"We aim for the impossible"

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Name - Albertina Maria Faria Reis
Age - 56
Place of birth: Guilhabreu – Vila do Conde

Albertina Reis leads one of Riopele's strategic departments, the R&D area. She coordinates a team of over 100 technicians, which has proved essential to putting the company on the road to progress and modernity.

Do you still remember your first day at Riopele? What was it like?
I remember well my first day at Riopele, when I started my apprenticeship on March 14, 1988. I was received at the Human Resources Department to do some psychometric tests. The following day, which was indeed my baptism of fire, I remember very well who welcomed me, the place/space where I was "stationed", and with who I shared that same space. What I kept in memory from that day was the grandeur of Riopele, a vast area with lots of people, but that did not frighten me. On the contrary, it challenged me. The person who accompanied and mentored me was Ana Maria Amorim, who later became for me a reference.

In your opinion, in what way has the company evolved in recent years?
I consider it essential to highlight the company's ability to focus its evolution on its core business: manufacturer of fabrics for fashion clothing and technical textiles. In addition, the research and development with new fibres/new yarns focused on Product Development, which has supported and contributed to catapulting the company into a continuous search for innovation, in order to continue being at the forefront in the National and International Textile Sector. On that basis is a substantial change in the investments made in equipment, continually investing in new, versatile and smart technologies, infrastructures and, of course, in the company's own culture, which strives to foster the knowledge and the qualification of our human resources.

You lead one of the areas of most significant responsibility in the company, R&D. From a product point of view, what sets Riopele apart?
Essentially, our ability to constantly pursuing new avenues regarding Research and Development. I would say often aiming for the impossible, which is what others usually do not do. This means the type of product we present, whether for its properties, novelty, image, appearance, and response capacity, at a tremendous speed. In addition, we focus on our customers by providing a bespoke development service.

Riopele is a company that specialised in the production of polyester. What makes this raw material so interesting?
As an end product, polyester is durable, comfortable, performs well when worn, the colour maintains its intensity, it is easy to maintain. Also, it requires less H2O to wash; it does not crease - no ironing needed - easy-care. In short, it is very sustainable. Our process ensures reproducibility and stability in its structural properties.

The company, which is about to celebrate its 100th anniversary, has been focusing on sustainability. Is it a fashion or a trend that is here to stay?
It is no longer fashionable to talk about sustainability. I would not say it is a trend either, but rather a commitment if we are part of a responsible company and want to live in society. At Riopele, we are genuinely committed to this way of operating, not only at the product level but also concerning the environment in general, whether social or environmental.