Associação Selectiva Moda
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Portuguese textiles travel to Japan

Despite the many closed borders, the international expansion project of the Portuguese textile industry does not waver, and remains very active, even in the most distant markets. Proof is the strong entourage of Portuguese companies represented at the Jitac European Textile Fair, one of the largest Asian fabric fairs, whose next edition is scheduled for March 23rd to 25th, in Tokyo.



"What works in Japan works all over the world. Japan is a very demanding market that forces us to evolve in all aspects". Isabel Costa, founder of the Portuguese textile Burel Factory, is an example of the strategic commitment that the Portuguese textile industry has built with the Japanese market over the past few years. Japan serves as a gateway to Asian markets, and works as a seal of quality and design for the Portuguese production.

This Portugal-Japan bond will be reinforced on March 23rd, 24th and 25th, with the presence of a strong group of Portuguese textiles in Tokyo, at the Jitac European Textile Fair, one of the sector’s largest fairs in all of Asia. Adalberto, Albano Morgado, Burel Factory, Fitecom, La Estampa, Lantal Lemar, Modelmalhas, Riopele, Texser and Troficolor are the companies that will showcase their textile products at the Japanese fair, framed in yet another From Portugal excursion, and with the help of local agents, specialized in the Japanese market. 

However, and in addition to Japan, the aim of Portuguese textile companies is to strengthen their position in the markets with the highest added value across Asia. “The big local brands are references all over the world. Japan is a country that dictates trends, behaviours and style. For us, it is essential to be part of this world-famous fashion scene”, explains Joana Silva, representative of La Estampa, a Portuguese company specialized in textile prints.  

For that to happen, companies are focused on showcasing new increasingly sustainable and technical products. An example is Troficolor, which will present 100% organically coloured denims, among other novelties. “We keep the focus on reducing resources and processes. So, in addition to the Ecru line – ready to wear raw fabrics – we have developed an innovative and exclusive concept: ECODENIM – ready to wear denim articles, which don’t need any additional processes after the piece is completed”, explains the company's CEO, Carlos Serra.

"Our offer is very focused on sustainability", adds José António Ferreira, Lemar’s representative. In Japan, the textile company will present new fabrics made with Newlife™ and Seaqual™ recycled polyester, Ecocare polyamides, and with 100% biodegradable threads. "We already have a history with the Japanese market, and we know that it is one of the most demanding markets", he explains.

Riopele also highlights its commitment to the ecological transition, by presenting a sustainable collection and the Tenowa brand, a project totally dedicated to recycled proposals. “The Japanese market is very important for Riopele, not only because of the sales volume it represents, but also because it is a strategic market in that region of the globe”, comments António Soares, the company’s market manager. The textile company already has a local agent, and during the pandemic built a digital communication campaign to maintain proximity to the Japanese market.

Adalberto is another of the Portuguese textiles companies that counts with a local agent to establish a bridge with the visitors of the Japanese fair. “We started working on this market recently, and the pandemic has made the whole process very difficult”, says Tamara Martins, the company’s representative. In Tokyo, Adalberto will present its new Spring Summer collection, with patterns for men's and women's fashion.

With more than 20 years of experience in the Japanese market, Lantal has already scheduled in advance all contacts with the company’s customers. “It is a demanding market, looking for different items with quality and added value. A market that demands efficiency and strictness in the deadlines”, reports Pedro Lima, Sales Director of the Lantal, which also has a local agent. At the fair, the company will present various compositions, such as 100% cotton, and blends of cotton/lycra, cotton/modal, viscose/lycra, viscose with glitters, and artificial fur.

The participation of Portuguese SME companies in Jitac European Textile Fair is framed by the From Portugal project, an initiative of Selectiva Moda and ATP - Textile and Clothing Association of Portugal, which aims to promote the internationalization of Portuguese companies in the fashion area. The “From Portugal” project is co-financed by Portugal 2020, within the scope of Compete 2020 - Operational Program for Competitiveness and Internationalization, with an eligible support amount of € 11,042,311.82, of which € 6,065,501.91 comes from the European Union, through the European Regional Development Fund.