Changes in Portugal
Maria: Thirty and forty years ago, in Portugal we had very big factories with hundreds and of people inside and these were mostly run by men. About 25 years ago, when bigger suppliers went to India and China, many of these factories in Portugal closed down. The ones that remained adapted themselves to make smaller quantities, with a smaller number of workers.
Today as an agency we work with dozens of contractors , some who make very big orders, some who make very small orders. We work with Baserange, we work with couture clients, we work with companies who need 2,000 pieces, clients who need 100 pieces.
Débora: In the past in Portugal factories did lots of big quantities but now we do lots of we are specialized more in good quality and also doing small quantities. We are seeng more sustainable-minded brands come here, people who want confirmation that their products are being made by fair labor and that, for instance, the dyes are not going back into the river.
In the early 2000s, it was all about meeting deadlines for the fairs. People were giving us things super late and they wanted them on specific dates and we were rushing around to fulfill those dates. I think now people work with more calm. They say oh you have three months to do this, so what are the dates you need? I used to work 12-hour days; now I work the standard eight.