• Jennifer Marks

Portugal Ramps Up Exports

Textiles industry heads to NYC to show its stuff

Portugal’s textile industry has the wind at its back and it looking to make the most of it.

Last year, total textiles turnover from the country reached 7.3 billion Euros (approximately $8.6 billion), with exports accounting for 70% of the business.

“This figure, which had only been obtained at the beginning of the first decade of the century, is a good illustration of the current profile of the Portuguese textile and clothing industry, which was able to carry out an extraordinary reconversion and modernization of its companies, being an international case study, since it achieved the best results now with half of the companies and workers it had at that time,” the industry trade association, Portuguese Textiles and Apparel Association (ATP), said of the results.

To reinforce the Portuguese textile and clothing sector, the ATP launched a program this year called “Fashion From Portugal.” It focused on four strategic markets – the U.S., Spain, Germany and the Nordic countries – and promotes Portuguese textiles in three silos: brands/fashion/design, private label and home textiles.

Fashion bedding from Bovi Fashion
Freitas Exhibitors will include Burel
Freitas & Dores Burel

This program is co-financed by the European Structural and Investment Funds (FEEI), by POCI (Operational Program for Competitiveness and Internationalization), Portugal 2020 and COMPETE 2020.

As part of that effort, four Portuguese home furnishings companies will take part in the NY Now show at the Javits Center in Manhattan this month.

Bovi, manufacturer of fashion bedding, bath towels, table linens, robes, dec pillows, loungewear and infant goods;

Sorema, producer of premium bath towels and bath rugs;

Burel Mountain Originals, maker of fabrics, blankets and bedspreads, dec pillows, stools, accessories, coats and sweaters;

Freitas & Dores, which specializes in home décor made of pewter.

Home textiles producers from Portugal will return to New York next month for the New York Home Fashions Market.

ATP said the country’s textile industry has shifted over the past two decades from an emphasis on price to value in response to competition from low-cost countries. The focus now is on fashion, design, technological innovation, logistics and international markets.

“The geographical and cultural proximity of the main customers, who rely on the fast and flexible response, has determined the Portuguese textile industry to offer the shortest lead time in the world, which varies from two to six weeks, depending on the type of product,” the ATP said.

Home textiles represent nearly 40% of the Sector´s exports to the USA at roughly 110 million Euros or $130 million. “The sustained growth of 15% in the last five years, and which has been confirmed by the latest data of 2017, make it clear that there is still a high potential to accomplish,” the ATP noted.

The Portuguese textile and clothing Industry is primarily clustered in the north coast region of the country and encompasses spinning, weaving, finishing, knitting, apparel manufacturing, home textiles and technical textiles. Located in the same region are the Technological Centre of the Textile and Clothing Industry (CITEVE) and the Centre of Nanotechnology and Smart Materials (CENTI).

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