Wide areas, modern automatic cutting equipment, and, in the background, a wall painted by the immense sewing line cones in the most varied colours. The sound of sewing machines and the characteristic smell of the knits highlights the 32 years dedicated to manufacturing for international reference brands. This is ETFOR, a textile company based in Forjães, Esposende, where the brand Play Up, a family project, was also born.
“The creation of an own brand came naturally, following the evolution of our know-how”, explains Bruno Correia, the company’s general director and one of the drivers behind Play Up, together with his siblings Elsa and César. “It was our mother’s wish that took shape. The brand was born in 2004, after more than ten years of investment. We learned, studied the market, went to international fairs, and had many advances and setbacks. However, only in 2014 the brand started to be profitable. In 2018, my sister Susana took the wheel of the creative direction, starting a deep rebranding process”.
Graduated in architecture, Susana Correia had only collaborated with Play Up by designing the band’s stands for trade-shows. Her involvement with the brand grew organically, to the point where she started to run the design team. Then, the need to transform the brand’s concept awoke: “My proposal was a return to the origins, to mirror what we are in our creations. Our family lives and works in this small village, and has a strong connection with nature. Alongside the factory, my parents always raised animals, and grew vegetables and fruits. We wanted that truth to be reflected in Play Up, which is more than a brand, it is a lifestyle”.
Currently, the brand exports 95%: “We are in more than 800 stores worldwide, in addition to the exponential growth of online sales. The months of confinement were the best ever for the brand, and we are going to close 2020 with a much higher sales volume when compared to last year”, reveals Bruno. “We feel that the pandemic has raised attention to many of the values we already advocated”, adds Susana.
Sustainability and social responsibility, as well as comfort and quality are the pillars of Play Up, which wants to become even more environmentally friendly. Upcycling is another big bet, as is the use of reusable packaging and recycled materials. The rebranding in 2018 was marked by the creation of the Embracing Slow Making concept, a series of collaborations with a new generation of Portuguese artists and creators, whose work has inspired the collections launched since then. “All the partners we work with are Portuguese, and we are also concerned about providing good working conditions for our employees”, adds the general director.
Step by step, the brand has grown, both in visibility and within the team. The creative process is done internally, as well as the online marketing and communication strategy. The investment in the B2C channel is one of Play Up’s main bets.
“We want to continue to grow more consciously, and offer better conditions to the people who work with us. We believe in fair trade, and we will continue to work with local partners”, says Bruno Correia, who also has the ambition of increasing Play Up’s presence in Portugal.
What does it make? Children’s clothing from newborn to age 14 Exports 95% of production. Spain, Germany, Sweden, Italy, the Netherlands and the United States are the best markets Workers 110 Production area 9 thousand m2
Av. Margarida Queiroz 301