Specialist for high-quality materials - Penfabric Sdn. Berhad is OEKO-TEX® Company of the Month for February 2014
Penfabric's portfolio is huge, ranging from sheer fabrics for scarves and ties, fine materials for shirts and blouses, colourful materials for outer garments, functional fabrics for sportswear, patterned materials for home textiles, or durable furnishing covers right through to specially treated materials for workwear and protective clothing made of pure cotton or cotton/synthetic fibre mixes. Penfabric also produces and distributes undyed yarns and fabrics for further processing. The company, founded in 1973, currently employs approximately 1600 staff members in its four production facilities in the Malaysian state of Penang. The four factories are organised on the basis of a systematic, vertically integrated production method in accordance with the textile production levels: spinning mill, weaving mill, textile dyeing and finishing and surface finishing. Mr. H.S. Teh, Managing Director, sees huge advantages in this method of production: "Thanks to our perfectly coordinated production processes that are tailored to each other, we can ensure consistently excellent quality and also react promptly to market trends, whether for the finest yarn-dyed qualities in checks or stripes, the highest-quality prints in brilliant colours or specially treated fabrics with functions such as a non-iron finish, for example." Most of the manufactured goods are exported to other regions of Asia, EU countries or the United States.
In addition to first-class quality and a strong focus on customers, the company's economic success is due to effective measures relating to environmental protection, occupational health and safety, and sustainability. All the Penfabric production facilities are certified in accordance with the specifications of quality management system ISO 9001-9008, and the ISO 14001 environmental management system is implemented throughout the company. For some time, the company has also been investing in concrete steps to improve its environmental balance. Since 2008, the company has been able to make sensational energy savings of 3 to 5% annually, by installing ultra-modern energy- and water-saving equipment. Mr Teh is convinced that the investments have paid off: "We realised years ago that the public's awareness for environmental protection and sustainability has changed. More and more people today are concerned about safe products and their environmentally friendly production. We take this into account with our continuous search for new solutions for innovative products and efficient processes." Penfabric has acquired particular expertise through the use of environmentally friendly and biodegradable dyes, the reuse of certain chemicals, and a pioneering technology based on the use of liquid ammonia.
Taking account of employees' needs and wellbeing is also a top priority for the company. Penfabric's corporate responsibility in this area is demonstrated not least by the successfully established and comprehensive catalogue of measures on safety in the workplace.
When it comes to the advantages of the Asian procurement markets for textile products, China, Bangladesh, India or Cambodia will spring to mind first as locations for many buyers. However, Malaysia's attractiveness also means it is gaining strongly in importance as a growth market for investments by international clothing retailers. As an up-and-coming national economy with annual growth of over five percent, this newly-industrialising country in South-East Asia with around 29 million inhabitants boasts a number of location advantages. For example, the ASEAN markets, as well as India and China, can be reached quickly and easily thanks to their geographical proximity. In large parts of the country, English is a language of business and education. The good infrastructure, solid educational system, and strong research and developments are further advantages.
OEKO-TEX® Company of the Month
In 2011, OEKO-TEX® launched the "Company of the Month" campaign. The objective is to highlight all those companies of the textile chain who stand out on account of their above average commitment to human ecological product safety and sustainable production conditions. The application to be "Company of the Month" is open to all businesses with a valid OEKO-TEX® certification.
Each month, an OEKO-TEX® jury will select one company from all applications received. This company will then be explicitly named and presented on the internet campaign page at www.oeko-tex.com/... as well as in publications such as the newsletter and press releases by the OEKO-TEX® Association.
All Companies of the Month will also be visibly marked with the campaign logo in the OEKO-TEX® Buying Guide at www.oeko-tex.com/products and they will receive a corresponding certificate and free web banners for use in their own publications and sales channels.
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