On the first international trip since the pandemic, PCIAW® visited our Portuguese partner ANIVEC/APIV, the National Association of Apparel and Apparel Industries, located in the quaint coastal city of Porto – the home of Portuguese textiles.
Upon reception from the President of ANIVEC and Founding PCIAW® Board Director César Araújo, the team discussed the ambition of Portugal to become the hub of sustainable clothing and textiles production and to enhance its already gained reputation for the finest quality manufacture.
Advocating for sustainable development in textiles
Portugal as a textiles nation is a fervent advocate for the sustainable advancement of the industry; it has also been focusing on greater investment in the digitalisation of production, for productivity and enhanced quality, simultaneously creating more efficient practices that lowers the environmental impact even further.
PCIAW® toured the five of the most renowned companies in Porto, experiencing first-hand the existing verticalisation of the garment sector that comprise the unique Portuguese textiles ecosystem.
Exploring digitalisation in the textiles industry
Together we toured the factories with Portuguese Government representatives intrigued to explore the progress in digitalisation with the Director General of Economic Activities, Fernanda Ferreira Dias, Deputy Director General of Economic Activities, Marta Lima Basto, Director of Commercial Policy Services, Alice Rodrigues, Director of Business Policy Services, Anabela Silva, Director of European Affairs Services Catarina Mendes Leal.
Through a heritage of tailoring, Calvelex has mastered the art of high-end design. Equipped with state-of-the-art factories and 700 highly skilled employees, it is clear how advanced Calvelex is in the digital age. The 3D design facility leverages their vast digital platform, Fabrics4Fashion, to give its clients an unimaginable selection of beautiful fabrics to invigorate garments for corporatewear and fashion. Through digitalisation, Calvelex can support Portuguese students with access to its digital platforms and connect industry with education and replenish the talent pool that the Portuguese textiles ecosystem thrives from.
One of the oldest textile companies in Portugal since 1927, Riopele has become one of the finest fabric manufacturers in the world with 24/7 operations, spanning 1000 employees on three-shift rotations for maximum productivity. Riopele produces a vast collection of fabrics using natural and synthetic fibres is leading the way in the adoption of recycled fibres in its sustainable collection. Riopele integrates the areas of R&D, spinning, dyeing, twisting, weaving, and finishing, offering a vertical production system that can meet the current demands of the fast-paced fashion and professional clothing industry.
Pioneers in the field of printed fabrics, Adalberto’s cutting-edge in-house design teams digitally produce original artwork for luxury fabric ranges for fashion, uniforms, and home textiles. Producing approximately 20 million square metres of fabrics annually, Adalberto is trend-setting in nature, anticipating the future with its creative flair.
The company’s tech-savvy approach has a keen eye on sustainability with the adoption of digital printing equipment that enhances its ability to provide flexibility in MOQs and produce smaller sample sizes to avoid waste.
A global success story in the Portuguese textiles industry, Polopiqué is technologically advanced in its production with significant investment in renewable energy for sustainable production. Offering vertical production from raw material to garment manufacture, Polopiqué delivers ideas, solutions and designs for fashion brands and uniforms to clients worldwide.
Polopiqué has invested in high-tech machinery and automation to create efficient processes with consistent quality the garment and uniform industry can rely on.
Renowned for its expertise in manufacturing shirts for men, Triple Marfel has 75 years of traditional skill sets passed down through generations.
As PCIAW® toured the factory, we saw layers of premium fabrics intricately ironed in preparation for the patterns to be drawn and cut. The teams of sewers then transformed the separate components into 1400 shirts per day with the impeccable skills that the Triple Marfel brand is infamous for.