NATURALLY SMART

Portugal 2019 | INDUSTRY | B2B

A market leader in sustainable, natural-based textiles, firms like TINTEX are ramping up their R&D to satisfy the world's most demanding brands.

Mário Jorge Silva
MÁRIO JORGE SILVA
CEO
Tintex Textiles
Ricardo Silva
RICARDO SILVA
Head of Operations
Tintex Textiles

What competitive advantages has TINTEX leveraged to succeed?

RICARDO SILVA In 1998, TINTEX began its journey as a respected expert in the highest quality levels of dyeing and finishing techniques, which became its key asset and differentiating factor when these skills were used to make smart, high-quality, natural, and sustainable jersey fabrics. With ecology and sustainability concerns front and center of the TINTEX strategy, the company grew to become an industry leader and true master of all aspects of its textile heritage. By using the latest and best sustainable hi-tech processes and inventing extraordinary new approaches for dyeing and finishing, TINTEX has reinforced its advanced vision to better supply the contemporary fashion, sports, and lingerie markets.

How do you ensure the transfer of latest skills in the textile industry?

RS To keep up with the latest technologies we always need to be at the forefront around the world, not just in Portugal. We source knowledge globally, looking for new technologies, processes, and materials to learn what is new and promote partnerships with other companies. That is our best strength because these companies believe in what we do, and together we create a better response for the market. With knowledge from our partners, we transfer this expertise internally to our different teams in sales, production, and R&D. TINTEX is committed to a continuous program of sustainable innovations and refinements throughout the processing, production, and supply of better-made, nature-based textiles. These brought about a 70% reduction in our environmental impact.

What impact do your R&D investments have on being a best-in-class manufacturer of high-end jersey fabrics?

MÁRIO JORGE SILVA We started innovating with Tencel and have been the leaders in developing Tencel fabrics since 2002. Later, we evolved to polylactide (PLA) and other sustainable fabrics. A textile cluster was recently created in Portugal with several special interest groups, and we are proud to say that our sustainability manager, Ana Silva, is responsible for the coordination of its sustainability area. Last season we proudly announced our complete switch from the use of conventional cotton to our own brainchild, Naturally Advanced Cotton by TINTEX, a select range of three advanced cotton solutions such as ECOTEC by Marchi & Fildi, GOTS-certified organic cotton, and Supima. In addition to this, we joined the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), a not-for-profit organization that seeks to improve cotton's long-term sustainability and profitability.

How does TINTEX ensure its textile production is environmentally sustainable?

RS Millennials, new consumers, and future generations want to be informed about what they are buying. They no longer merely buy according to price, but also according to the story. To do so, we need to be fully transparent, a key aspect of sustainability, and make sure the environmental impact is as low as possible, a fact we must convey. That is why sustainability combines traceability with low environmental impact. TINTEX has a sustainability manager, and we form partnerships with trusted suppliers. We can ensure the traceability back to the fibers throughout the supply chain. Trust is the most important thing, and we have earned the trust of our partners and customers.

How will companies like TINTEX move the sector forward?

MJS At a company such as ours, we mix 10-12 different areas to bring new approaches and fresh ideas to develop concepts that set us apart. Moreover, by taking part in the Make Fashion Circular initiative by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, an initiative based on the principles of a circular economy to collaborate and innovate towards a new textiles economy, TINTEX is helping activate change industry wide. Other core partners include Burberry, Gap Inc., H&M, Nike, and Stella McCartney, each of which is transforming the sector.

What subsectors in the industry represent good opportunities?

RS Today, labels look for contemporary design, innovation, and sustainability through basic and seasonal articles. Whereas once we had pure fashion, pure sport, and pure lingerie, today we see a blend of all three.