Piupiuchick was born in 2012 with the idea of helping kids to make the most out of their childhood, with each collection to be driven by childhood “principles”! Collections are inspired in stories that have a great meaning to us and stories we want to tell to our children.
HOW MANY YEARS HAVE YOU BEEN IN THE BUSINESS? HOW HAVE THE TRENDS CHANGED?
Piupiuchick was born in 2012, with the launch of our first collection AW12. Since then, the world has changed but we always try to be very loyal to the brand’s DNA.
The main aim of our brand is to tell our children how it was when we were their age! What we did, what we played, what we dressed, what we liked, what were our favorite songs and bands, what we ate, how we passed family time, what bored us. All our collections tell one of those stories of our childhood.
At the center of piupiuchick DNA is also the sustainability and the footprint of the brand. We are always looking for ways of designing and producing with less impact for the environment.
Actually, I (Mariana) am an Environmental Engineer who dedicated to the fashion industry.
HAVE THE BUYING HABITS OF YOUR COSTUMERS CHANGED? IN WHAT WAY?
We don’t feel a dramatically change of our costumers buying habits. Since the beginning we are a niche brand that targets conscient costumers, that demand for good quality and sustainable brands. What we feel is that we have been gaining more and more new costumers that are more and more aware of the impact of the fast fashion, and don’t want to be part of it.
The new generation of consumers are very different from the ones 20 years ago. They value quality, they want to know where and whom made their clothes, they want to make sure their clothes are healthy, can be passed to brothers, friends and cousins, that all the supply chain respects the labor conditions and has as little impact on the environment as possible, and are willing to pay for it.
IN WHAT MANEER IS YOUR BRAND RESPONSIBLE, SUSTAINABLE, AND ETHICAL?
At piupiuchick we always develop, design and produce the collections under the same values: design quality products that last longer, with raw materials that are less harmful for the environment (organic and natural fibers, non-toxic dying or washing components, nickel free, etc.), at the local Portuguese factories, that are very well known for quality and innovation.
All our garments are produced locally here in Portugal, at sustainable and fair factories. We know personally all the people involved. They are part of our family.
At each collection we have the aim to give one more step in terms of decrease our environmental impact. The knowledge about the impact of the industry is constantly growing, and we know now, as an example, that the so called “green” organic cotton, has a much higher impact on the environment than the recycled fabrics. We are always studying and objectively measure the impact of each available option.
We have still a long way to walk, we all have.
WHAT IS RESPONSIBLE CONSUMARISM FOR YOU?
It is to choose quality and durable products, to know where they came from, who produced them, at what environmental cost, and to be willing to pay for it.
WHAT ARE YOUR DAILY ROUTINES AND POLICIES THAT MAKE YOUR COMPANY’S OFFICES ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY?
We are very excited as we just finally found and gave a big step on acquiring what will be our new office and warehouse. It is a very old building in an old part of the Porto city, that has an ambitious rehabilitation project for the next 10 years.
Now we are in the designing phase of the rehabilitation project and we are learning and studying about sustainable buildings, sustainable materials and designing towards less energy consumption. It has been very interesting.
This new place was also chosen for its proximity to the most important inter-mobility platform in Porto, so all our team members, clients and partners can choose for alternative mobility rather than driving to meet us.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE INSPIRATION FOR THE CURRENT COLLECTION (SS21)?
“At the movies” is the theme of our SS21 collection.
When going back to our childhood memories, the special ones always come to our minds. Those memories we dive into “watching movies” for countless long hours.
They are special memories indeed, not just because of the movie long hours, but also the process itself.
The endless conversations with our grandparents about how their favourite movie impacted their life; the stories about how all the family got together in front of the first black & white TV. Oh God! It was not that long ago when the first TVs appeared in our family homes.
The excitement and often the sibling and cousin rivalry over which movie to choose. The careful preparation of the family Saturday movie night session. Salty or sweet popcorn? Who sat on the couch and who sat on the floor? Who took the seat next to mum? Fiction or adventure? Walt or Warner?
The VHS fascination! Suddenly, we could choose when and where to watch our favourite movie! The sound of the rewinding tape, how could one forget? The blockbuster extra charge when returning a VHS without rewinding it to start! “Be kind, please rewind!”
The early teenage years with the first passion for the lead actor/ actress of our beloved movie. How many times did we watch that same movie over and over again? The lines we knew by heart. The discussions with friends imagining “what would you say” if we ever bumped into or came across them!
The favourite movie’s poster put up on the wall with a secret heart and kiss on the back! Our own collection of tapes on the shelf, making us so proud!
Being taken to the video store was the start of the weekend. As teenagers it was surely part of an outstanding Friday night! No, it was not as convenient as scrolling through a list of movies with your fingertips, but there was a profound sharing and social side to it.
And the thing is, in our memories, we were never watching movies alone, nor with headphones. It was the good old way!
CAN YOU GIVE US ANY HINTS ABOUT THEME FOR THE AW21 COLLECTION?
AW21 collection is inspired by our childhood memories whilst preparing and having breakfast with family and friends.
Breakfast was a central part of our childhood days. The first family gathering of the morning. So many food flavours and aromas immediately take us to these moments.
Starting with a trip to the local mini-market, where amazingly coloured cereal boxes featuring our favourite movie stars and different choices of peanut butter and Nutella jars were overwhelming. You can’t have forgotten the joy of a brand-new package, when you rushed to beat your sibling for whatever toy came wedged inside.
HOW HAS COVID-19 INFLUENCED THE PRODUCTION PROCESS?
Thanks God we didn’t feel any negative impact of Covid-19 on our production process. We always produced locally here at Portugal. Fortunately, none of our partner factories had (up to now) to stop production, due to local widespread infections.
We actually assist to a positive influence on the communication processes. We all implemented effective mechanisms of digital communication that eased so much our daily routines. We are much closer to the factories than we ever had, when we had to drive there for meetings.
HOW DO YOU SEE THE FUTURE OF YOUR BAND?
We aim at continuing to be a brand loyal to our DNA, and always giving steps towards becoming a more sustainable brand, that can contribute to the next green/sustainable revolution we all feel urges!