Portuguese footwear manufacturers turn to mask production

Published:  01 April, 2020

The voluntary movement is being coordinated by the Portuguese Footwear Technology Centre (CTCP), with support from the Portuguese Footwear Association (APPICAPS), and follows technical specifications released by Portugal’s Public Health Authority.

Mostly located in northern Portugal, over 20 footwear companies, including designer Luis Onofre, are temporarily switching production from shoes to protective masks for healthcare professionals and nursing homes. Each type of mask has specific production requirements; for instance, disposable surgical masks require a “triple filter layer for increased protection, securing elastic bands, easily mouldable nasal clip” and must be 100% polypropylene. It is estimated that between 12,000 and 15,000 units are being produced daily.

“We're doing our part. We've officially shifted our production resources to help provide protection to those on the frontline”, said Luis Onofre. “We are currently producing 400 to 500 masks a day; as many as we can.”