With its start in 1998, Tintex has flown across the last 20 years on the wings of innovation and sustainability. The two next decades should keep the emphasis on responsible innovation, always with the doors open to the world, including new R&D projects and an online store.
«Tintex was born to create differentiated products», states the CEO Mário Jorge Silva, and it was how it has grown. First, finishing fabrics with a fibre that was taking its first steps at the time, Lyocell, in 2000, and after with the incursion on fibres considered to be more sustainable, like corn fibre, soy and bamboo, and more recently with the acquisition of GOTS certification for the organic cotton. Along the way, Tintex always sought to be more than a specialist in textile ennoblement, becoming a company that makes finished fabrics, with its own collections focused Fashion, but also fabrics focused on technical textiles, that already earned awards.
«20 years ago, I expected many different paths, but I didn’t expected being on such technical path and, luckily, on the spotlight. We are proud to say that we find ourselves among the best in Europe», states Mário Jorge Silva.
The Generation that follows
Innovation has paved this route, as well as the investment in new technologies (that in the last 7 years ascended to 7 million), like the mercerization and coating lines, being the ladder «unique in the world, because it fits inside a new type of water-based coating on knits», states Ricardo Silva, the second generation of Tintex’s administration board. Although technical textiles are the natural market for this technology, fashion is being drawn by the possibilities offered by this type of coating. «We have ongoing projects with different Brands and customers on the development on completely unique materials. It is not a “natural” market, but a market that we’ve been exploring, always together with the Brand, to bring a differentiated value to the consumer», explains Ricardo Silva to Portugal Têxtil. «We can be referring to outer Jackets or leggings, but they are materials never seen before. We use natural materials with coating on top - can be elastic, water repellent, windproof,… - always granting some differentiating technical or aesthetical property.», states..
At Tintex, where 126 people work, there’s a Research and Development core, born this year, and a group of 12 people dedicated to innovation, not only on the short-run but also on the medium and long-run. «They are people that do not produce, but that bring, in my opinion, a greater future value», believes the administrator.
R&D and partnership
Among the ongoing R&D projects we can find PICASSO, for the development of natural dyeing processes, through the use of plants or mushrooms, which results should get to the market in a one-year time; a vegan leather project, led by Têxteis Penedo that brings together Sedacor, CenTI, Citeve and CTIC - Technological Centre of leather Industries, and another that involves Fibrenamics platforms and intends to create materials that respond to nature’s stimuli. «With the projects in which we are involved and including the other three to which we applied, we have an investment of over 2 million Euros», states Mário Jorge Silva to Portugal Têxtil.
Side by side with innovation, Tintex has been recognized as a company commited with sustainability, being invited to the Ellen MacArthur’s “Make Fashion Circular” project, led by Ellen MacArthur’s Foundation. «It’s a project at a global scale, involving Brands, retailers, material producers like us, which goal is to bring different individual visions that come together in a way to make fashion circular.», explains Ricardo Silva. «We are the only Portuguese company and also, so far, the only knit producer integrating the group, worldwide.», underlines Mário Jorge Silva.
A knitting-house called Hata
With a shipping capacity of 100 tons/month of finished product, Tintex now has HATA as a partner, a knitting company founded by Mário Jorge Silva that follows the same line as Tintex. «HATA’s goal doesn’t rest upon volume, but on technological differentiation», acknowledges Ricardo Silva. «The purpose of HATA is to produce different fabrics, very fine gauges, that cannot be found on the Portuguese market and besides that, also help to provide a very fast response on the development of samples.», clarifies Mário Jorge Silva to Portugal Têxtil.
With the goal to grow 20% until 2020 and the perspective of closing 2018 with a volume of 13 million Euros, the most immediate future of Tintex passes through communication, an area where there has been a strong investment, namely in International Tradeshows and in Branding next to the customers, and also by an online marketplace, that should be launched in September to «provide a different answer to the consumer’s demand, young designers, younger brands. We want to answer the demands of the biggest amount of people possible», admits Ricardo Silva. On the long-run, the certainty is that the path initiated in 1998 should continue over the next years. «We will always have this focus, we don’t know how the global market will adapt, but we will always keep responsible innovation. Innovation at the highest level, always one step ahead, we want to influence increasingly the projects, work with our strongest customers. Our positioning, from where I see Tintex in the next three, ten, twenty years, is as the ideal partner to those who aim to make always better», insures the administrator.