We all love a peek at each other’s homes, and I’d be lying if I said the odd scroll of Rightmove isn’t on my weekly agenda. This week the blog is going abroad to take a behind-the-scenes look at exactly where Swyft sofas and beds are made. We sent Erin from our UK-based marketing team over to sunny Portugal for a factory tour and a chat with some of our talented makers out there. Consider your nosiness satisfied.
Olá! Can you introduce yourself and tell us what you do?
Of course. My name is Sandra Ribeiro, and I’m the director of Swyft Manufacturing (Angora). I manage and oversee everything that happens here at our factory. I’m really excited to have this opportunity to show off the amazing work we do here.
Sandra Ribiero, Angora Manufacturing
Where are Swyft products made?
Our factory is based near Porto- this is where all the magic happens! Our sofas, beds, ottomans and more are all produced here at our 12,000 square metre site. We’ve been in this new facility since October 2021. The team is split into a few different specialisms across two sites. One for the main production, and a separate facility where our carpenters work from.
Swyft factory sewing and upholstery area
Who makes Swyft sofas and beds?In September of 2020, we started with 26 employees, and we’ve now grown to over 135 skilled people working with us which keeps growing by the day. At the main factory our four distinct teams cover:
- Fabric cutting
- Upholstery and fillings
By creating more skilled jobs and investing in apprenticeship programmes, we’ve been able to open up valuable opportunities for local people.
When hiring, the focus is on skills and ability, regardless of gender or other characteristics. Historically, there hasn’t been much female presence within manufacturing, so it’s great to see that this forward-thinking mindset has allowed us to open up more pathways for underrepresented groups of people.
Our skilled sewing and upholstery team work on a Teal Velvet cushion
What’s so special about how everything's made?
A lot of people might not know that our factory uses minimal equipment, it’s very manual and truly is an artisanal process. We’ve got some really talented craftspeople in our team that are championing innovative techniques. All of our beds, sofas and ottomans are made by hand- it’s not about mass production.
A Swyft Bed 02 plinth frame being finished by hand
At the same time, we're always working on innovative new ways of creating furniture, like the development of our Swyft-lok systems that have been an integral part of our core offering from the beginning. We're all about taking away the inconveniences of ordering, receiving and assembling furniture, and creating a much more positive end-to-end experience for our customers.
A Swyft sofa has its inner seat webbing created by hand
Where does the furniture go after it's made?All the finished products go through extensive quality control processes and all the required testing. After that, they’re carefully packaged up and sent to our UK warehouse and distribution centre which is in Bedfordshire. Then, they're ready to be sent out to our customers the very next day. Everyone genuinely takes pride in each piece created, and we hope that our customers are just as happy with them.
Our manufacturing and office team at Angora Manufacturing in Porto
If you’ve got a question about how your sofa or bed has been made, we’re all ears. To hear more about our factory and its talented people, head over to our Instagram to discover more Swyft Stories.Thank you to our team at Angora Manufacturing for facilitating this interview, and for all of our factory team members and office staff that have taken part in the Swyft Stories feature.