Founded by three partners, Jaime Azevedo, Gabriel Silva, and Alfredo Azevedo, Trifitrofa is one of the main suppliers of yarn for the Portuguese textile industry
The possibility of making samples from one day to the next (or even on the same day), which is one of the greatest competitive edges of our Textile and Clothing Industry, exists thanks to Trifitrofa. “We provide a service to the textile industry. I believe everyone that uses dyed yarn is our customer”, explains Jaime Azevedo, 44, son of the Jaime Azevedo, who, at the age of 75, is still in charge of the financial department of the company that he founded in 1982.
As the name suggests, Trifitrofa was created by three partners (Jaime Azevedo father, Gabriel Silva, and Alfredo Azevedo, who left the business in the meantime) – Tri –, sells yarn (fios, in Portuguese) – fi – and it’s based in Trofa.
The company was born in a small space (50 m2), dedicated to recovery and reuse yarn waste, which was cleaned, finished, packaged and sold to knitters and sock manufacturers. Today, it owns a 10 thousand m2 space and holds a yarn stock appraised in ten million euro, which is one of the secret weapons of the success of the Portuguese textile industry.
Curiously, the great leap forward for Trifitrofa is connected to an event that usually carries a negative connotation – the young Jaime Azevedo, who so far had been a good student with a special knack for drawing, dropped out of school instead of applying for a Fine Arts degree (perhaps frightened with how early the train that was supposed to take him from Trofa to his classes in Porto left the station…)
“I’ll give you one week to think it over”, replied Jaime father when Jaime son announced he did not want to study any more. Since he did not change his mind in seven days (a decision he does not regret), the young Jaime began to work in the company, cleaning the small warehouse, and learning a trade that he would later transform with an unexpected Midas touch.
“When I started taking the yarn to customers, I realized that what the market really needed was a proper customer service. If, from one moment to another, they needed a bag of royal blue, they had nowhere to turn”, explains the CEO of Trifitrofa.
The first steps of this great leap were made during the turn of the century, at the 2-bedroom flat where Jaime and Ângela (married since the year 2000) lived and made, by hand, the first poster with 20 colours stapled to it. Nowadays Trifitrofa has a department that makes hundreds of catalogues every month, with a palette of over 200 colours – and different blends.
The results of this strategy came soon enough. Sales doubled every year (from three to six, from six to 12 million…). Their success did not go unnoticed, and the magazine Exame acknowledged Trifitrofa as the best textile SMB.
Partnerships are the other secret of this success. “We have a partnership with dye shops, to which we guarantee a certain volume of work. We don’t meddle with the industry part, and they don’t meddle with the commercial part. We also have partnerships with suppliers of raw yarn, from Pakistan, India or Turkey. They give me the exclusive for Europe and I give them the comfort of production”, shares Jaime Azevedo, the entrepreneur that has the gift of guessing the clients’ need – and the pride that all the added value of the yarn that they sell is made in Portugal.
Rua Teófilo Braga 115
Gandra, S.Martinho do Bougado
What is it? “The biggest warehouse of dyed yarn in the world” Stock 2 500 tons of yarn Covered area 10 thousand square metres Clients Over 500 customers Certifications GOTS, Oeko-Tex and BCi Workers 28 Turnover 30 million euro