Calvelex: “a modern company that focuses intensely on innovation and marketing"

Within the scope of the initiative COMPETE 2020: close to those who create value, the president of COMPETE 2020, Rui Vinhas da Silva, had the opportunity to get to know, in November of 2015, the production unit of Calvelex.

According to Rui Vinhas da Silva, “Calvelex is a modern company that focuses intensely on innovation using the best processes in the making of clothing products of the highest caliber. The prestige and reputation of Calvelex products are internationally recognized by renowned retailers that trade the Calvelex brands. With a permanent focus on the technological upgrading of their equipment and productive processes and the improvement and readiness of their human resources, Calvelex has attained a level of efficiency that is enviable in the production of high quality women’s clothing. The company exports both under private-label or their own-brand to international markets where their products stand out among others”.


A Brief History of Calvelex

CALVELEX is based in the north of Portugal, in the very heart of the Portuguese textile industry, one of the most important textile-manufacturing regions in the European Union. Indeed, the hallmark of the region is its tradition in textiles and clothing manufacture. It is important to highlight the country's excellent geographical position, placed as it is between the Americas to the west and the rest of Europe to the east. This gives Portugal the advantage of functioning as a channel between the markets of both continents. Since 1985, CALVELEX has devoted itself to clothes manufacturing and it has always striven to accompany as closely as possible the growth that has taken place within the sector.

The constant updating of technological equipment and production processes, along with the training and motivation of the human resources involved, mean that CALVELEX manufacturing units have achieved a degree of efficiency which place them among the most successful competitors in the sector on a national level. CALVELEX is currently made up of five manufacturing units equipped with the Geber CAD and CAM systems, specializing in high quality lady's apparel.

Their main products are jackets, trousers, skirts, shorts, blouses and dresses, which they export to Europe and the United States. CALVELEX operates from a work space of 30,000 m2, with a total of 700 workers. The annual capacity for production is in the order of a million garments.  


“COMPETE 2020: close to those who create value” 

On the 18th of November 2015, the president of COMPETE 2020 Rui Vinhas da Silva began a weeklong visit to companies in the textiles and fashion sectors.

These are sectors of economic activity that have experienced growth in exports in the order of 9,5% in 2014 (ANIVEC). From 2009 to 2014, these sectors saw export sales rocket by a staggering 29%. Within the textile sector exports of clothing represented 60,2% of 2014 total exports, and contributed to the balance of trade with a surplus of 967 million euros.

The visit by the Chairman of COMPETE 2020 is part of a wider agenda to bring firms who are keen on exporting their goods and internationalize their economic activity on the one hand and COMPETE 2020 on the other closer and closer together as both sides share a common purpose, that of increasing exports and substituting imports, thus contributing to a structurally healthier balance of trade. 

By identifying the set of critical factors for economic growth that are inherent to successful export strategies, by acting in a consistent and systematic way, by adding value to tradable goods, committing to incorporate innovation, applied knowledge and marketing, listing what is necessary to do to remove the structural and behavioral barriers to direct external investment, it will be be possible to create the conditions for sustained economic growth in Portugal via competitiveness and exports, all of which materializes the ultimate objective of COMPETE 2020. The visits included a group of companies with differing market positions, which shows the wealth of diversity and strong dynamic that Portuguese companies have demonstrated over the last decade. Companies like Salsa (Irmãos Vila Nova, S.A.), Calvelex, Laranjinha (Hall&CA), Petratex, Fiorima, Damel, P&R Têxteis S.A., Grupo Polopique are fine examples of this.

According to Rui Vinhas da Silva, president of COMPETE 2020, the visits within the scope of “COMPETE 2020: close to those who create value”, showed that the textiles and clothing sector which has undergone severe turmoil with the opening of the European markets to China and the 2008 crisis, were able to reinvent themselves, having acquired sustainable competitive advantages anchored in tangible differentiation (sophisticated processes and products) thus improving the competitiveness of the Portuguese economy. Less has been done on the branding (both corporate and product) front, but progress has been made.






18/04/2016 , Por Cátia Silva Pinto
Portugal 2020
Rui Vinhas da Silva
COMPETE 2020 close to those who create value
President of COMPETE 2020