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Millennials, new consumers look for transparency & traceability, not price
Portugal-based Tintex manufactures high quality, natural and hybrid jersey fabrics using the latest and most sustainable hi-tech dyeing and finishing processes for contemporary fashion, sports and lingerie markets. CEO Mario Jorge Silva chats in detail about sustainable materials used at Tintex and its autumn/winter 2019 collection.
How has the use of knitted fabrics evolved in the last decade in garments?
Two decades ago, Portugal was just a manufacturing country and when the global industry moved into Asia and other areas, Portugal needed to evolve to differentiate itself from the market to adapt quickly. We understood that we needed to innovate to create different approaches to not only the product, but also the strategy and the service side. Today Portugal innovates on both sides. Our flexibility enables us to create innovative materials and technologies that suits contemporary consumers' needs.
It is not easy. However, we adapt quickly and can be flexible with new products and business models as well. Digitalisation allows us to reduce lead times by 15-30 per cent and that is why general and modern fashion is coming back to Europe, especially to Portugal. In the last year, we have seen a big change in our customers around the world. They want to do everything, including materials and manufacturing, in Portugal because of our flexibility. They trust us and the quality of what we manufacture, resulting in our partners delivering the best garments at a competitive price.
What is the new generation cotton being used at Tintex? How is it different from traditional cotton?
In the last season, we proudly announced our complete switch from the use of conventional cotton and the concomitant launch of a new fabric range, which is the highest expression of the new generation of cotton-the Naturally Advanced Cotton by Tintex. This new amazing range is able to offer an advanced choice of three different premium and responsible cotton solutions, such as Ecotec by Marchi & Fildi, the unique cotton produced in Italy that saves up to 77.9 per cent of water in comparison to the conventional one, Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)-certified organic cotton and Supima cotton grown in the United States.
In addition to this, Tintex is pleased to announce its membership with Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), a not-for-profit organisation to improve global cotton production. Through BCI and its partners, farmers receive training on how to use water efficiently, care for the health of soil and natural habitats, reduce use of harmful chemicals and apply decent work principles.
What is the percentage share responsible jersey fabrics claim in the global knitted fabric market? Is this number growing?
Millennials, new consumers and the next generation want to have the most information possible on the products they buy. They no longer buy just on price, but on the story. For that, we need to be fully traceable and transparent, which is one of the key aspects of sustainability. In addition, the environmental impact needs to be as low as possible and we need to communicate this. That is why sustainability combines traceability with low environmental impact. Our department of sustainability optimises fashion solutions that not only provide high performance natural textiles, but enable us to rise as global leaders striving towards superior responsible fashion systems.
We have earned the trust of our partners and customers. That way, we can have sustainable growth boosting our reputation and corporate identity. Our business is growing. We no longer just sell more; we create base layers for sustainable growth using excellent aesthetics and low environmental impact.
Today, all new Tintex textile and design innovations boast up to 90 per cent use of more sustainable materials, including 40 per cent contemporary cottons within the Naturally Advanced Cotton collection, 40 per cent tencel, modal and micromodal, 20 per cent other smart materials like cupro, seacell, organic linens and roica, all supported with original or brand suppliers' supported certifications.
Which are your major markets for responsible jersey fabrics, smart fibres and Tintex finishing solutions? In which regions are the prospects growing?
Today labels look for overall high quality, meaning contemporary design, innovation and sustainability. We are the right partner for them to offer the above values, both through basic and seasonal products. In addition to that, we do not see ourselves just as suppliers but as partners. We create a direct conversation with brands in order to offer products that fit their needs within our collection. A clear example is Filipppa K, a leading Nordic fashion brand with a modern, smart approach to the responsible development of their lines. Some of their emblematic pieces, the flowy jersey dress spice and the flowy maxi skirt spice, were both mindfully made from sustainable lyocell by Tintex.
We now need to adapt and be ready for the next five to 10 years without neglecting any segment. We had pure fashion, pure sport and pure lingerie, and today we see a blend of the three. It is amazing to see this blend creating different materials together, diverse approaches to the market and different brands growing in such a short time. The textile industry is amazing because of the way it constantly changes.
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