Why we produce our articles in the north of portugal
Chilly Surfstyle has been producing their after surfwear in the north of Portugal since the beginning. We are proud of this, as many of the big fashion brands still rely on offshore labor (in Bangladesh, Vietnam, China, etc.), despite high environmental costs and social problems, as the Rana Plaza tragedy showed in 2013. Portugal delivers the perfect total package in terms of our small company size, independent spirit and ethical stance! We selected the country based on 4 reasons. These are: 1. sustainability (at the top of our priority list), 2. craftsmanship and tradition, 3. fair labor standards and 4. being near to the ocean and kitespot (just a nice side effect). In this blogpost, we will tell you about each of these aspects and how they relate to our mission, the sustainability of our clothing and the quality of our products.
Why is Portuguese textile production more sustainable? Well, any Portuguese garment manufacturer must comply with European Union environmental regulations in order to operate. This means that an environmental impact assessment must be carried out before they start manufacturing clothing. Waste management issues are also evaluated. In addition to this very important piece of legislation, Portugal is also known for the following.
Access to sustainable fabrics
Portuguese companies work very hard to source the most sustainable fibers on the market. These range from vegetable fibers made from sustainably sourced pulp to recycled yarns made from textile waste.
Protecting the seas
Portugal is committed to promoting the sustainable use of marine and ocean resources by contributing to the development of the maritime economy, creating jobs and supporting training, education and sports related to the sea.
At the same time, the problems facing the oceans, such as pollution and over-exploitation of resources, must be addressed. Therefore, policies must be defined and coordinated to contribute to Portugal's sustainable development goals through a national strategy for maritime affairs.
One of the greatest advantages of production close to home is that we can visit our factories and trace the origin of our products. This is a rarity in the industry and makes transparency much easier. We want to consider the impact we have on the planet, so it's important that we know what our footprint is. Building close relationships with factories is therefore imperative.
Depending on where you shop, we expect the emissions from our products to be lower than those produced outside the EU. This is not only due to our pre-order system, which avoids waste, but also due to the mere fact that our goods have to travel less! The "regional synergy" in Northern Portugal (the linking of several production processes) also contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, which have a decisive impact on the health of our planet.
2. Craftsmanship / Tradition
Portugal has one of the strongest textile industries in Europe and is known for its craftsmanship and expertise in high quality apparel and home textiles. What makes the Portuguese textile industry unique is that all segments of the value chain are located in the northern region around Braga and Porto, which gives it a competitive advantage. Textiles of the highest quality are produced in all production facilities, combining decades-old, socially and environmentally responsible processes with modern innovations - this way of working in the fashion industry is the future
3. Fair working conditions
Manufacturing in Europe means safety standards in production facilities that lead to better health in the workplace and no exploitation.
Salaries and worker safety are two big issues in the fashion industry - just think of all the horrible stories about collapsing factories in Bangladesh. Here, if we commit to producing only in Europe, we can be confident that the factories are regulated under European standards and therefore safe. In Portugal, there is a minimum salary, also and especially for workers in the textile industry. This means a living salary and not just a poorly calculated minimum wage at the poverty line.
4. Close to the sea and spot
As longtime water sports enthusiasts we are very connected to nature and therefore want to preserve our "Play Ground" for future generations. For this reason, we have made it our mission to create a brand that is as environmentally conscious as a clothing brand can be. We don't just sell a lifestyle, we live it. There are many good kite spots near our production facilities. So we can combine our profession and our passion. But this is only a small side effect to the other three points mentioned above.