Most of Aarrelabel's products are made at our own factory in Northern Portugal and with partners located nearby. In 2022, 69 different textile industry professionals worked at our factory.

What kind of working hours do we have in production?

Portugal has a law on working time. In the textile industry working time is 40 hours per week and overtime is 1 hour per day. The law allows 2 hours per day and overtime is paid as stated in the Portuguese law. Possible overtime is agreed with the employee and overtime compensation is paid.

How are our workers paid?

The wage level in the textile and clothing industry internationally is relatively low. Many brands are looking for the lowest possible price in Asia and, at an accelerating pace, also in Africa. Not everyone can get into that price competition – especially when the well-being of workers and the environment is also weighed down. In Portugal, the statutory minimum wage in 2019 was € 600 per month.

Our employees in the factory get at least the Portuguese minimum wage or higher, depending on the job description. In addition to sewing personnel, our factory also employs production designers, designers and model masters, cutting and warehouse personnel.

Annual salary increases are also added to salaries in accordance with laws and regulations.

In 2019 our factory employed 71 people. In total Black Moda Portugal, Lda paid 659 894,86 € in salaries. The amount includes extra times and bonuses. In 2019 our factory paid 17 203,58 € extra time.

How about holiday and parental leave?

Our own sewing company complies with the obligations of the Portuguese authorities regarding working time laws, holidays and maternity and parental leave. A parent breastfeeding a child may work a reduced six-hour day for a maximum of two years, though the salary is paid for a full eight hours. If the baby is not breastfed, but fed with formula, the other parent can also work shorter hours, but then switch to eight hours when the child reaches the age of one.

Black Moda Portugal works 11 months in a year. The summer holiday is one month’s salary and the holiday pay equals to one month’s salary. In addition, employees receive holiday pay equivalent to one month’s salary during Christmas.

How do we take care of health and job safety in our production?

Private occupational health and safety services guarantee a healthy and safe work environment for our workers. Occupational health and safety services have been outsourced. The services are supplied by Segurihigiene / Viva Mais. There is a solidarity agreement with our sewing company and the company providing occupational health services. In practice, this means that in the event of serious deficiencies in the controls and audits carried out by the authorities, Black Moda Portugal, Lda and Segurihigiene are both responsible for the faults. The occupational physician and the nurse visit the factory once a year and all workers undergo an annual health check-up. The worker will be referred for medical treatment if anything requiring treatment comes up in the health check. Otherwise, if the employees need to see a doctor, they can contact Segurihigiene and make an appointment.

The supervisor at our factory is responsible for ensuring occupational safety. Also the occupational safety technician visits the factory once a year to check and audit the working conditions. The visit shall be the subject of an official report, which is then submitted to the labor inspectorate. Possible shortcomings shall be mentioned in writing and a rectification visit shall be made to rectify the shortcoming. The Portuguese State collects occupational health and safety information from all companies once a year to a database. The information is posted on an official website on the Internet and the disclosure of this information is required by law.

The personnel manager at Black Moda Portugal ensures that each employee has up-to-date information on employment and occupational safety issues. The main points of these are summarized on the notice board of the sewing shop and there are links on the notice board for further information. In addition, a performance review is conducted twice a year with each employee.

Where are our fabrics produced and how do we ensure sustainability on fabric production?

Our main supplier for fabrcis and yarns is Armaco, Lda.

To ensure that our corporate values ​​are also realized in our subcontracting chain, Armaco and Black Moda Portugal share a responsible staff member focused on sustainability.

In this way, we develop responsibility in the fabric production, e.g. promoting the selection and development of greener materials and ensuring that our supplier agreement and values ​​are implemented in our chain.

One of Aarrelabel’s owners and partners – Riikka Oliveira – also visits Armaco’s premises several times a year.

In addition to this, we conduct an annual responsibility survey for Armaco, Lda, which seeks to monitor the development. In the responsibility survey, we inquire e.g. wage by job, accidents at work and sick leave. Our responsibility survey is divided into three parts: economy, people and environment.