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Visiting our production

A few weeks ago, the ETREFORT office team (founders Roger and Felix, CEO Pierre and Designer Raphaëlle) went to Porto to make the annual visit to our production site, which is in Portugal for almost all our products.

Keeping in touch and getting to see everyone once in a while is a big part of how we work.

For our two founders, Roger and Felix, this is an annual trip. for Pierre and me, it was the first time. To all of us, it is important to know where our clothing is being made and who we are working with. Keeping in touch and getting to see everyone once in a while is a big part of how we work and can make sure it is up to the standards we expect.

#whomademyclothes – get an inside look: ETREFORT’s productionsites

Why did we choose Portugal for our productions?

Because it is in Europe and we know the people. We can visit every site whenever we want and make sure it lives up to what we stand for. We want to make sure, everyone in the chain of work for ETREFORT is happy and knows what and who they are working for. We want to know where we can make a difference in the way we work and be informed about what impact we have on a social as well as environmental level. This is very relevant to us, because we want to do it our way and not having to compromise. We want to offer our customers quality in every way. From the making and durability of our products to well-being of our workers.

Taking the time as a team

It was also the perfect opportunity to be together as a team and exchange all our thoughts. On the day of arrival, we took the time to visit the beautiful town of Porto in the wonderful autumn sunlight. As we were on our way to see the renowned harry potter library, just a few steps away, Pierre started to do some small jumps. We all followed his inspiration and ended up living the moment in our bubble of creativity with just a rail, a bench and a few stairs for the whole afternoon. After that, we went to taste some of the famous port wines and discussed the next day. As a perfect ending of the evening, we went to eat together to be ready for the exciting day coming up.

Experiencing it all

On the next day, we went to meet with our team in Portugal to discuss our product portfolio and talk about all the big ideas we have. Up until now, I had talked to Luisa, our main contact, only through email, but I finally got to meet her. It felt like our work will be even more rewarding in the future, as we hit it off at the very first second. We started with our main products and new ideas just kept coming. Of course, there was not enough time to discuss it all before getting the chance to visit the production site of our pants after Lunch.

We felt overwhelmed with all the new insights we got to experience right in front of us.

For Pierre and me, it was the first time seeing the actual process of our production, and we felt overwhelmed with all the new insights we got to experience right in front of us. Roger and Felix had seen it before, but they were not less impressed by the fast work everyone was doing at the factory and how much knowledge it requires to be able to handle everything in there.

After this, we were on our way to our t-shirt factory, where it was a completely different feel, since it was a much smaller production. But it was such a warm feeling to be welcomed by the team there – even the owners son, who is not working there, was excited to see „the ETREFORT people“. For me this could only mean that our work together is great for both sides. It was a very emotional moment, since they are not next door where we can just visit all the time. But such a quality visit makes up for that. We got the chance to see the whole process of the shirt making as well and we knew right there and then that we were investing in the right places with the right people. After talking to everyone (to some more in some kind of sign language than anything else, since we are not fluent in Portuguese yet) we were just completely amazed of the opportunity to be working with such great people.

A personal note

For me, that one day felt like a week. I have learnt so much and met so many interesting people that are a big part of making it possible to live our dream. I can’t find the words to express how thankful I am to have been part of this experience. It all makes me very confident for our future and everything that will grow from working this closely with everyone towards our goals to make a difference.

Raphaëlle, Designer

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