Socially responsible textile production might sound like something of a myth, but Pactics, an innovative Chinese operation is making it a reality. Endeavour Magazine took a closer look at the company to understand the ethics and values that run through every fibre of the incredible company.
In a competitive world where big is usually considered to be better, Pactics took an unusual stance when starting out, as it focussed on in-house production in a bid to increase product quality and improve supply chain management. Brought into being in 2004, with a small factory and a team of just 15 people in Shanghai, China, it was the dedicated and committed approach of everybody involved that lead to fast development and the staffing body increasing to 65 by 2009. It also directly contributed to a pilot plant being set-up in Cambodia, in 2010. The rest, as they say, is fantastically successful history!
Staring with a simple vision that highlighted a desire to,
“…create a decent company that offered competitively priced, high-quality microfiber products in an environmentally and socially responsible way,”
Pactics was keen to set itself apart from competitors, right from the start. It’s no secret that a number of textile production companies have exploited workers with inadequate working conditions and wages, but that was NEVER on the cards for Pactics,
“Not only did operating in Cambodia allow us to provide above-minimum-wage jobs to an economically deprived community, it also gave us the opportunity to build our own cutting-edge, sustainable work space which caters to the needs of both our people and our planet. In March 2014, we opened the doors to our brand new factory in Siem Reap, featuring unique environmentally friendly elements and a variety of facilities for our staff. Today, our facility in Siem Reap employes 300 full-time Cambodian staff, bringing our total workforce in China and Cambodia to 450 employees.”
It could be easy for a successful company to focus all energies on the more commercially successful branches of operation, but that was not a trap that a set-up as colleague-centric as Pactics was ever going to fall into. If nothing else, this wouldn’t be in line with the green and inclusive values that form such a vital part of the foundations of the entire company,
“While much of our high volume production has now shifted to our green factory in Siem Reap, Shanghai remains the home of Pactics’ knowledge and innovation. Here, we continue to develop ground-breaking technologies and production techniques which allow us to offer unique, quality product solutions to our partners.”
When you stop to really drink in that statement, we don’t think that you’ll be even remotely shocked to learn that today, Pactics is a world leader in the microfiber industry. Offering innovation and best practices in equal measure, it didn’t take long for leading lifestyle brands to cotton on to the fact that they needed to get in on the action, which has lead to an impressive client base, including Adidas, repeatedly coming back for more business. Despite these impressive contracts, Pactics has remained as modest as ever, simply stating that,
“We do business in a way that works for everyone.”
We wanted to know a little more, so asked what Pactics believes sets them apart from their competitors,
“We don’t just make great products, we build great partnerships. We want every step of the Pactics process to be simple and straightforward, and collaborative with our partners to meet their practical, branding, and logistical requirements.”
Let’s talk about what makes Pactics tick, function and different from competitors. When looking at the core values of the company, we honed in on a set of beliefs that single-handedly allow the operation to set itself apart from everyone else in the same industry and what you’ll be most impressed by is how people are at the centre of every standard. Looking to always bear responsibility, supply chain management, collaboration and innovation in mind, there is a strikingly ethical core to the company, which is exposed when more details are given,
“We prioritise the social and environmental impact of manufacturing. The needs of our planet and our people – partners, consumers, and staff – are of primary importance to our business. We understand the importance of brand security. Our commitment to responsible business practice guarantees we deliver high-quality products in an ethical and environmentally friendly way. We believe the best results are achieved through collaboration. Being responsive and versatile allows us to build strong partnerships and work together to create valued products. We know the value of being at the cutting-edge. By investing in knowledge we are able to offer our partners creative product solutions that meet practical needs and further brand identity.”
Be honest; would you ever expect such social and environmental responsibility from a successful textiles operation? Therein lies the inherent genius of Pactics; it’s a company that maintains incredible standards, offers new innovations, yet always strives to minimise environmental consequences. The current commercial world seems to showcase those companies that pay lip service to green endeavours, but it’s those that slip under the radar and just continually strive to do, rather than say, such as Pactics, that are making the real differences,
“We understand the materials we work with and the impact our work has on the world around us. We consistently work to expand this understanding even further and are currently partnering with the University of Amsterdam on a waste management research project. Such research makes us better able to actively minimise our environmental impact, as well as better equipped to advise our partners on the environmental aspects of the products we manufacture for them.
In March 2014 we opened our state-of-the-art, sustainable work space in Siem Reap. The factory is designed to work in harmony with the local climate and surrounding environment, as well as with the people that work there. For example; large windows allow for daylight harvesting and strategically located air vents ensure workers always benefit from natural airflow. Rainwater is collected to flush toilets and solar panels power the LED lights used after dark. The factory is the first of its kind in Cambodia, and sets a strong example of environmentally sustainable manufacturing possibilities.”
With an undeniably incredible product, a keen desire to protect the environment and a client base to make far larger operations turn green with envy, Pactics is weaving itself not only a phenomenal reputation, but also serious textile manufacturing longevity. This is definitely one company that we will be keeping an eye on, so we can enjoy seeing the fruits of its labours realised even more. The interview ended with a heartfelt message to all employees of the company, from Naing Vannoeun, Production manager, which reads,
“My Dear Colleagues!
On the occasion of the Khmer New Year 2017, I would like to extend my wholehearted and sincere thankfulness to all Pactics employees, who always committed and contribute to the success of Pactics Cambodia. Your ethical ideal of morality, knowledge and efficient skills contribute to the great achievement of Pactics Cambodia.
Until now it has been almost six and half years since Pactics Cambodia was introduced and established in the Siem Reap Province Kingdom of Cambodia. It provides 450 jobs to the people here. Pactics is the largest producer of microfiber and packaging products for the world’s premium brands in the eyewear industry.
The combination of product/process innovation and an international sales/service department offers unique opportunities for our clients to work directly with the factory to achieve the best results in quality, in time delivery, new product innovation and brand protection.
On the special occasion of the Khmer New Year 2017 and thereafter, may I wish you all and your families happiness, wisdom, prosperity and success in your personal lives and the work here at Pactics.”
Now THERE is a management team that does more than simply paying lip service to staff development and happiness!