Brandix Textiles, Sri Lanka's largest woven fabric processor, achieved a national milestone recently when its plant at Makandura in the Wayamba Industrial Zone became the first woven textile operation in the country to receive Fair Trade and Organic certifications from the Institute for Marketecology (IMO) of Switzerland.
The organic certification takes the company a step closer to buyers seeking to achieve environment compliance with the exacting Global Organic Textile Standard or GOTS, while compliance with IMO's Social and Fairtrade Programme will open up new markets for its fabrics by providing consumers the option of purchasing products according to their principles and values, the company said.
The Social and Fair Trade Certificate guarantees that disadvantaged producers in the developing world in the entire supply chain get a better deal by covering the producers' cost of sustainable production and establishing a Fairtrade Premium which is invested in social, economic or environmental improvement projects.
At the Fair Trade Audit conducted by IMO, Brandix Textiles achieved a performance rating of 214, well above the certification minimum of 172. The content of the IMO Social and Fairtrade Programme for which the company was certified covered respect for core labour rights, working conditions, administration of the Fairtrade premium and accountability as a trade partner.
The GOTS certification that is the next step for Brandix textiles is the definitive global certification for organic textiles and covers the production, processing, manufacturing, packaging, labelling, export, import and distribution of all natural fibres. The aim of the standard is to define requirements to ensure the organic status of textiles, from harvesting of the raw materials, through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing up to labelling in order to provide a credible assurance to the end consumer.
The Fair Trade and Organic certifications are an important development for Brandix Textiles
Feroz Omar, Director
"The Fair Trade and Organic certifications are an important development for Brandix Textiles," Brandix Director Feroz Omar said. "They take the company to the next level in supplying very discerning niche customers and are also a valuable third party affirmation of the commitment of the company to good social practices."
At the point of retail, the cost of garments certified as being manufactured by a Fairtrade certified company will be higher to cover the producers' cost of sustainable production and the Fairtrade premium that will be used for the upliftment of the disadvantaged employees and society in general, Paul Paramban, Manager - Technical at Brandix Textiles explained.
Similarly, organic certified fabric can cost higher to produce, but customers like NEXT, Marks & Spencer, Nike, Woolworth, H&M, Target and Wal-Mart are already supporting this global organic initiative for environment compliance.
Brandix Textiles' Makandura Mill employs more than 800 people and produces about 3.5 million yards of woven fabric in some 400 constructions and weaves per month from greige fabric imported from Pakistan, Indonesia, India and China. About 40 per cent of its output is supplied to apparel manufacturing plants of the Brandix Group, while the rest is supplied to other apparel manufacturers and is also exported to Bangladesh and India.
Brandix whose vision is to be The Inspired Solution for Branded Clothing pioneered the concept of total solutions in the Sri Lankan apparel industry and is the country's largest apparel exporter with a consolidated annual turnover of over US$ 320 million. The Group is a preferred solutions provider to some of the world's best brands, including Gap, Marks & Spencer, Victoria's Secret, NEXT and Abercrombie & Fitch and specializes in casual bottoms, intimate and active wear, textiles, knitted fabrics, sewing and embroidery thread, accessories and hangers, and offers wet processing and finishing and fabric printing.