Interview with Mario Jorge Silva

Mario Jorge Silva
Mario Jorge Silva

What are the challenges of manufacturing sustainable jersey fabrics/ responsible production?

To keep up with the latest technologies, we always need to be at the forefront around the world and not just in Portugal. We are in every country that creates new technologies to learn what is new and create partnerships with companies. That is our biggest strength at present because these companies believe in what we do. With the knowledge from our partners, we can transfer this expertise internally to our different teams in sales, new technologies and research and development (R&D). We are committed to a continuous programme of sustainable innovations and refinement throughout processing, production and supply of better made natural textiles. Through our efforts, we have incorporated 70 per cent improvement in reducing environmental impact in resources, production and processing.

What is the annual production capacity of sustainable jersey fabrics at Tintex?

Our industrial equipment allows a maximum production capacity of nearly  7 million metres of jersey fabrics per year. At the current yearly average of 5 million metres produced, we have still room to increase production volumes without changing layouts.

What did you showcase in your autumn/winter 2019 collection at the recent Premier Vision?

Our autumn/winter 2019-20 collection includes vibrant tones, refreshing turquoise, electric green, light and warm copper with chocolate browns that connect the natural and spiritual in an extra-sensorial universe. The collect was infused with a stunning palette of nostalgic and multicultural colours-warm yellow with darkened reds, dynamic purple with urban greys-that express globalisation and human connection. 

Key smart ingredients of the season are: 
  • A new generation of cotton: GOTS-certified organic cotton, Supima cotton and Ecotec by Marchi & Fild.
  • Seacell and Smartcel: These are produced using the lyocell process in a closed loop with no chemicals released as waste. The patented process of SeaCell allows that the positive properties of the seaweed are permanently preserved within the fibre, even after multiple washing cycles. Smartcel includes the essential trace element zinc providing anti-inflammatory capabilities.
  • Refibra by Lenzing technology involves upcycling a substantial proportion of cotton scraps, e.g. from garment production, in addition to wood pulp, where the raw material is transformed to produce new Tencel lyocell fibre to make fabrics and garments.
  • Bemberg by Asahi Kasei: A new generation Global Recycled Standard (GRS)-certified material made from cotton linters, with a biodegradability certification by Innovhub. It is a high-tech natural material with a special hand-feel and aesthetics.
  • Roica by Asahi Kasei: Roica EF has a percentage of pre-consumer recycled content that is more than 50 per cent, and it is GRS certified. Roica CF is a premium stretch innovative yarn offering a real and durable 'new natural' active smart odour-neutralising solutions to every wearer.
A milestone for Tintex was achieved with the launch of Naturally Clean, an exceptional smart finishing process that is uniquely responsible. Naturally Clean enhances the natural beauty of cotton, takes a cost effective modern approach to eliminate aggressive treatments and optimises clean surfaces, vivid colours, providing an exquisitely smooth hand-feel. 

Naturally Clean achieves this by using Novozymes technology's biological solutions. We use textile chemicals with the lowest possible environmental impact, without compromising performance, from Beyond Surface Technologies AG. Naturally Clean maintains the original characteristics for an extended period of time. All materials are certified by Oeko-Tex and soon will be certified by Bluesign, thus eliminating harmful substances.

How have your last two fiscals fared and what are the expectations set from the next two?

Tintex had a turnover of around €11 million in 2017, which translates into an increase of 20 per cent over 2015 figures. We expect to grow around 30 per cent till the end of 2019 due to a strategic approach to the market and also analysing the increase of gross added value of our products.

What is the annual budget allocated towards R&D? How big is the R&D team?

Committed to excellence, we have invested over €26 million, with €7 million invested in the last three years alone, which drives material innovation, including high-tech machinery, responsible practices, ground-breaking dyeing and finishing technologies, as well as employee enrichment that supports research and experimentation to foster future breakthroughs. We are increasingly investing in advanced technologies and will continue to focus on innovation.

We started innovating with Tencel and are the leaders in developing Tencel fabrics since 2002. Later, we evolved to polylactide (PLA) and other sustainable fabrics. There is a cluster in Portugal with several segments, and at Tintex, our sustainability manager, Ana Silva, is responsible for the coordination of the sustainable cluster. 

What are your long-term plans?

The aim of Tintex is to reach a totally traceable and transparent supply chain, without compromising on innovation, performances and catchy design. Our vision is to offer naturally advanced solutions that transform fashion systems. Our mission is to offer smart textile solutions that are revolutionary, transparent and respect responsible business and manufacturing processes.

A clear demonstration is the fact that Tintex Textiles is proud to activate industry-wide change by taking part in the Make Fashion Circular initiative by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. This initiative aims to collaborate and innovate towards a new textiles economy, based on the principles of a circular economy. The core partners of the foundation-Burberry, Gap Inc, H&M, HSBC, NIKE and Stella McCartney-will work with it to radically redesign the fashion industry. The initiative is supported by C&A and the Walmart Foundation. (HO) 

Published on: 10/10/2018

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of

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