Haven’t you bought “Made in Portugal” footwear, yet? We’ll tell you why you should.
Words: Isabel Pinto Photo: Frederico Martins for GQ Style
Portuguese shoes have already conquered their place in the global market. Design, quality, innovation and differentiation have consolidated the “made in Portugal” label. Could you live without a pair of Portuguese shoes? You could, but it wouldn’t be the same.
If there’s one thing the Portuguese can do well, it’s shoes! And if we combine the know-how, history and tradition to the fact that Forbes magazine has considered Portugal among the 20 safest countries in the world, with a great “talent reservoir”, then we have all the ingredients that make our country one of the best places to produce and sell shoes.
Every year, over 80 million “made in Portugal” pairs of shoes are exported to 163 countries throughout the five continents. The sector has conquered the global market, establishing itself as the “sexiest industry in Europe” with its design, quality, innovation and, above all, know-how due to the history of the Portuguese craft talent, the quality of the raw materials and advanced techniques. Currently, the Portuguese footwear industry is quite likely the most modern in the production of high-end fashion articles.
If you don’t yet own a pair of Portuguese shoes, you have no idea what you’re missing out on. By having one, you’d also be more eco-friendly, since there are already several sustainable offers on the market, from innovative materials to traditional ones, such as leather with the guarantee of sustainable origins. The Action Plan of the Footwear Cluster for Sustainability aims to make the Portuguese footwear industry leader in terms of developing sustainable solutions, therefore, the last APICCAPS’ campaign, We are the FOOTure, is a tribute to the Portuguese roots and the sector’s ability to innovate itself, this time by embracing challenges related to environmental issues. Planet, People and Companies are the three main axes of the action plan, which envision the implementation of 12 measures and 50 initiatives for the companies to adopt and make their standard production processes more sustainable.
Just in time
It’s becoming difficult to find excuses to not buy Portuguese footwear. Even more when big multinationals seek “Made in Portugal” with their orders, that then go to the global market. To earn even greater customer loyalty, the Portuguese industry distinguishes itself with the “just in time” response capability. Through the investment in technology, productivity and competitiveness, it was able to improve its flexibility and quick response capability, establishing a new flow paradigm of small orders, quickly dispatched to small distributors and retail. The Portuguese footwear industry responds quickly and effectively.
The cluster of international dimensions, mainly located in Northern Portugal, also contributed to this. 1800 footwear companies are based in cities such as Vila Nova de Gaia, Guimarães, Felgueiras, Oliveira de Azeméis, Santa Maria da Feira and São João da Madeira, as well as tannery, components and advanced technology. Overall, the national footwear cluster benefits from the country’s privileged geographic location, with excellent communication channels and quick access to the centre of Europe, ports and airports, which offer easy reach to the five continents.
And, if you want to combine business and pleasure, making business in Portugal will allow you to enjoy a country known for its sunny weather, beaches, mountains, castles and monasteries. As well as its olive oil and internationally renowned wine, irresistible regional sweets and high-quality fish and meat dishes. If buying Portuguese shoes is the best choice, then using them to explore the world’s wonders will be, most definitely, unforgettable.
The “sexiest industry in Europe”, “made in Portugal”, is indeed a quality symbol full of personality and style, making Portugal a rich source of brands that conquer customer loyalty and passion.
Could you live without a pair of Portuguese shoes? You could, but it wouldn’t be the same.
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