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Aarrekid's production

Find out what the production in Portugal looks like and who made your clothes.
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The clothes by  Aarrekid, founded in 2009, are patterned, cut and sewn in Northern Portugal at the factory Cottonhouse, which is owned by the Finnish Keski-Vähälä family who also owns the Aarrekid label. The factory employs 65 people including sewers, production planners, cutters, patternmakers and warehouse personnel. Cottonhouse's Finnish CEO Riikka Keski-Vähälä de Oliveira is responsible for employees, purchases and products, and she also ensures that their suppliers and partners follow their ecological and ethical values. All materials and knitwear come from partners who are located in the nearby area and have been known by the Keski-Vähälä family for decades.

The pictures of this article have been taken by the Aarrekid team. The photos are from Cottonhouse and the printing house where the products are printed and dyed.

Ana Costa (on the right) is one of those who has, also this spring participated in making the Aarrekid clothes. Ana started working in Cottonhouse's packaging seven years ago but now, she is a production manager. The production orders by Aarrekid are first sent to Ana who then takes the lead. Below is the team of patternmakers Carolina Pereira ja Fernanda Crasto and Brígida Ferreira.

For all employees is paid at least the minimum wage, specified by the law, or higher depending on the work. In addition to the basic salary, a bonus is paid, for instance, for meticulous work. All overtime hours are paid extra and agreed beforehand. Overtime hours may not exceed two hours per day or 200 hours per year. Cottonhouse maintains the professional skills of its employees through a continuous occupational training program and provides all employees 35 hours of occupational training per year.

Employees are offered, among other things, private health care and they are all entitled to a paid three-week summer holiday, a week-long Christmas holiday and a five-month maternity and parental leave, which is defined by the Portuguese law. After the parental leave, the child's mother or father can work a shortened six-hour working day until the child is one year old. The salary is paid for a full eight hours.


Cotton is the most important and most used material in the tricot products of Aarrekid. At the moment, they mainly use GOTS-certified organic cotton purchased from Turkey. The cotton fibers are further processed in Northern Portugal where it is spun into yarn or the yarn is brought already spun to Portugal. The basic yarns are usually spun in Turkey, and the special yarns, such as custom blends, are made in Portugal where the yarn is made into different knits. The partner of Cottonhouse, who dyes and prints the knits, has a water treatment plant in which the pH-amounts are controlled. The colour recipes are automatically made to keep the loss of colour chemicals as low as possible. The dye colours are handled in tubes so that they do not enter the respiratory system.


The pictures above are taken from the dyeing process. In the pictures, the employees handle the knits after dyeing, which means that the knits are washed, finished, dried and the quality is checked.

Beneath is the circular knitting machine in the weaving mill. With the machine, all AARREkid's tricot knit fabric is made and from there, the fabrics are sent to printing or dyeing and to be finished. There the ready tricot fabrics are sent to Cottonhouse.

The production of Aarrekid is Öko-Tex Standard 100 certified, meaning that no harmful pesticides, heavy metals or formaldehyde residues are found in the products. In addition, the REACH Regulation (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals), which must be followed in the EU area, places a greater responsibility on the industry when it comes to the risks that chemicals may cause to the environment or health.

The dyed and printed knits are shipped to Cottonhouse's storage to wait for cutting and sewing. The production's fabric waste is recycled, and the recycling is taken care of by Cottonhouse.


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