Star-Komar opens first Passive House factory building in SL

Wednesday, 25 October 2017 00:03 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Marking a historical milestone in Sri Lanka, on 19 October Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe ceremoniously declared open the first Passive House (PH) factory building in the country. This is the first Passive House factory building in South Asia and one of only eight such factory buildings in the world.

Star Group, a pioneer apparel manufacturing company in Sri Lanka, together with Komar, a large apparel company in the USA, will house their world class Innovation Centre in this global model for sustainability.

Passive House standard, originated in Germany as ‘Passivhaus’ in 1988, is a rigorous and voluntary standard for energy efficiency in a building, reducing its ecological footprint. It results in ultra-low energy buildings that require little energy for space heating or cooling and is accepted to be of a very high standard for sustainability, energy efficiency and occupant comfort. The annual energy consumption is cut by over 70% compared to a conventional modern building. Adhering to this standard in the Innovation Centre will attract many buyers and brands who support global sustainability initiatives. 

Star-Komar takes pride in being the first apparel manufacturer in the region to introduce the Passive House standard. Showcasing true globalisation the consultants from US teamed with the architects in Sri Lanka, experts and suppliers from over 20 countries across the globe to make ensure the high standards of PH is adhered to.

Most PH materials were not available in Sri Lanka and therefore had to be imported from Germany, India, Lebanon, Turkey and USA. Working with global PH experts and with the attention to detail that has gone in to sourcing of materials and the construction of this building, Star is confident that this building will receive the Passive House Institute accreditation.  

Established in 1908, Komar was founded on the guiding principal of ‘one reputation, real values’ and this principal continues to guide the company to date. Komar is currently run by the third generation, Charlie and David. Charles E. Komar (Charlie), a visionary leader, is the CEO/President of the company. 

Being the largest importer of sleepwear to the US market and considered a trusted partner by their customers, the company operates as a global organisation that maintains an efficient, transparent and approachable style to business. Komar is an industry leader in the design, marketing, sourcing and distribution of sleepwear, intimates, kids and layering brands. 

With a turnover of over $ 900 million per annum and a very ethical business acumen, Komar was the ideal partner that Star Group Sri Lanka was searching to spread their wings globally.  

Star Garments Ltd. was established in 1978 and was the first company to be set-up in the Katunayake FTZ. Starting with one manufacturing plant in Katunayake, they have grown to eight facilities in different parts of the country and hope to expand further in 2018. 

Star is a world class apparel sourcing and manufacturing company and is a key player in the Sri Lankan apparel industry. The company operates under the leadership of A. Sukumaran, the Group Managing Director. 

The Group provides expert, seamless execution in product development, technical innovation, impeccable tailoring, on-time delivery and personalised customer service. Star takes pride in working with some of the world’s most recognised brands in addition to Komar’s owned and licensed brands.   

In 2015 a strategic investment was made by Komar that made Sri Lanka Komar’s regional hub for the entire Asian region and service their own brands in the US. This alliance is a major win for Star and a greater win for Sri Lanka. 

Komar acquired Star Garment Ltd. (SGL) which consisted of six fully-equipped manufacturing facilities, four tailoring units, four sample rooms, a washing plant and other value added services. This acquisition brought the entire manufacturing arm of the Star Group under the Komar banner. 

Star Garments Group Ltd. (SGG) was established in 2016 to take over a major part of the global trading, design and development functions of Star-Komar. The idea of setting up a state-of-the-art Innovation Centre in Sri Lanka was born with the incorporation of this company. SGG will provide the future customer interface and design services of the operation and will create many value added jobs in Sri Lanka. To further Komar’s commitment to sustainability the 70,000+ square foot Innovation Centre was designed under the Passive House standard.

Komar’s investment in Sri Lanka enabled the Star factories to progress with a major face lift to international standards. Blue Cherry ERP, Leadtec shop floor system, Fast React planning system, Tuka 3D modelling, Cloud-based quality management systems are some of the new systems introduced by Komar. 

Currently a system study, integration and operational revamp is taking place throughout the Group. Star as well as Sri Lanka will benefit from the knowledge shared by Komar’s apparel experts and from the training organised for the Star team at their corporate headquarters in Jersey City, New Jersey and several other regional offices.   

The newly-constructed Innovation Centre is leveraging a rigorous set of design principles focused on energy efficiency and sustainability. The centre is a one-stop-shop featuring world class design capabilities, a print resource library, pattern making facilities, sample making modules and a fabric and trim library. The hands-on collaborative design process introduces a fully digitised system and 3D digital sampling. The design process marries quality workmanship with innovative techniques and technologies to deliver excellence to the customer. 

A team of talented designers supported by the state-of-the-art technology and working environment, an experienced team of development merchandisers, a comprehensive in house sample making facility and close proximity to other value added services enhances the design and development capabilities. This centre is an epitome of translating an idea or invention into goods or services that create value to their customers. 

The Star-Komar alliance is a win-win venture for both companies. Under the able direction of Komar, Star is ready to grow from strength to strength servicing their global clientele. Komar is committed to the operations in Sri Lanka and has plans for continued investment in operations and uplifting local communities. The Star Group Sri Lanka has been re-branded as ‘STAR a Komar Company’.