It started with a product: cork. This was properly designed into a flip-flop model; the first cork flip-flops worldwide. It won the Amorim Cork Ventures award in 2016 and, shortly after, the union with Kyaia made up of the rest of the story, which is as yet unwritten.
From the partnership with the surfer MacNamara, to the feet of both ModaLisboa and Portugal Fashion’s staff, come and find out about journey of Pedro Abrantes.
How did this project come to be?
First of all, and because I had already worked with the material (cork), in iPlant home-gardens, and knowing its characteristics, I realised there was a lack of eco-friendly solutions in this specific segment.
This first positive experience of working with cork associated with other factors, such as my academic background in architecture, my passion for the footwear industry (and my enthusiasm over Portu- gal’s international positioning), as well as my will to have a great personal project, led me to develop a product that is unexpected, versatile and sophisticated, that gathers a bit of all of the previous factors and with a very interesting market potential, as cork is always a differentiating element. That’s how ASPORTUGUESAS emerged.
Was the footwear sector a natural choice?
Yes, it was. Having a footwear brand was always a goal and, above all, to create a sustainable brand with a unique value proposition.
With sustainability on the agenda, how do ASPORTUGUESAS distinguish themselves?
ASPORTUGUESAS distinguish themselves not only by innovation and technology but also by their design and comfort. The incorporation of cork allows a softer contact with the foot and being natural, they don’t overheat when exposed to the sun, therefore decreasing perspiration. ASPORTUGUESAS are also significantly lighter than the competition and, at the same time, very high-impact resistant.
As mentioned earlier, ASPORTUGUESAS have the Portuguese identity in their DNA and the aim is for the client to identify itself with the whole value proposal that’s incorporated in the end product.
Thus, ASPORTUGUESAS are more than just flip-flops; they deliver emotions and moments of relaxation, pleasure and comfort, therefore reaching out to an also joyful and diversified audience, united by a country, a culture and an identity.
It’s an eco-friendly product, which resonates with nature.
What are the future plans for the brand? What can we expect?
ASPORTUGUESAS aims to become both a national and worldwide reference, competing with the greatest global brands. We’re investing in a steady growth, through a thorough analysis of the competition, as well as consumer preferences.
Currently, the approach involves analysing strategic partnerships to boost and strengthen the product’s value and promote the brand’s collection as objects of desire throughout the world. Within this context, and given the export potential of ASPORTUGUESAS, we estimate an 80% share of the overall market.
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