Sustainability is a constant concern of the designer Marita Setas Ferro, who tries to use innovative and environmentally friendly materials.
Craftswoman, designer and sculptor, Marita Setas Ferro dedicated more than 30 years to clothing, as a trainer at the Tree Artistic and Professional School and Marita Moreno brand, which she created in 2009. Three years ago, she decided to change from clothing to shoes, more sculptural objects and therefore more challenging, and since then she has never stopped. Sustainability is one of her greatest bets, using natural materials, such as hemp, lace, woof or cork, as well as innovative, such as pinatex, a fiber made from pineapple leaves, or slabs of bark fiber from the banana peel. She already sells to France, Italy, Germany and the USA and she has already caught the Netflix’s attention.
The spring-summer collection was inspired by princesses from the movie universe and includes models such as Ermione, Leia or Daenerys. Netflix is preparing a new series about goddesses and admitted to integrate some Marita Moreno shoes. The partnership did not advance, but Marita Setas Ferro hopes that it may happen someday, since the brand has an agent in Los Angeles, which is engaged to make the Portuguese footwear known to the film world. "We have been organizing events in Beverly Hills to communicate the brand and make it known to actors and social influencers. We have to create buzz around Marita Moreno, so that we can reach consumers later," explains the Portuguese designer.
An agent for the Canadian market is also hired. Despite being born exclusively for international market, Marita Moreno is a growing target of requests in Portugal. "People are starting to be very attentive and sustainability is in fashion," she says. Apart from the Marita Moreno's own online store, shoes and wallets can be bought on the Overcube and Minty Square platforms. The showroom of the brand is in Lourosa, Santa Maria da Feira, and the footwear is produced in São João da Madeira, Felgueiras and Fafe.
Marita really wants to use national raw materials and "to bring Portuguese culture and Made in Portugal to the world". The only exception is bioleather, which she buys in Spain.
In addition to the vegan line, which she launched in 2017 in response to market demands, Marita Moreno has a sustainable line, in which she uses skins that have not been subjected to heavy metal treatments, and an upcycling line, developed from the recycling of remains of previous collections.
She also has a very exclusive line, for men and women, with only one hundred pairs, properly numbered. "They are unique, sculptural pieces," she explains. They cost between 180 and 280 euros, but you can buy a pair of Marita Moreno shoes, unnumbered, from 125 euros. "These are very interesting prices compared to the French or Italian brands", guarantees the designer, underlining that these are "niche products, of high quality and very differentiating". For Marita Setas Ferro, the Portuguese industry makes "excellent products", but it doesn’t have the design component yet. "We make shoes just like everyone else, we need to be a little bolder, venturous, in order to be more internationally recognized."