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SUSTAINABILITY FROM PORTUGAL PROMISES TO CONQUER MILANO UNICA

Albano Morgado, Casa da Malha, CFM – Conscious Fabric Manufacturers, Fitecom, Le Europe, Fitecom, Lemar, and TMG Têxteis | MGL are the companies in the FROM PORTUGAL committee. Adalberto Textile Solutions, Paulo de Oliveira, Penteadora, Riopele, Somelos, and Tessimax also joined the Portuguese companies to participate in another edition of Milano Unica, from January 31 to February 2 at RHO Milano Fiera, the fairground of the Italian city. 

With the return to normality on the exhibition calendar, Albano Morgado also has positive expectations for Milano Unica. It will present its spring-summer 2024 collection, which continues with “a sustainable commitment, through organic cotton and linens”, reveals Belmira Rodrigues, Albano Morgano market manager.

Launched in 2016 and making its absolute debut, Casa da Malha sees Milano Unica as a way “to boost sales in the medium and high-end Italian market”, reveals Mariana Moreira, Communication and Image Technician at Casa da Malha. Intending to make the company known and establish as many contacts as possible, Casa da Malha hopes “the fair goes well and adds value to internationally renowned Italian brands”, as well as contacting the French and the Nordic market. “From a basic sweater to an elaborate fantasy double-sided, we produce a wide range of circular knits, seeking to ensure the quality of our products through constant control and the use of premium and sustainable raw materials”, stresses Communication and Image. Seacell, DEOCELL and Tencel cellulosic fibers, ECOVERO viscose, pineapple, soy, silk, long-staple cotton, wool, nettle, flax, hemp, cashmere, KAPOK, COOLMAX, CRABYON, polyester, and Eastman NAIA acetate are some of the featured materials. To those are added: “promising novelties, both in terms of structures and in terms of mesh designs”.

For its part, CFM – Conscious Fabric Makers – focused on “the productive Italian market and the importance of the French and Nordic markets” – will exhibit a collection of Jersey Conscious Fabrics Makers (CFM). Francisco Rosas, Head of Design and Business Development, reveals “the collection organizes into Essential, Contemporary Fashion and Bluspot themes”. “Essential integrates a selection of jersey, interlock, essential terry, and follow-up materials from our previous collections. Contemporary Fashion is a selection of new materials developed according to current trends and market requirements. Lastly, Bluspot includes recycled developments and alternative, innovative and sustainable materials”. The novelties concentrate on technical finishes: “performance anti-UV, anti-bacterial, bi-stretch, climatic, water-repellent, easy-care, responsible finishing, organic, recycle, mono-stretch, naturally stretch, breathing, fast dying fabric, windproof and biopolymers”.

Le Europe, which made its debut last year, is accepting the challenge for the 2023 edition to present the new SS24 collection. The collection features “recycled and organic fabrics, sustainable printing and dyeing processes”, details Tatiana Pessoa, a company representative. In addition to these products, Le Europe will present “the innovative digital platform for collection development and customer service”, Tatiana Pessoa emphasizes. Italy, Germany, Netherlands, and Belgium are the markets that the company hopes to find to “increase our share in the European market, having our collection, our efficiency, and our digital platform as pillars of our operation”, concludes.

Presenting the new Spring-Summer 2024 collection, Fitecom will feature “blends of linen with wool and other eco-sustainable qualities”, explains João Carvalho, CEO. In addition to promoting the brand in the Italian market, the CEO of Fitecom sees the event as an opportunity to get in touch with “the German, Austrian, Swiss, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Romanian, Hungarian markets, but also the market in the Nordic countries”.

Veteran Lemar is again present at Milano Unica “with a readjustment to social and individual requirements”, reveals Filipe Salgado, sales representative for the Italian market. This readjustment implies “increasingly offering proposals where functionality, fashion, and sustainability are aligned". At the event, Lemar highlights “the various upcycled offers, the new fabrics produced from 100% organic bases, completely renewable and with environmentally reduced transformation processes”. “Despite the context of uncertainties that the market presents, our expectations are positive”, concludes.

“With a more comprehensive creation concept and contemplating the incorporation of new differentiating fibers, structures, and finishes, in communion with TMG know-how and quality”, MGL will present the continuation of the development and innovation work from the latest editions, reveals Pedro Silva, R&D Director. The investment “in hemp and linen articles, and new regenerated cellulosic fibers – in which combinations with lyocell, seacell and fruit fiber stand out – but also the investment in functional technical fibers highlight the design and operability: thermoregulation, management of moisture, antibacterial, microcirculation, among others”, details the R&D Director. As for the presentation of the products, the R&D Director highlights “the promotion of completely digital TMG articles that will have their showroom that allows the editing of fabric bases by the customer, and the integration of the 3D scanning aspect”. With high expectations, “since we feel a growing interest in establishing the supply network in Europe, to the detriment of Asia”, the presence at the fair is above all a meeting point with its customers and a presentation of novelties and differentiation from the SS24 collection.

Finally, Adalberto Textile Solutions will present the Spring-Summer 2024 collection and some capsule collections from the Innovation department. In terms of novelties, the Spring-Summer 2024 collection is a broader approach to the product portfolio. As Tâmara Martins, Adalberto Textile Solution Account Manager explains, “we will present a series of textile solutions such as printing techniques, special finishes and, with greater emphasis on plain items, in addition to our print collection, of course”. With the expectation of finding Italian, North American, Canadian, Japanese, and South Korean customers, the company hopes to “reinforce our image and expand our participation in the Italian market and in other markets that, historically, attend this fair, like the North Americans and the Japanese”.

The participation of Portuguese SME companies in Milano Unica is an initiative of Selectiva Moda and ATP – Portuguese Textile and Clothing Association, 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 amount of support of €11,042,311.82, which €6,065,501.91 are from the European Union, through the European Regional Development Fund