Apparel factories of few good companies are under construction across the country and in the coming days, many more factories’ foundation stone will be laid. The important fact is that majority of these factories are in proper organised industrial areas which are in the development stage. An interesting question that arises here is will these factories be the same as they used to be years before or they will have something different in terms of working pattern or infrastructure. This question becomes significant as hubs that are at saturation level or are having decade-old factories have plenty of challenges to overcome whether be it parking outside the factories, less effective layout planning, more scope for ventilation to maximum use of every corner. Change in the use of raw material to cost-effective construction are also equally significant.
Tirupur-based Best Corporation’s factory in Ujjain (MP) is going to be green certified and it will have a central air conditioning system for the comfort of workers. For smooth functioning, it will also be a majorly horizontal factory. Two-wheeler parking will be available for the workers and for majority of staff like junior management level. There will also be a locker room for the staff of workers.
No doubt, green factories and central conditioning system are huge initial investment and later there might be operational cost also but R. Rajkumar, MD, Best Corporation sees it from a different and positive perspective, “Yes there will be cost but we have to ensure the comfort of workers and when they will work comfortably, we can have more productivity also.” More than five decades old Best Corporation has specialisation in underwear and babywear and it is working with many respected brands and retailers.
Cooling on the shopfloor is really important as it has a direct relation with productivity; a recent study also confirms the same.
“We found that on hot days, if the average temperature increases by 1℃, productivity in the Bengaluru garment factory decreases by about 4 per cent,” says Achyuta Adhvaryu, who teaches at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, and studied a garment factory floor in Bengaluru, where warmer days affected productivity to the maximum.
Another leading apparel exporter of Tirupur which is well known for its scale and sustainable practices is also in the process to finalise things for the new factory and that will be also a green factory. As things are in the very initial stage, the company refused to share much detail but confirmed that it will be a green factory.
Also Read: Sustainability doesn’t come at ‘extra’ cost…
A top-level official of the company has told Apparel Resources (AR) on the request of anonymity, “Our target is to become carbon neutral by 2030. We are water-positive and now this step of the green factory will help us to become energy-positive also.”
He also states that their focus is on the cutting room which can easily maintain all requirements of the factory as they have plenty of styles, complications of segregation, storage.
Apart from factories in emerging states like Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, it will be interesting to see how the factories take shape in the Apparel Park at Greater Noida as just a few months back, 91 companies have got plots here so far and as the park is spread across 150 acres, factories got plots of various sizes including a huge plot of 40,000 metres to medium-level of 12,000 metres.
Lalit Thukral, President, Noida Apparel Export Cluster and the force behind this initiative has told AR, “Few of our fellow exporters are seriously thinking for green factories. Even if they go for certified green factories, their vision is to do maximum to protect the environment and especially natural resources.”
He further adds that strong infrastructure will be a major advantage of this park, for example, roads will be 45 to 75 metres wide so that the containers can easily move. Even the lane with small factories will have a 30-metre wide road.
One of the export houses, Moda Cocktail, Noida confirmed about its upcoming green factory in this park.
“Our clients also motivated us to take this initiative. No matter if buyers will pay or not, whatever extra we invest in this initiative, we are doing it because we have to change with time and absorb costs. In the long turn we will also get benefit due to our saving of resources,” says Sangeet Gupta, Partner, Moda Cocktail, Noida.
He further adds that raw material will be not only as per the requirements of the green factory but even more beneficial to the environment as well as ensure easy construction.
Pratibha Syntex, another leading apparel manufacturer of the country is also geared up for a world-class factory.
Gokaldas Images’ MD Jagadish Hinduja tells AR that the new factory of the company will have all facilities and requirements for smooth operations but he doesn’t see any reason to have a green factory or something special/different in the factory’s construction.
Green factories so far
In India, companies like Orient Craft, Bhiwandi; Madura Clothing, Bengaluru; Mahajan Overseas (Barhi Industrial Area), Sonepat; Genus Apparels, Faridabad; Earthbags Export, Kolkata; International Trading Company, Tirupur; SNQS International, Tirupur; Zodiac Clothing Company Ltd. (ZCCL), Mumbai (corporate office building); Mainetti (India), Chennai (manufacturer of garment hangers and associated products) and few other are having green factories.