“Zona Industrial Moda Portugal” is a new business initiative promoted by CENIT (Portuguese Centre of Intelligence for the Textile Industry) and ANIVEC (Portuguese Association for Clothing and Apparel Industries). Co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, as part of the Portugal 2020 Operational Programme for Competitiveness and Internationalization, the initiative aims to promote Portuguese craftsmanship on an international level – and proves that the Portuguese textile industry stayed strong amidst the European crisis.
“Moda Portugal wishes to promote the Portuguese fashion industry with the purpose of showing that Portugal is the best sourcing partner for any international brand or designer,” stated Luis Hall Figueiredo, President of CENIT and Moda Portugal. In this context, last night, Zona Industrial Moda Portugal’s first event was launched in Paris’ buzzing Le Marais district, where it hosted renowned Portuguese textile manufacturers including Calvelex, Paulo de Oliveira, Polopique, Riopele, and Twintex. Invited guests were able to immerse themselves in a digital installation designed by the Portuguese designer Miguel Flor. It featured an industrial environment evoking the movement and dynamics of a factory while showcasing the craftsmanship and products of the aforementioned companies through video and photography. “We want to showcase the traditions, savoir-faire, cutting edge technology, and service proximity that, allied with a constant focus on sustainability and environmental concerns, are some of the best features the Portuguese industry has to offer,” Figueiredo added.
The above-mentioned companies have all made a name for themselves by incorporating sustainable practices across their entire business chain, as well as investing in the production of high-quality fabrics, based on natural, synthetic, artificial, and recycled fibers. However, their established success might be threatened by Europe’s ongoing identity crisis. “Portugal’s textile industry is closely monitoring the developments in the future of the European Union, including Brexit, as its heavily relying on the European market,” Paulo Vaz, Director General of ATP, the Textile and Clothing Association of Portugal, explained in an official report by the ATP earlier this year. In fact, the 2016 Brexit referendum has led sales in the UK to decrease by 12% – an alarming fact, if one considers that European sales determine 80% of Portugal’s textile industry’s performance. Needless to say, the European identity crisis has undoubtedly taken its toll on South European countries for the past 10 years. However – and much to the surprise of industry professionals – the Portuguese textile industry has grown. According to Vaz, textiles are currently responsible for more than 130,000 jobs in Portugal, and the turnover of the whole sector was estimated at €7.6 billion in 2018. Figueiredo also stayed positive, as he mentioned Moda Portugal’s future developments: “We plan to host similar events and presentations during the upcoming editions of Paris men’s and women’s ready-to-wear in order to keep telling stories about our strong textile industry and enable future partnerships.”