How to remain at the cutting edge of the textiles & fashion industry and yet remain close to the people and our planet? Portugal seems to be a trendsetter in this field, becoming rapidly recognized as the leader in the field of sustainable textile and clothing industry.
The public in Brussels had a chance to attend an event “Sustainable Fashion from Portugal: Meeting the Belgian Market”, organized by ATP – Associação Têxtil e Vestuário de Portugal – in cooperation with AICEP Portugal Global. ATP is Portugal’s national association for the textile and clothing industry while AICEP represents a government business entity, focused in encouraging the best foreign companies to invest in Portugal companies abroad in their internationalization processes or export activities.
The goal of the event was to present some of the latest industry developments and the growing trend of sustainability along the whole fashion value chain in Portugal but also to showcase the concrete examples from Portuguese fashion designers. This was also an excellent opportunity to meet with the local partners and other interested parties from Belgium but also to connect with the wider Brussels/EU audience.
The event was opened by H.E. Antonio Alves Machado, Ambassador of Portugal in Belgium who emphasized the importance of sustainability and also pointed out the cooperation possibilities with Belgium, a market that is becoming increasingly interesting for Portuguese textile industry.
The introductory remarks were done by Mario Jorge Machado (Vice-President, ATP) and Eric Magnus (General Manager, CREAMODA).
Textile industry in Portugal is at the forefront of the shift that is happening in the fashion world. Global population is growing, accompanied with a growing demand for goods and products. However, the resources are limited and the expectations of the consumers are also growing, since more and more consumers demand environmentally-friendly products. This is sometimes creating a burden for the production industry but is also creating the opportunities – which is exactly where textile industry in Portugal decided to make its mark. Focusing on opportunities and innovation, it can be stated that technology and sustainability represent two major factors that differentiate Portuguese fashion industry.
Further discussions followed on the topic of “Sustainability along the fashion value chain” with the participation of Ana Silva (Head of Sustainability, TINTEX), Antonio Braz Costa (Director general, CITEVE and CeNTI) and Miguel Mendes (Sales and Innovation, A. SAMPAIO). The session was moderated by Cathy Smith and also touched upon the importance of research & development in the field of clothing industry and reasons that make Portugal unique in this regard.
The event took place in a beautiful venue – Le Bouche à Oreille, which was perfect to showcase some of the designs and productions that were prepared for this occasion. A mini fashion show was on display – works of designer Kathy Xiomara were presented, while the Green Circle Showcase (by Associacao Selectiva Moda and CITEVE) offered a chance to see and touch clothes made of recycled materials, namely plastic bottles collected from the ocean!
The presentation was followed by the reception (which naturally included Portuguese Port Wine and food) and offered an opportunity to network with stakeholders and partners from the Belgian market.