Riopele diversifies its business areas

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With practically a century of experience in developing fabrics and clothing for the fashion sector, Riopele is now investing in new business areas, especially targeting the development of new products. "We are diversifying our business into the technical textiles segment and investing in complementary areas of business, such as the automobile industry and the professional and military segments", revealed the company chairman José Alexandre Oliveira.

Riopele participated in the consortium that developed the new standard in camouflage uniform for the Portuguese armed forces in the military sector. The objective now is to expand production to target security forces worldwide. However, the significant investment is nevertheless going into the mobility sector.

"As it is public knowledge," explained José Alexandre Oliveira, "Riopele has concluded an ambitious investment plan, with a total of around 35 million euros, based on the drivers of digitalisation and sustainability. Hence this is a period for consolidating our position in the market and approaching new product segments".

In recent years, "we made a significant effort to position ourselves as a benchmark reference in Europe. We invested in state-of-the-art technology such as automation and efficiency of new equipment, launching a digital platform, monitoring the factory floor and implementing an artificial vision system in the weaving area. And also strengthen internal competencies with the optimisation of processes".

The mobility sector – an investment for the long term

"In this phase, our ambitions include introducing our vision of fashion to the mobility sector, seeking acceptance by manufacturers of our strategy and positioning", explained João Amaral, Riopele Design Account Manager.

"We have carried out visits and participated in meetings with the leading manufacturers worldwide and taken such opportunities to present our proposals for conceptual projects and small scale production runs". "Internally, we are also introducing and establishing new methods and processes that adapt to this demanding industry. We recently launched a new brand entitled "Riopele Textile E-Motion" to promote this new business area of the company".

This new Riopele business area emerges at a time when the mobility sector is going through profound changes. In the future, as João Amaral detailed, there shall be "demand for more comfortable passenger compartments as if an extension of our living rooms alongside the incorporation of more environmentally friendly raw materials with greater differentiation. Consumers' purchasing decisions will be more aware and demanding, with this also constituting a radical change for manufacturers."