A Cape Town based company that invested in sustainable programmes saved on time and money, simultaneously enhancing its reputation as a sought after world class garment manufacturing business.
William Hughes, managing director of Impahla Clothing, says embracing sustainability has also brought the company closer to its many stakeholders, especially its employees and enabled it to have a more sustainable business.
The privately-owned garment manufacturing company is a strategic supplier to Puma, a multinational company with a strong commitment to sustainability.
Impahla has implemented a number of interventions to benefit the environment and staff wellbeing by:
- Using Puma-approved environmentally friendly inks and PVC-free dyes for all screen printing operations. Independent waste water testing showed that water discharges are free of harmful chemicals.
- Using new technology to improve the accuracy of costing and sourcing of fabric, thereby ultimately improving fabric usage efficiency and reducing the amount of solid waste.
- Recycling waste cardboard and plastics through a partnership with Oasis, a non-profit organisation that provides gainful work for mentally handicapped persons.
- Completing its first HIV and Aids awareness campaign, with motivational presentations and the provision of posters and support materials. Introducing incentive schemes to increase productivity and operating efficiency which have reduced overtime, sick leave and absenteeism.
- Creating learnerships for eight candidates to assist the clothing industry to develop competent machine operators.
Hughes says through careful monitoring and management of lighting and heating efficiencies, an 18% decrease in the amount of electricity use per garment manufactured has been recorded.
He says that meticulous management, motivated staff and a close relationship with Puma has set high standards of sustainability achievement.
This has enabled the company to report on its progress according to the internationally accepted and rigorous Global Reporting Initiative. The company was the recipient of a 2009 Sustainability Reporting Award (runner-up) from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (Acca) and the winner of the 2010 award in the SME/NGO category.
- For more information, visit www.impahla.co.za