Sol Sports: see how a company with locations in 20 countries internationalized
Sol Sports has just announced that it has joined Texbrasil (Brazilian Textile and Fashion Industry Internationalization Program) – held through a partnership with Apex-Brasil (Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency) and Abit (Brazilian Textile and Apparel Industry Association). The company started to internationalize in 2011 and is now sold in 20 countries. The brand’s expertise in producing outdoor apparel and knowledge of exports comes from experience with manufacturing paragliders and parasails, through its work with Sol Paragliders for the last 26 years.
In an interview with Texbrasil, Ary Carlos Tradi, the managing partner and the current director of Sol Paragliders and Sol Sports, talks about how the latter achieved space in the international market and what the company’s plans are with its participation in the Program.
Texbrasil: How did your entrepreneurial journey and path toward internationalization begin?
Ary: It all started in 1991, when my hobby and passion for aerial sports became a profession and I began to make paragliders. The motivation came after a trip to Europe, when I learned that this was what I wanted to do. Internationalization happened almost at the same time: at the end of the next year, Sol Paragliders was already exporting through a private label to Europe and licensing to Latin America. Today, the company is a leader in the segment, accounting for 4% of production worldwide.
Has the fact that Sol Paragliders already exports helped with the dream of internationalizing Sol Sports items?
For sure. When we founded Sol Sports in 2011, we already had these contacts and experience with exports: this greatly facilitated the process. For years, our market was somewhat of a niche, since our apparel, along with our paragliders and parasails, do more sales in countries that have drier weather, since they are products geared toward outdoor activities. This scenario changed with the athleisure trend began to pop up on runways. That was when sportswear became a trend and we were able to move beyond niche sales.
What do you feel are the competitive edges that Sol Sports has in the global market?
We are always very well positioned in the market, since innovation, research and development of state-of-the-art technology are in our DNA. We are consistently successful in markets that value these attributes, which is the case of Uruguay, a country that we export a lot to. For example, we use UV protection and prioritize polyamide fibers for thermal comfort. We also like to always stay ahead and really get to know our public, who are passionate about outdoor sports, like biking and parasailing. We therefore develop completely specific lines.
What are your goals for the future?
Right now, we are looking for expertise in trade promotion to grow our international distributor networks and for guidance and support on communications actions. These are even some of the factors that lead us to the Program. Moreover, we would like to use market knowledge from Texbrasil’s intelligence area and achieve our greater goal, which is to increase our exports to Europe and the USA.
The Brazilian Textile and Fashion Industry Internationalization Program (Texbrasil) works with textile and apparel industry companies to develop strategies for success in the global market. Over nearly 20 years, it has helped around 1500 brands to enter the export market, bringing in USD 3.6 billion in business. The Program is conducted by Abit in partnership with the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil).