Patrícia Ferreira
Valérius Hub: an open space for sustainability
TI 15 - November 2021


Having sustainability as a keystone, Valérius Hub sought to assemble a multidisciplinary team that had the textile sector in its origins and embraced innovation targeted to digitalization and e-commerce. The objective is to have such a variety that enables presenting all the areas with companies operating in different types of products.


alérius Hub has a pioneer concept. I would like you to summarize its goals.

It was created in 2020 and what we wanted to create was a set of companies which defended the same type of ideas. One thing is having each company individually trying to reach a goal and a completely different thing is trying to reach a group goal. We tried to bring together people with the same ideas and a similar know-how but evidencing trading difficulties or other needs that could be complemented.  We tried to set up a multidisciplinary team that had the textile sector in its origins and combined innovation, which we believe to be digitalization and e-commerce – one of its foundations. And, of course, having sustainability as the keystone of the company.

Is it an internal or external group?

Both internal and external…

There is innovation in that…

Yes, bringing together people that aren’t part of our day-to-day is important for us. There were areas that we didn’t dominate but that we wanted to include: accessorize, hats, home textiles, aspects we didn’t master.

It is, therefore, a sort of physical Marketplace, formed by both internal and external companies to the group. Was it hard to make the project understandable and find companies to integrate it?

In fact it was easier than we thought. We drew a sort of KPI [performance measurement tool] of what we felt a company needed to accomplish in order to integrate the group. And then we announced: in order for the company to be part of this hub it must cater for a set of needs in terms of skills, sustainability, social audits and some key points – which our customers consider to be the minimum.

What companies are with you at the moment?

In paper we have Ambar, in shoes we have Camport, in knitwear we have Vestire, in Home textiles we have Colmaco, in export textiles we have Erius, Valérius, Junius, Supercorte, Sartius and then we have a series of companies that operate in different product fields. It was important for us to have a variety which enabled us to present all the areas, even the ones that weren’t part of our core.

“We have a team of 30 people thinking about innovation every day”

Are you still keen on joining more companies to the hub?

Yes, we are continuously looking for it. For example, we are now looking for people in the denim area – we feel that’s a product that we wear all year long, which doesn’t have the same type of seasonality of other products. Even among the already represented areas, as we feel that the companies that joined us have reached the limit of their availability capacity to us, we look for others.

Regarding its size, what type of companies are you looking for?

We aren’t restraining in terms of size, we are restraining in terms of the keystones we consider to be the basis. One of the keystones is that the company is sustainable, wanting to integrate our 360 thread, treats the employees well, has all the social certifications and presents delivery capacity suitable to what we call” fast to the market”.

There must be an ideal dimension after which Valérius Hub won’t be able to grow any further, right?

We are going to change facilities because we are growing. In the beginning we were just three, now we are 15. We only had one person in sustainability and now there are five. We are growing and introducing new business units that are only possible with this initial investment. We want to be sustainable in the entire chain of value and as transparent as possible. We have the possibility of tracing the entire chain, from the fibre to the finished product. We are always creating teams and we are growing with these teams in order to provide an external service of quality.

"E-commerce only works if our warehouses are close to those of the end customer"

How has the response to this project on the market’s side been?

It has been very good. Before the pandemic we felt that e-commerce brands would take a leap but we didn’t imagine it would be so fast. The pandemic accelerated our predictions in five years. As we were prepared – we had an e-commerce study – we reduced costs and introduced speed in the delivery of goods, supported by a logistics department and a warehouse which enables us to do the shipping to the final B2B point in the United States. In the past we sent the goods to the United States, the customers paid 15% taxes at the entrance and then sent the goods back to their distributors in Europe – which was insane both in terms of distances and shipping. At the moment we define which items are destined to Europe and which go to the United States and we do direct shipping – in some cases directly to the shop. Here we have a powerful accelerator. We feel there is a need towards this speed and e-commerce only works if our warehouses are near the our final client’s ones. We are doing partnerships with warehouses and integrating them directly. We are in the United Kingdom, the United States and Poland to serve neighbouring countries. That also enables managing returns…

Is it a very complicated problem?

Yes. In Germany, for instance, returns represent 50% to 60% – this happens because people buy two or three sizes, try them on and then return the ones that don’t fit them. The German government forced all shipping and returns to be paid by companies. Therefore, we are selecting partners in Germany to collect returns and send them to Portugal. A part od the success also has to do with the design team, which has a strong role in the choice of innovative raw materials and in the support to new technics and new market trends.

Does so much diversification allow the company to defend itself from an excessive exposition to the client?

That’s our goal. We are always looking for new clients – but ones who are framed in the type of clients who we like to work with.

The project started in 2020 but it must have a first balance in terms of numbers, right?

Valérius will invoice around 38 million euros. Valérius Hub doesn’t have direct invoicing but we can say that in 2020 it brought around 10 million euros in new businesses from new clients that were introduced through the hub.

The project is inserted in new European guidelines for the sector: reindustrialization and shorter supply chains. Did you think about that before you started the project? 

We thought about merging two worlds: a project that allows us to get closer to the final client and shortening the time – and we try to add innovation every day. We have a 30 people team thinking about that. Our focus is on being the first to solve a problem. We have people working so that by 2030 Valérius is a carbon zero company.

In practical terms in what is this 30 people team working on at the moment?

We have, for instance, a team that is working on the system to enable the factory to respond immediately, in three days, anytime an order arrives. We have been analysing the needs in terms of raw materials, we have a selection of chassis and a line available which will have stamping, embroidering and will only produce what is ordered, it will not make stocks. We are working to reduce 90% of the usage of water and chemicals in dying. We have a team working in waste reuse. There is another working in chemical recycling to remove contaminants in mechanic recycling. Lastly, there is a team who only works with influencers to anticipate the following year’s trends.

Can you build a brand?

Easily. In order to launch a brand a minimum investment of 500 thousand euros is needed. As we have the entire process already developed we can dissolve this cost throughout the entire chain.

Was the quality image of the Portuguese textile Sector important for the project?

Yes, it is one of the key-factors for clients to trust in our work. The image that foreign clients have of Portugal is that we are a country that presents quality both in raw materials and in manufacture. This works as an opening door – but if we don’t deliver the service and continuity the clients exits the same door he entered.


At the age of 28 and trained in Economics (FEP), the person in charge for Valérius Hub has gathered more and more skills, and also coworkers – in a project to which we add modernity, innovation and flexibility in a sector that is excessively stuck to values that are losing efficiency.

Question from
José Pedro Ferreira
CEO Valérius 360

How does the new generation in the leadership analyse their predecessor’s management in TCI?

In a company experienced people who convey comfort, security and experience shall coexist with the generation that brings innovation, flexibility and new ways to approach the market. Only the junction of both generations may allow us to have an explosive company.

How are traditional brands adapting to this new digitalization era, specially with the entrance of influencers?

There are brands that will end up disappearing under the influence of influencers. They have two options: either they adapt themselves and use influencers in what can be their added-value or they will end up disappearing. One must be very careful as these new business ways are stealing market share from traditional strategies without them realizing it.

José Vilas Boas Ferreira
Presidente do grupo Valérius

How does the new generation see older salespeople and how do they sell made in Portugal?

At the moment there are many people leading to a purchase. On the other side, the buyers side, there is great youth and other interests which require a different approach. When face to face with a customer I don’t ask for orders: I ask whether they are available to start a project. In the past we worked for price but now we work for a differentiated service.

Sustainability or customization, which of these vectors will have more added-value in the future?

Sustainability will not be an added-value but an obligation. And customization will make the difference. The closer a brand is from the final consumer, the bigger the induction to new purchases and loyalty. Maybe in two years-time I will say that customization is already an obligation.