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LEED (Gold) certified Green Factory ‘AKH Eco Apparel’ Focusing on Product Diversification – Mr. Tanvir Kashem, Director, AKH Group

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AKH ECO Apparels Ltd, a sister concern of AKH Group, is one of Bangladesh’s top woven shirt manufacturing units, strictly maintaining sustainability. The company was established in 2015 under the dynamic leadership of its owners, and it is one of the first LEED (Gold) certified green factories in Bangladesh.

Recently,  Team Textile Focus talked with the young and dynamic leader of the company, Mr. Tanvir Kashem, Director, AKH Group. In his interview, he spoke on the current scenario of the woven sector, AKH group’s strength, and his vision. For our readers, the conversation is highlighted below:

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Mr. Tanvir Kashem, Director, AKH Group

Current scenario of woven garments sector:

The woven sector market, especially tops, is always competitive with other sectors due to tight product prices. We have many woven factories, but the order volume is not something we can rely on. Some of the higher-capacity woven factories are doing diversified products, but most of the woven factories are only capable of manufacturing shirts. Woven product manufacturers are highly dependent on fabrics imports, which adds to the costs. That’s why the woven garments export is experiencing slower growth, and it is also losing its strength in the world export market.

AKH ECO Apparel and its strength:

image002As a sustainable woven garments producer, we focus on product diversification depending on market trends. We are making varieties of woven garments like basic shirts, light casual wear, all sorts of ladies and kids top items, etc. We are also doing light casual outerwear. Due to high operation costs, it is challenging to survive depending on just basic shirts.

In our woven division, nearly 12,000 carefully selected skilled people are now working and producing about 2.7 million pieces of premium quality woven shirts, blouses, tops, and dresses every month.

Designed with modern and state-of-the-art equipment, AKH Eco Apparels Ltd. has 52 sewing lines in a spacious accommodation of about 500,000 square feet of production floor space. AKH has been mastering this area since the beginning. Its machines are of world-class brands with automatic thread cutting, sucking, and other trimming devices, as well as the expertise of humidity control in their weather-controlled packing area. The woven sewing lines have some special types of machines for seam fusing for business shirts with the wrinkle-free finish, collar notching, etc. Besides, we also have 3D technology to demonstrate product fitness to the buyers.

In AKH Group, we specialize in shirts with 94 sewing lines capacity in total. We also have a knitting unit, dyeing, fleece outerwear, washing and accessories unit. In Bangladesh, we are the group’s highest sewing capacity woven tops shirts manufacturer. After 2009 we have gradually increased our growth in efficiency and productivity. Besides we are expanding our capacity which by the first quarter of next year, will be 3 million pieces per month.

In AKH Group, we specialize in shirts with a total of 92 lines sewing capacity. We have knitting, dyeing, washing and accessories unit as well. In Bangladesh, we are the highest sewing capacity woven tops shirts factory.

Customers and Market:

We work with the highest number of customers, around 60 from the USA, Europe, Japan, Australia, and India. We maintain customer requirements in terms of product quality and on-time delivery. Our marketing is based on relationships and performance. In terms of price, buyers tend to pay better as we are an eco-friendly woven unit, and it attracts customers highly.

Second generation ownership in the RMG sector :

As a second-generation industry owner, I started my work to understand the factory environment from my factory. From my experience, 2nd generation people need to understand their factory environment first. Still, I am learning to develop technical skills. The Younger generation needs to focus on learning & knowledge sharing about the whole process. We must focus on increasing productivity, and a motivated workforce is the biggest asset for the company.

Sustainability:

image003‘According to labour law, we provide on-time salary besides providing transport facilities, incentives for working performance, etc.’ Mohammad Arif Chowdhury, DGM (HR&Compliance), AKH ECO Apparel.

Sustainability at a glance –

– Transport facilities

– Proper hand wash at factory premises

– Rainwater Harvesting

– Huge space for maintaining environment through tree plantation

-Health check-up centre

-Food canteen for worker

-Childcare centre

-Training centre

Future Plan of AKH ECO Apparel :

My future plan is to increase productivity on our existing facilities, which is already in continuation, besides setting up a new outerwear factory. We have already set up a new green knit unit near our Eco factory for the knit division. We will shift our knitting unit from Savar by November. We plan to focus on design and development and set up an R&D office in the capital to show our product strength to buyers. We also have another plan to use ERP software for process automation.