Visiting Our Factories in Portugal
From pushing our creative designs further, to utilizing new techniques and sourcing new fabrics & materials, it was an overwhelmingly successful trip for the KROST team in Portugal.
During March, members of our KROST team took a trip to Portugal to visit our newest production partners. From New York to Porto, and from Porto to Barcelos, we were able to explore, learn, and discover all that the creative process had to offer. Nearly half of KROST’s production will take place in Portugal in 2022 and beyond!
Working With Ricardo & Meeting the Team
Northern Portugal is where our trip really began. This is where Ricardo, our production manager, manages KROST’s day-to-day supply chain operations. Portugal is a textile country, and Ricardo specifically specializes in cotton & woven fabrics, including KROST’s signature french terrys. Although for the most part, Ricardo works behind the scenes, he helps manage and source most of KROST’s current supply chain and is in constant communication with the KROST HQ.
With nearly half of our production taking place in Portugal, it was an exciting opportunity for the team to visit our factories and their partnering suppliers. When arriving at the factory, it was great to meet Ricardo and his team in-person. The team had a customary double shot of espresso and we jumped right into work. We were able to observe the team cutting & sewing most of our upcoming basics collection and got a tour of all the new machinery too.
From there, we were off to visit all of the fabric supplier showrooms and partnering factories that are capable of producing ready-to-wear (an exciting extension to KROST’s product offerings this year). After we were able to observe and quality control all of current production, the second half of the trip was focused on sourcing and planning for future collections. Stay tuned ;)
Learning & Observing The Design Process
Many of the methods used in the creative process in Portugal translate well to KROST’s approach to design. From different embroidery & printing techniques, to luxury fabrics and ethical work practices and facilities - we knew we found the right partners. One of the biggest takeaways from visiting the factories and their neighboring partners was understanding and learning the vast new capabilities that were now available to the KROST design & production team.
Notes from the KROST Team:
Jordan, KROST’s Head of Product: “We keep in touch with Ricardo daily. Every day spent in-person with Ricardo saves more than a week’s worth of communication over zoom. After the trip, we learned that by being with them for only 2 days, we saved 3 weeks worth of communication. The most shocking thing was how easy it was to communicate with everyone we encountered. Getting our points across was easy and each and every person was able to understand one another. Conversations were fluent, whether through hand gestures or photos. The team who runs the knitwear factory was very welcoming. She offered me a sample from their showroom cause I loved it so much.”
Keeler, KROST’s Head Designer: Everything was very clean and organized. Almost every factory had amazing views of the countryside, making it a healthy environment to work in. One day was spent looking for new stuff, the other day was spent looking at our current production room. It was eye opening to see all the factories. I had never been to a mill that was in use. Among seeing all the incredible time and dedication that was involved in the creative process, the food was probably my favorite part.
Samuel, Founder of KROST: Having worked with Ricardo for months prior to visiting him in Portugal, I knew we found the newest member of the family but there’s truly nothing more important than building in-person relationships. When everyone asked how our trip was, I continued to use two words: “wildly successful.”. It was absolutely incredible to meet Ricardo and his team while having the opportunity to visit all the factories and partnering suppliers was truly eye opening. There is no capability our design & production team doesn’t have so I believe the future is bright! Most importantly, our factories in Portugal align with KROST’s mission and our goal of following ethical work practices.