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"Riopele, due to its size and capacity, is always looking for new business avenues," says João Amaral. The Head of the Riopele Textile E-Motion Dept. emphasises that the company aims to "merge its long history and knowledge in the fashion and clothing industry with a creative and distinct approach in the development of new products for the mobility sector". Riopele has worked in this segment since the beginning of 2020. "Riopele has collaborated with some major European companies and wants to be ready for the new TGV".
Hence, "Riopele has developed two new exclusive products: cork-incorporated textiles and materials produced from textile waste, based on the concept of our Tenowa fabric brand". Our presence in this sector "is a stimulating challenge for the company and will pave the way for new business opportunities".
The high-speed train project, currently being assessed by the Portuguese government, is one of our main interests. "We would like the new high-speed train to have a Portuguese ‘flavour’”.
Meanwhile, Riopele is collaborating with some of the major players in the international automotive industry. "We want to introduce a fashionable vision into the mobility sector, by seeking the approval of automobile manufacturers regarding our strategy and positioning in this industry", João Amaral concludes.
Investment in sustainability pays off
Riopele wants to be one of the first companies in the European sector to be carbon neutral by 2027.
The realm of sustainability is key to the strategic vision of the Famalicão-based company. "The automotive industry is at a crossroads in terms of sustainability. We have manufacturers announcing the end of the use of natural leather, vehicles that incorporate natural and recycled materials, concept cars that, at the end of their useful life, are 100% recyclable, so we have to identify solutions and develop actual products that will meet this new challenge".
Furthermore, according to João Amaral, "without addressing the issue of autonomous driving, the future will involve more comfortable living spaces, acting as an extension of our sitting room, with the use of more environmentally friendly raw materials and greater differentiation". Purchasing decisions made by consumers worldwide will be more conscious and demanding, and there will also be a radical shift by manufacturers in this regard”.