End consumers will be pushing brands and retailers to become more sustainable. No doubt that this pressure will keep growing with new generations being so much more aware of our global environment. At present, 60% of cotton-made apparel of Centro’s are sustainably sourced and 35% of polyester garments are made from recycled polyester.
Centro Tex started its journey in 2006 with only 13 employees. Within a decade, it is now a top apparel sourcing and manufacturing company in Bangladesh. Centro has a broad customer portfolio from Australia, New Zealand to Europe, the UK and South America.
Henrik Bruun, COO, Centro has a vast role in a lot of what goes on in Centro, be it customer meetings, HR, logistics, admin, merchandisers, design as well as QC/QA and test lab. From the beginning of Centro’s journey –Tahsin Uddin Khan, Chairman of the company has been phenomenal in making the company a successful sourcing and manufacturing company.
Recently team Textile Today met with Henrik Bruun to hear from him. Here is the highlighting part for the readers.
Textile Today: Centro is now one of the leading sourcing companies in Bangladesh. Please share the success story and recent updates of Centro Tex.
Henrik Bruun: Centro Tex started its journey in 2006. How Centro Tex come to its current position as a leading apparel sourcing and manufacturing company is due to the company’s Chairman Tahsin Uddin Khan’s determination, desire and passionate leadership, getting the best performance from our employees
In Centro’s journey, we have witnessed rapid but importantly, sustainable growth in terms of business. From the kickstart of our journey – Centro has onboarded leading global brands & retailers which has acted as a critical ingredient in our success. We have emerged as a holistic service provider rather than acting only as a buying house.
Textile Today: Product development and R&D are always important for growth. Please share Centro’s strengths in these areas.
Henrik Bruun: Tahsin Khan saw quickly that design, product development and R&D would play a paramount role – that is why in 2015– when he moved to the UK, he opened Centro’s office there, which is a design and marketing office supporting the UK and European customers. Also, we have a full in-house design, product development and R&D team in Bangladesh.
This gives us the strength to give all types of support to any global fashion brands, retailers and factory partners in Bangladesh. It is a huge part of Centro’s business to provide this service, otherwise, we will not be able to sustain it.
Speaking of product design & development and R&D – the Bangladesh apparel industry has come far in terms of creating this extra mileage and at present any international brands or retailers can come and choose or create their products which are locally designed and developed.
Textile Today: How do you maintain buyers’ requirements regarding sustainability and compliance?
Henrik Bruun: Sustainability and compliance are very important in today’s RMG sector and will be even more going forward, being it from customers or our own Centro point of view. We have a very experienced Compliance Team and a Sustainability Manager that are handling these things. The Compliance Team has developed and maintains our Centro level of compliance. This means our merchandisers can not place any order in any apparel factory if they are not up to the Centro level of compliance furthermore we strictly follow any customer compliance level, where third-party audits are conducted after Centro Compliance has helped the factory to comply with these. Our compliance team goes every day to factories and point out their findings for the factories in terms of sustainability, working condition, minimum wage, etc. So everybody has the chance to be on top of it, to secure the audits pass.
Our Sustainability Manager updates us all the time, on what’s new and needed in this sector, so we are prepared and can offer our customers updated information on fabrics, etc.
Textile Today: What are the main challenges right now in RMG sourcing business?
Henrik Bruun: Well I think we can say that we all have had our share of challenges in the last 2 years or more, being it Covid, Climate changes, the Russia-Ukraine war, energy crises and high prices on gas, electricity, food etc etc… This situation will not end any day soon, unfortunately, BUT it also require us all in RMG sector to find alternative ways to work, be more efficient, organized and develop our selves. End of the day, the consumers are not prepared to, or can not pay more due to the global inflation, so brand’s/retailers & our whole RMG sector must think in different ways.
Certainly, these challenges are not impossible to overcome –The key is to find ways to overcome them and keep pushing to do better.
Textile Today: We all know that Centro has a good working environment. How does it facilitate its employees?
Henrik Bruun: It is no secret that Centro’s employees are the key to our success. Without dedicated and good employees, there is little to do for an organization. That’s why Centro believe that our people are so important to our business growth. We take utmost care to ensure that we go beyond the requirements of the law to provide a safe, healthy and enjoyable working environment for our employees. We try to ensure a lot of out-of-the-box events, get together’s, fruit festivals, sports activity programs, company/ family dayout and many more activities for Centro’s employees to keep them motivated.
We arrange training programs and knowledge-sharing programs as a part of our internal development initiatives for employees.
A very satisfying culture is that anyone can come anytime to management and can share his/her mind. This is how we give maximum priority to our employees.
Textile Today: Please share the future business growth plan of Centro Tex.
Henrik Bruun: We have a very strong foundation, so Centro can and will now exuberantly grow and sustain in a wide array of challenges. Now a day, business and environmental sustainability is the crucial ingredient for success. Anybody can witness rapid growth for a period of time but eventually, it will not last long if the foundation is not built strongly which is Centro’s top priority.
Textile Today: Please share the future trend of sustainable cotton and man-made fiber apparel.
Henrik Bruun: End consumers will be pushing brands & retailers to become more sustainable. No doubt that this pressure will keep growing with new generations being so much more aware of our global environment. At present, 60% of Centro’s cotton-made apparel is sustainably sourced. And 35% of polyester garments are made from recycled polyester.
By 2025, we have a target of achieving 100% sustainable cotton-made apparel and all man-made fiber products will be recycled.
Mind you, the end consumers will be very critical in terms of transparency to the products being labelled “Sustainable” as there have been some “Green-washing” issues in the past and this will not be tolerated in any way and rightfully so.
One could argue whether sustainability should cost more.. but at the end of the day this is an end consumer “decision” and RMG sector, hand in hand with brands & retailers will be playing a very vital role here and must be ready to face this challenge together.
Last but not the least, we ALL play a vital role in everything we do, in every action we make whether in the industry or in our homes… it’s all about PEOPLE-PRODUCT-PLANET.