Tell us about your business, how long has it been running and what’s the story behind it?
Triwool is a Portuguese based circular knit garment supplier. The company specialises in circular knitted design, development and sourcing focused on short-term fashion supply for leading retailers and brands worldwide.

We provide an efficient supply solution for each of our customers’ needs, from raw material sourcing, product concept and design to client production standards. Our goal is to offer products with value based on quality, design, and competitive prices. The company is committed to the highest ethical and operational standards. Focused on transparency and sustainable good corporate management procedures. A committed team of experienced Account Managers, Merchandisers, Quality Controllers, and Designers with a high level of fashion awareness along with strict production procedures cover and support all supply chain levels.

Do you have your own design department, if so, where do you get the inspiration for your designs from?
Yes, we do have a design team of 12 designers. They get their inspiration from shopping all over the world, catwalks and WGSN.

What design trends have you seen coming over the past two or three seasons, and what trends do you expect to see over the coming seasons?
It depends immensely on the market and client philosophy; some have more intricate details, and some like very simple and basic garments.

Are there any core staples that you are always asked for, irrespective of seasonal trend changes?
Basic garments with simple lines.

Do you have a particular manufacturing niche which sets you apart? How do you set yourselves apart from other manufacturers?
We do have a niche we produce jersey garments with a knitwear look.

Can you tell me more about this type of jersey? What kind of items are made from it, what is a popular style to create from it?
Jersey refers to the fabric construction. It is made on a circular knitting machine with one set of knitting needles. It creates fabric that is often used in t-shirts, for example. Jersey can be made in various types of fabrics: cotton, polyester, nylon, rayon, etc. Cotton jersey is probably the most common type of knit – it’s very soft and fluid and works well for a variety of garments.

Have there been any new technological developments that you have introduced into your manufacturing processes? Do you think there will ever come a time where manufacturing is fully automated or it is the human input that makes the quality differences?
We do not think that manufacturing will ever be fully automated; each garment is subjected to several processes that need human intervention.

Are you seeing any trends or changes in the way production is moving? For example, are you being asked more about ethical practices or are you turning to data driven production?
The concern for sustainability – ethical and environmental – is increasing immensely. The brands have strict codes of conduct, and demand social audits, that cover a wide range of parameters: ethical trade, Health and Safety, Labour Standards. The brands want to produce quality products while ensuring strong social and environmental protection.

How do you adapt to the changes in the marketplace, how do you stay ahead of the curve?
We work with a sustainable supply chain, that ensures the best practises.

Have customers become more demanding of suppliers? What have the core changes been in this relationship?
Yes, they are. Customers are looking for social, ethical and environmental assurance of good practises.

What advice would you give sourcing professionals looking for a manufacturer? What should they look for, and what questions should they be asking?
Assure a socially, ethically and environmentally responsible supply chain.

How can manufacturers and sourcing professionals improve their relationships?
It is all about communication.

Are ethical and sustainable credentials more important today? Is this something where buyers are becoming more demanding on these issues?
Yes, some buyers are more conscientious about sustainable fabric and garments. There is a demand for that.

How are you approaching sustainability, do you have any examples?
Through a thoroughly well-thought-out supply chain, that aims to balance economic, social and environmental sustainability factors in equal harmony.