From Porto to Bali: alumnus of FEUP started a fashion brand amid the pandemic

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Tiago Ferreira da Silva, alumnus of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (FEUP) just started a fashion brand - The Flying Dutchman. The former student from Porto did this in Bali, amid the pandemic, where he established a sustainable clothing brand.

Tiago has been a fashion enthusiast ever since he was a kid; but, with a knack for mathematics and physics, the former student of the UP (he holds a Master degree in Mechanical Engineer by FEUP), found the perfect opportunity in Bali to fulfil one of his dreams: to start his own project.

The Flying Dutchman, a Portuguese shirt brand, characterized by the colourful design is made out of leftovers and recycled tissues and garments, the deadstock of other brands. This idea started to gain form during lockdown, and it was developed with friend and co-founder of the Flying Dutchman, António Campos, who resides in Bali.

"The one thing we had was time in our hands", Tiago explained; "So, this was the perfect timing to start the business that we both have been dreaming about since 2016, when we travelled to this side of the world and could find this colourful shirt designs, so different from the ones we see in Portugal".

These shirts are handmade in a small factory in Bali, which also produces garments for Australian and Canadian slow fashion brands. The shirts are labelled "sustainable clothing" due to the use of deadstock in its production; also, the buttons are made of biodegradable coconuts.

"Ever since we started this project, and no matter how little the steps we take, we are contributing to a greener and circular future. We purchase fabric without further polluting the planet, and our clients buy an exclusive handmade shirt, Bali made. It is the perfect commitment", the 28 year old entrepreneur explains.

The business is 100 online focused, as establishing a physical space is "complex in term of logistics"; the brand just entered the e-commerce platform and it also sells directly from its webpage or the The Flying Dutchman Instagram.

Previously, Tiago Ferreira da Silva worked at Airbus Defense & Space, in Munich, and at Lusospace - Aerospace Technology. Before advancing to his own project, Tiago Silva founded the EDIS (Exclusive Designs, Inclusive Sizing), in 2019, a platform that works as a marketplace for tailored clothing, through a tender launched by the Spanish incubator DEMIUM that selects candidates with an entrepreneur undertaking and the necessary competences to build a business from scratch.

"With the first startup I had the opportunity to deal with lots of brands, designers and professionals in the field. I learned a lot and I knew I wanted to start my own brand. I knew exactly what I wanted to do!", stated Tiago to the UP News Portal.

"The most important skill I take to my personal and professional lives with my degree in Mechanical Engineering is that I am more flexible at solving complex problems, starting from an analytical and pragmatic approach", explains the alumnus of FEUP.