, in Elsa's words, incorrectly branded.

Elsa enjoys nature.

Sasta's Aava + hiking clothing collection, which Elsa has been involved in creating, can accommodate even a larger-sized walker. Photo: Maarit Vaahterano

- Few fit into the ideal conveyed by the sports catalog of media, social media and brands, Elsa says.

The stereotypical character is “a slim, white woman under the age of 40 with no physical disabilities, such as injuries”.

- If the pictures show obese, the default is that they are trying to lose weight and change their lifestyle.

Exercise programs, on the other hand, don’t take into account that people are very different.

- Moving my 100-pound body is much heavier than moving a 50-pound body.

This is rarely taken into account in running schools, for example.

The program is the same for everyone.

Or when sharing gym instructions, the idea is that everyone is capable of the same thing.

However, the 100-pound weight has much more to lift than the 50-pound fitness type.

- If I start making a ready-made program and I don't succeed in movements or repetitions, I feel bad, instead of thinking that the instruction is done poorly.

The warm-up section can be something like a whole workout.

“I get vigor and endurance from the movement.

When a week includes enough physical activity, I can cope better in everyday life, ”says Elsa. Photo: Maareta Ahonen

Thumbs up for all kinds of movers

Elsa enjoys everyday activity, cycling and walking, as well as moving around in nature.

She paddles, hikes and goes swimming.

An athletic lifestyle has had to be found as an adult.

- My body is not respected.

I have had the identity of a fat girl since I was little, even though it shouldn’t have been.

I've received comments about my weight, and losing weight calls since childhood.

Mobility has been encouraged through competition and the measurement and comparison of results.

It made me feel for a long time that movement was not my strength.

Associated with identity is the idea that exercise is inevitably a means of dieting.

- What is missing from today's sports catalog is that a large person can be active and mobile, even if he or she has no goal of change.

I would like all kinds of bodies to appear in media and commercial images without making any numbers out of it.

After having a child, Elsa no longer had time to complete a weight loss life.

It did good. Picture: Maarit Vaahterano

Slimming life takes unnecessary energy


It’s the word Elsa uses to describe the relationship to her own body.

She wants to take care of herself and her health.

In the past, Elsa mirrored everything to size.

Would you eat in public, how would you move, what could you do at all.

- I decided I didn't want to spend any more energy on this.

It takes a huge amount of resources if you think about everything through dieting, body and appearance.

Last spring, Elsa would pull a 50-mile paddling route and stayed a few times along the way.

After that, comments, pictures, and thanks rained down on his Instagram stories.

Many dared to try it for themselves.