Portfranc creates a carbon free route across the Atlantic


Portfranc was born in Montreal in 2015. Its creation was based on the conviction that there still exist craftsmen who take the time to create products prioritizing meticulous know-how while combining tradition, modernity, sustainability and simple refined designs. It’s mission is to connect them to consumers while maintaining the smallest carbon footprint possible.

Since the beginning of the project, we were there to develop the visual identity and make it evolve over time. We produced all visual content, set up an online shop, put together a brand strategy to reach customers in North America and market the products, planned the social network and provided content for it. You can read more about it on our case study.




It's been a blast to advise and manage all the branding and communication for this young and promising startup.

And now, with help from the government of Quebec, they’re creating a carbon free route across the atlantic, using a beautiful german schooner from the 1920’s, the Avontuur, in order to ship sustainable goods back and forth between Europe and Canada.


The Avontuur - © Image courtesy of Portfranc

The Avontuur - © Image courtesy of Portfranc


It might be a drop in the ocean of the ecological disaster created by the shipping industry to sustain our consumer habits, but the message is beautiful and might help raise awareness on how we consume. Any initiative that helps us realize our power to change things by choosing alternatives in the products we buy, and help us grow more aware of how they’re produced and how they reach our hands, is worth supporting.


It seems even more important to support this kind of actions knowing that 90% of everything consumed today on our planet is transported by cargo. And the pollution generated by the shipping industry is just totally dramatic. The 15 biggest cargo ships produce as much sulfur oxide pollution as all the 1.2 billions cars in the world today. 


Image courtesy of "freightened, the real cost of shipping"

Image courtesy of "freightened, the real cost of shipping"


If we look at global shipping industry as a country, it would be the sixth largest climate polluter in the world, between Japan and Germany. Shipping cost is so low that our daily consumer goods are some time built over 5 continents, for no good reason except the fact that it’s cheap.


Check out this very compelling documentary to learn more on this subject:  Freightened, the real price of shipping




The guys from Portfranc don’t want to stop there. They plan to do 4 more crossing of the Atlantic until 2019, start a last mile delivery service in Montreal using electric trucks from the local company Nordresa and hope to be able to use a new kind of ship around 2020, an ecoliner, basically a huge sail boat that will be big enough and fast enough to compete with the big polluters used today. 

In the meantime, the Avontuur is, as we write this post, on it’s way back to Europe, full of cool products from a few brands in quebec (dinette magazine, Quartz Co., Lowell MTL, Yoga Jeans and more).

Portfranc is setting up a pop up store in Paris, from 1st of December to the 24th, to sell those products which sailed from Canada to France with no carbon emission. 

Be sure to check it out if you’re around! We’ll surely do.


Learn more about this crazy sailing project here (in french)
Follow the Avontuur
Check out Portfranc’s philosophy

Midnight Club