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Portuguese footwear manufacturer Portman reinvents itself

Mar 25, 2024 Portugal
Portuguese footwear manufacturer Portman reinvents itself
Founded in 1979 with a focus on the manufacture of moccasin footwear, the Portuguese company has invested in recent years to sustainably modernise its production and offer new products
“Portman’s business began in 1979 as a family-run company with a particular focus and specialisation in the manufacture of moccasin footwear, which has been with us for almost half a century and is still with us today. It now accounts for about 40% of our current core business”, says Vítor Gonçalves. His brother, Evaristo Gonçalves, adds: “We are proud to have been one of the pioneering companies in Portugal in this concept, which was extended to a more sophisticated process, commonly known as the ‘timberland system’, which we still produce today for specific customers”.

In recent years, however, Portman has adapted to other products, and now produces “sneakers with a level of quality recognised by our internationally renowned partners, both in the stitching and assembly systems”, they stressed. For the company’s managers, it was important “to study new markets, new approaches with customers and, above all, to adapt our knowledge to the needs of fast-moving products and fashion concepts”, in search of a “renewed concept of industry”.

Additionally, “Globalisation and the opening up to new markets and requirements led us to update, modernise, innovate and invest in what are probably the most important areas today, such as sustainability, digital transformation, reducing the environmental footprint, recycling, reducing emissions and waste”. “We have placed a lot of emphasis on these areas, namely the installation of solar panels, the use of environmentally friendly materials whenever possible, the training of employees to reduce waste”, to respond to an increasingly demanding and competitive market.


Internationalisation

Over the past few years, the company has invested in new equipment, expanded into new product segments, and is now looking to reach new geographical areas. “We’re based in Europe, but we’re also paying attention to other continents and emerging markets, which don’t have the same rigid labour and wage regulations and are stifling us with prices that are completely unaffordable for us to compete with”, say both Evaristo and Vitor Gonçalves.


For more information about Portman, visit its website.

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