Can it be that simple launching an idea with someone saying during a dinner: "let us create a clothes brand" Apparently yes, because it was this surprising way the plan of the three Ohno founders started to take shape.
As a matter of fact, nothing in the entrepreneurship is static and the original idea ended up evolving, when they became aware that the market was already replete and that pollution in this kind of production was huge. "We changed the concept: it would not be just another clothes brand but an ecological one", one of the founders, Pedro Henriques, explains. "We wanted to develop a project that pleased us and, at the same time, did not account for the destruction of the environment that so many good moments have given us, and still do".
Ohno Project is thus an enterprise where all pieces of clothing are ecological, based on organic cotton (free from pesticides and other chemical products) and recycled polyester (converting PET bottles into textile yarn). The concern to work with suppliers that guarantee good working conditions to their employees is another essential condition of this enterprise. "The project's name is a game of English "Oh" and "No", to express disapproval in what respects Nature damaging practices, and the logo is the muzzle of a raccoon since it is an animal who easily adapts himself to different environments, a versatility the team wants to be its brand image.
The team always tries to give an innovation touch to the products, such as a t-shirt with a sun glasses holder, and with an alert message towards the respect for the environment besides the sustainable production.
Currently it is a foreign company that transforms the ecological raw material Ohno creates its products with, but their goal is doing it with a Portuguese company. "All the companies we talked to work only with large quantities, which, for us, are not yet sustainable", Pedro Henriques admits.
Up to now, the brand's balance is "rather positive" - the first collection stock selling out very quickly and the second collection selling at "a favourable rate". Customers praise not only the ecological side of the firm but also the "products quality and aesthetics.
The future will now be Ohno expansion to the international market and the brand portfolio enlargement to include not only clothing but also sport accessories and utilitarians. "We want to be a benchmark", Pedro Henriques concludes.