Where? In the North of Portugal, at a small and ethical company called Dapit
Why? The region is traditionally linked to the textile industry and this company employs both experienced and young people to whom they teach the trade. Their operations are run in a sustainable way, with most of their textile waste being recycled.
My previous experience in the textile area in Portugal was what triggered the idea of upcycling fabric (as opposed to sourcing a sustainably made, yet more expensive, material). Striking the deal for being allowed use of the fabric was only made possible by working in collaboration with someone whom companies already knew and trusted - Dapit. Upon the material being secured we could have chosen to walk away with it. The decision of not manufacturing the bags in-house hinged on the recognition of their expertise. Surely I could buy a professional sewing machine and sew myself, but that would impact the quality of the final product and would take longer than having skilled hands do what they know best. I'm sure that trusting Dapit with our bags resulted in a better product finished in less time, and therefore also less expensive.
Portugal is a country in which we are proud to manufacture (and I'm not just saying that because I'm Portuguese). In Portugal, we have found people passionate about what they do, happy to establish a close relationship with their clients and who really go the extra mile to deliver something special. The country is also heavily invested in relying solely in renewable energy, with more than 50% to be produced from renewable sources by 2020 - a target which seems increasingly plausible after Portugal run on wind, solar and hydro power for 4 days straight in May (The Guardian). We believe our decision of partnering with a Portuguese company to not only make financial sense but also that it is the best way of rewarding people's personal investment in the quality of their work and the government's investment in a sustainable future.