Touring Thurulie

Friday, 12 November 2010 23:33 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

SLDF exposes the award-winning MAS Thurulie Eco-Factory to a high profile delegation

SLDF, which kicked off on Thursday with the participation of eminent personalities from Sri Lanka and Europe, has many agendas to promote local creative industries, along with the notion of positioning Sri Lanka as the global leader in sustainable apparel industry practices.

Starting off the Sri Lankan Design Festival 2010, the international delegates set out early morning to visit the world’s first Greenfield eco-factory: Thurulie.

The Thurulie factory won the Globe Award for sustainability innovation in 2010, and hereby, benchmarking Sri Lanka as a progressive destination when it comes to sustainable and ethical manufacturing.  

In an interview, Ted Baker, the prestigious fashion buyer from the UK, spoke of his visit to the factory and the experience:

Q: What were your expectations prior to the plant visit?

A: I imagined it to be very, very big and very, very technologically advanced. I was hoping to sort of see how they engineered it to be as perfect as I heard it was, as I heard about it before. I was really interested to look out for the sort of little things they had done, and the attention to detail.

Q: What was your general experience?

A: Really, really positive. I thought it was very nice compared to other factories I have seen before and it seemed quite a communal atmosphere. People seemed happy when you went into the place. There was a sense that everyone belonged and they were working together and it was like a community. Also I was very surprised of the air con system – or the lack of air con – which still kept it cool, I thought that was great. I loved the green roof, they were fab, and the natural lights.

Q: Would you expect to find a factory like this in Sri Lanka?

A: Well yes, because I knew about it already. From what I have heard, Sri Lanka has got a lot of advanced factories. The apparel industry is quite a big business here. So I was expecting it, but I don’t think I was expecting it to be quite as nice, it almost felt as if I was going into a hotel.

British Retailer Frugi’s views:

Q: What were your expectations prior to the plant visit?

A: I have heard lots about Sri Lanka’s priorities in terms of nice working conditions for their workers, so I was expecting that things would look really good. There are some things that I really felt could be better, but on the whole – compared to a normal factory – it was definitely pretty forward thinking.

Q: Would you expect to find a factory like this in Sri Lanka?

A: Actually no, not in Sri Lanka and India – you would expect a factory like that to maybe be in Portugal or somewhere in Europe. It is really good to see that that’s happening in a third world country; that they have been able to produce such a great place.