In partnership with Catalyst Future Fashion and Global Fashion Exchange, the first day of the ModaLisboa’s Check Point platform was oriented towards the recognition of the latest developments in innovation by some companies that make up the Portuguese textile industry cycle.
We started with Calvelex, a high-end women's clothing production company, which introduced at ModaLisboa its latest project, Fabrics4Fashion. The project comes from a background of more than 30 years of experience to respond to the need for a more sustainable business strategy that would allow the reuse of fabrics once considered deadstock or surplus production. By internal strategy, the company has been cataloging fabrics in the last 20 years; today they are sharing this material with industry, new designers, and even the general public; in short, Fabrics4Fashion wants to be the seed of the businesses of the future, enabling the purchase of fabrics without minimum quantities, which protect the budget of small-scale projects, and laying the foundations for the fashion industry to increasingly adopt a circular mindset and economy. Twenty thousand references are already cataloged, of which 7.500 are available for immediate purchase and shipment through their online store. The road is paved and Calvelex wants to set an example for the rest of the industry by promoting more responsible and conscientious attitudes, close to all professionals operating in the field.
We continue with Inovafil, the “younger sister” of Mundifios company, which was founded in 2015 to respond to the demand for special yarns by customers who want to be in direct contact with their developments. Inovafil's product range extends to sports, protection and fashion, and the mission of sustainability is present throughout the offer; the company's attention is invested in all of its work, from in-house tests to organic cotton, to the use of kapok fiber (which reduces the amount of water used in a piece), cupro cotton linters, nettles (which do not require the use of pesticides and herbicides), and even those that are certainly the fibers of the future: lyocell with Refibra technology (which offer traceability and easy reuse), and lactic polyacid (with a biodegradation time of months versus the decades required by polyesters). “Sustainability is not fashion, but a guarantee of the future,” and Inovafil intends to continue to do more and better.
Tintex, on the other hand, is a finishing and dyeing company, as well as a textile producer. Founded in 1998 in Vila Nova de Cerveira, the strategy focused on sustainability, and the search for solutions to an unresolved problem, have been present since its first steps. When we talk about the future, the company believes that new business models must be based on the combination of innovation, transparency and design. Recognized nationally and internationally for being constantly at the forefront of ideas and projects, Tintex is currently positioned as a brand and as a communication force, approaching its customers, but also its partners. As a symbol of this new era, they have presented to the audience the three main projects they have at hand, and which promise to contribute to a more responsible industry: The Picasso Project aims to advance natural dyeing techniques, replacing synthetic dyes with natural extracts (plants and mushrooms); The TexBoost Project, which mobilizes the textile industry, is part of circular economy practices and wants to find sustainable and natural alternatives for its customers; and finally, the Texbion Project, which aims to develop a synthetic fiber that is not of fossil origin, but natural, using a renewable source polymer from nature. The company concludes its presentation with a reminder that Portugal is a very small country, and for that very reason there is no excuse for not collaborating more and more for a better future.
Then we shifted our focus to Scoop, a ski, streetwear, and loungewear company. With 25 years of experience trained in Vila Nova de Famalicão, the company prides itself on responsible, transparent and ethical production towards its workers, environment and partners (something that has been very present in ADN since its foundation). The sustainability of the industry is not only about the practices applied to clothing, but also about the appreciation and recognition of the people who make it happen. Following this same motto, Scoop decided to move forward with the creation of the “3 in a Row” program (which is in the process of being approved by the government), which aims to promote and support the reconciliation of workers' personal, family and professional lives. In addition, they have a number of acknowledgments and commitments signed in the area of social responsibility, such as the UN Global Compact, and the preparation of the GRI report. Already in response to the global movement to make the fashion industry increasingly sustainable, Scoop challenged one of its big customers, PVH (Tommy Hilfiger), to reuse fabrics from past productions that resulted in the creation of a collection. Still in the field of collaborations, there are the projects Fashion Revolution (creation of uniforms) and Blue Soul (upcycling jeans); Both projects were created with a view to providing greater support to the lives of their seamstresses, with funds reverting to training support and salary increases.
“People, Profit and Planet” are the three P's that make up Scoop's ecosystem; The hope is to be able to inspire more companies to take a holistic but also 360 ° perspective on the future of sustainability, because “the cost of inaction is greater than that of action”.
Finally, we welcome Valérius, a clothing company located in Barcelos, to introduce us to their latest sustainability project, Valérius 360. Created in 2017, its main mission is to recycle cutting waste and fabric waste, making it possible to re-enter the production chain in the form of cotton thread or paper. Although the process is not yet industrialized, Valérius intends to “officialize” the system as early as 2020. The transformation of the materials begins with the collection of materials (which come from different sources), followed by its separation by composition and color, until the creation of fiber that will lead to new solutions; in the case of yarn, so that its length is as long as possible (this being an indicator of strength and quality), the insertion of fibers like lyocell is sovereign, so that the process becomes as sustainable as possible. With a remaining 8-year plan ahead, 2019 is considered the key year of Valérius 360's development, thanks to the first collection ever created and the final machine adjustments that will enable an industrial-level start-up.
We closed the presentation with the conclusion that Portugal is indeed acting, and seeking to do more and better with regard to the sustainability of the industry. The purpose of this meeting, which was to inspire, to show that the future is happening now, and to give the same testimony of power to the consumer himself, was fulfilled: it is in everyone's hands to buy less and better, because this is the ultimate reflection of the Fashion industry.