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Coats sets ambitious sustainability targets for 2022

Coats – the world’s largest manufacturer of industrial thread, and also one of the largest manufacturers of zips and fasteners, is a British multinational company. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange, is a constituent of the FTSE4Good Index Series and a participant in the UN Global Compact.

Tram Anh Tran, MD, Coats Bangladesh
Figure 1: Tram Anh Tran, Managing Director of Coats Bangladesh Ltd.

Tram Anh Tran, Managing Director of Coats Bangladesh Ltd, discussed Coats’ products and prospects for the Bangladesh market in a recent conversation with Textile Today. She is highly experienced in the textile and garment industry and has worked in a number of countries across Asia. She has a background in Chemical Engineering and Supply Chain.

Textile Today: Please share a short overview of Coats.

Tram Anh Tran: Coats Bangladesh Ltd is a Joint Venture between Coats Group Plc and A. K. Khan & Company Ltd. Coats is the world’s leading industrial thread company with a rich heritage of over 250 years. Its headquarters are in the UK and it has a presence across six continents. Coats offers innovation, digital solutions and sustainable value to its customers.

Textile Today: What range of products does Coats offer? 

Tram Anh Tran: Coats Bangladesh Ltd, offers more than 20 products in 10 sizes of thread. But in terms of color, we supply the market more than one hundred thousand colors. We have launched many ranges of new innovative threads. One of our latest threads is waterproof AS thread, which is used in footwear and down jackets.

“We have also made investments in our effluent treatment plant, where we can reuse 30% water after treatment and are looking to increase that to 100%.”

Tram Anh Tran, Managing Director of Coats Bangladesh Ltd.

We are open to hearing from customers because it is their needs we meet through the innovative development of new varieties of threads and solutions in this fast-changing industry.

Textile Today: What is the sustainability approach of Coats product?  

Tram Anh Tran: Sustainability is at the forefront of consumer demand. Sustainability is not a choice, but the responsibility of us all. For many years we have been working on sustainability and this year we released our strategy and targets for sustainability. It covers several areas including water, energy, living sustainability, waste and also effluent and emissions.

Textile production can use a lot of water and if the waste is released it can impact the environment. As a responsible company doing business in Bangladesh, we are using new technology to reduce water consumption. In addition, we have also made investments in our effluent treatment plant, where we can reuse 30% water after treatment and are looking to increase that to 100%.

I am proud that Coats Bangladesh Ltd is the first company which offers our garment factories recycled thread. We use plastic bottles to make chips, which are then converted into plastic threads. We also aim to make all our premium polyester threads from 100% recycled material by 2024.

Coats Bangladesh
Figure 2: Coats Bangladesh Ltd factory premises.

Textile Today: How will you differentiate your product quality than all other your competitors who are working in the Bangladesh market?

Tram Anh Tran: Product quality is essential. We can also differentiate ourselves by other value solutions offered to customers: they are speed, innovation, digital and sustainability.

Textile Today: Do you think Bangladesh is the most potential for your business and what is your plan to expand business in Bangladesh as well?

Tram Anh Tran: Bangladesh, the 2nd largest textile and apparel exporter, has a lot of potentials. We need to turn that potential into value. We have been operating successfully in Bangladesh for 30 years thanks to the business environment plus the drive and high energy of our engaged workforce.

We want to be a partner to the garments industry here by offering solutions that add more value to their operations. We have expanded our capacity by around 40% in the last 2 years due to that.

Coats Bangladesh factory
Figure 3: A view of the production unit.

Textile Today: RMG factory commonly say sewing thread is breaking in the machine while passing through a needle, is it due to thread or machine problem?

Tram Anh Tran: Actually, this may be a combination of many factors. The problem can be from the material thickness or thinness or density of the seam of the product. It also can be related to the thread where lubricants used for the machine may not be suitable. For example, if you use a very thin needle for thick material that also breaks the thread in the machine. To assist manufacturers, our Technical support team goes to the site, explores the root cause of the problem and provides technical solutions.

Textile Today: Coats recently launched Coats Digital, what is the purpose of this initiative?

Tram Anh Tran: Coats Digital is an assimilation of 3 digital companies that we have acquired over the last 2 years to transform operations with intelligence. This includes solutions to optimize labor cost, planning effectively in manufacturing with an agile supply chain, and optimize the cost of fabric using in garment. It will reduce fabric consumption which is a big saving for garment manufacturers. This will help our customers achieve increased productivity that will lead to profit maximization. It is all about increasing the speed and efficiency of key internal processes through supplier collaboration.

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