In March, Jos and Léon took off to Portugal. Not to enjoy the warm weather or the beautiful countryside of the Porto area (even though that was a nice side effect), but to seek new innovations and partners and to investigate sourcing in Portugal. Even though we work with a great garment factory in India that has produced our first tee, we are eager to bring production closer to home. The Netherlands do not offer that possibility yet, Portugal does.
With that in mind, we visited several fabric and yarn suppliers in and around Porto. We looked at their facilities, got to know their work processes and saw the materials and products they can offer. Our goal was to get 100% transparency on manufacturing processes and products, so we peppered the factory owners with questions, talked with employees, took photos of the facilities – even touched the cotton fibres the products are made of.
A driving force for change
It was exciting to get such deep insights into the supply chain, but we also realised: We don’t really fit the mold. Our vision to make all fashion circular, including our zero plastic tolerance and organic dyeing only-policy, differs from what factories are used to. It’s outside their usual profile.
However, this only confirmed to us that we are on the right track. The whole industry needs transformation – and by accustoming factory owners with our circular ideas we’re a driving force for change. Our trip to Portugal made us optimistic: There are lots of experienced craftsmen and passionate textile entrepreneurs, who share our values and are excited to make change happen. In the halls of Porto’s factories, we’ve discovered some promising innovations that we can already implement in the short term. Together, we can make the T-Shirt circular – step by step. Stay tuned for updates!