Exporting 100 percent of its production, having Britain as its main market, Manuel Fernando Azevedo, S.A. was funded more than 20 years ago as a family project in northern Portugal.
Today it is taken as the largest manufacturer of both functional and technical socks in Western Europe, working for large global brands.
MFA now has 500 looms with an annual production of 24 million pairs in 2015.
For Manuel Fernando Azevedo, S.A. it is very important to have a policy to reduce the harmful effects to the environment, so it has been acquiring expertise in energy management, and has been developing an increasingly stricter policy on waste handling.
More and more everyday MFA seeks to resort to the use of raw materials that allow the reduction of the ecological footprint, a measure that reflects a significant competitive advantage over the major brand market, which nowadays opts for messages and practices of environmental sustainability.
The company belongs to the FLA (Fair Labor Association) as well as Puma World Cat, Adidas and Nike, which makes it socially responsible and comply with a series of social rules, labor and human rights.
It is also in the process of joining the BCI program (European system of social monitoring for ethical sources).
MFA is a company organized according to its customers' standards and it is periodically audited in order to maintain its certification as a supplier. It has also been certified by Oeko-Tex Standard.
Here, the energy consumption is mainly electrical, being 89% of this consumption related to the production activity (30% compressors, 28% looms, 37% exhaust/ventilation and 6% lighting). These values are the result of an audit to support the installation of a mini energy production system through solar panels. The same is now made of 1036 solar panels installed on the factory roof and prepared to generate 200KW/h of energy. The autonomous energy production began in June 2013.
Currently it has began a preliminary study for the installation of another photovoltaic plant (mini generation) in its new premises in Avidos (Famalicão), to determine its sustainability.
Another measure adopted at the Palmeira unit (where there are 328 circular knitting machines spread over three rooms), was the replacement of 350 fluorescent lamps with LED technology lamps, which allowed an energy saving of approximately 60%.
MFA believes that more than environmental responsibility, it has the social responsibility of making a difference.