The Portuguese footwear is recognized internationally for its quality and design. Some even consider it the sexiest industry in Europe because it has been able to reinvent itself over the years.
Sustainability is now the great trend of national footwear companies, which have been betting on more ecological, durable and vegan-friendly materials.
The focus of Portuguese brands is also to make the footwear industry “cleaner” by creating more sustainable manufacturing processes. To this end, a policy to reduce waste and emissions from CO₂ is under way.
5 Reasons to buy Portuguese shoes
Footwear has been one of the sectors that has evolved most in Portugal in the last two decades. About 95% of domestic production is exported. It is estimated that about 80 million pairs are sold to the five continents each year.
From the use of environmentally friendly materials to innovative design, there are many reasons why Portuguese footwear walks in the mouths of the world.
1. A long tradition in know-how
One of the differentiating characteristics of footwear brands is the Portuguese know-how, which has been passed down from generation to generation, always with the concern of using high quality materials.
This long tradition relies on the expertise of highly competent craftsmen who specialize in working leather and fur and still use a handcrafted process.
2. Bet on technology and innovation
The Portuguese footwear aims to be one of the most competitive at international level. To further enhance the technological development of this sector, the Portuguese Government and Portuguese Footwear, Components, Leather Goods Manufacturers’ Association (APPICCAPS) launched the FOOture guide.
This initiative foresees the injection of 50 million euros into the so-called “Industry 4.0“, which promises to bring significant technological developments in terms of intelligent production models and an innovative customer experience.
3. Use of sustainable materials
Worried about climate change and ocean pollution, the Portuguese brands have bet on footwear with sustainable materials. Among the most used raw materials are microfiber, natural rubber and vegetable tanning hides.
Upcycling fashion, which consists of the reuse of ecological materials for the production of Portuguese footwear, is another trend embraced by the sector.
4. Original and innovative design
The design of Portuguese footwear is already recognized across borders. The concern to combine comfort, tradition and modernity has won several international awards, as well as attracted buyers around the world.
More and more young people are designing luxury footwear in Portugal, combining manual techniques with digital technology, such as 3D printing. From the classics to the bolder models, there are proposals for all feet.
5. Use of renewable energy
Another advantage of buying Portuguese footwear is the fact that 50% of the energy consumed in Portugal is obtained through renewable sources, such as solar energy. According to the Directorate General of Energy and Geology, in 2019 more than 12 thousand gigawatts (GWh) were generated.
Recently, and due to the confinement caused by the VOCID-19 pandemic, several companies have taken the opportunity to make energy improvements. That was the case at Last Sole, where 245 photovoltaic panels were installed.
In the week the system went into operation, 1.85 tonnes of coal were saved, which means that 4.62 tonnes less of CO₂ was produced. The ecological footwear company has become practically self-sufficient in energy.
There are about 1.500 footwear companies in Portugal
95% of domestic production is exported
+83 million pairs exported per year
40.000+ people work in this industry in the country
Value of exports: EUR 2 billion
Last Sole is a Portuguese company that produces sneakers and eco-friendly casual footwear. Discover the timeless proposals of the brand with each new collection.