How has « Made in Portugal » become a reference?A meeting in Porto to visit shoe and accessory factories that today, are very well represented by APPICAPS, an association with 700 Portuguese members and whose exports are constantly growing with 83,3 million pairs of shoes sold to 150 different countries in 2017. Luis Onofre, owner of his own brand and President of APPICAPS, tells us that their success is thanks to the quality of the product above all.Yet even though between 50% and 90% of the production from each house is used for other labels, Portuguese shoes are developing their own brand simultaneously. Such is the case with Felmini, the family run brand crafted in the heights of Porto who employs 160 people to create original boots offered in leather that has been worked in various ways. Modernisation is at the heart of Kyaia Group, which has developed three brands including Fly London, using machines created in collaboration with universities. Modernisation, quality and expertise are the elements that are sought after by big luxury and ready-to-wear brands who continue to produce their accessories in these factories, like Belcinto, who sells up to 3000 bags every week. Now, the new challenge that Made in Portugal has to face is eco-responsibility. Vegetable tanned leather, the traceability of materials as well as finding different means of production will be without doubt the new challenge of Portuguese companies for years to come. Interview with Luis Onofre:It’s important to feel that good quality and the good materials make good shoes. And sometimes if we are not thinking this way, probably we will loose in the future a big quantity of knowledge that has been passed from generation to generation and we can loose it if we don’t appreciate more the value of handmade shoes and of very good quality of materials. Working and speaking for all of the industry and the brands, I think it’s important to have this definition of made in Portugal and the quality that is related with our products. Interview with João Monteiro:In Mr.Fortunato’s vision and he’s the man that started all of this, he always had a very modern vision, he started and we made already a few partnerships with some universities for example is to develop from the beginning some technologies specifically oriented for the shoe industry, for the shoe factories, and this made all the difference.It’s also very important to control as much as we could of the process. If we were dependant on others maybe we couldn’t do it because it was not so efficient or like this we can try out some new things for us, and do whatever we want keeping it in ourselves. So this is very important.
How has « Made in Portugal » become a reference?
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