Transforming Lives in the Textile and Apparel Industry – How Esquel Group Advances the SDGs

The textile and garment industry faces many challenges: fragile ecosystems, wastage in the supply chain, poor working conditions, and rising labor costs. This is against the background of them being the second most polluting industry in the world. Esquel becomes a true agent of change when we reduce our environmental footprint, provide quality employment, and improve the livelihood of the communities in which we operate.

As one of the largest manufacturers of premium cotton shirts in the world, with over 55,000 employees and manufacturing sites in China, Malaysia, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam, Esquel believes in providing our people with opportunities to grow and maximize their potential. For over 40 years, we have built a dynamic and resilient workforce that fuels the company’s continued growth amid fast changing global trends.

Esquel Making a Difference – Aspirations in Action

Our vision, ‘Making a Difference’, is reflected in the way we manage our environmental and social capital. By embracing the four pillars of sustainability: People, Planet, Product, and Community, we are constantly innovating to address wealth gap and climate change issues.

Esquel’s vision aligns with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015. By reducing our environmental impact, investing in our people, innovating our products, and contributing to local communities, we illustrate how a traditional textile and apparel manufacturer can be transformed to safeguard the health of this planet and people for future generations.

This video features ‘Esquel Hoa Binh’, our youngest garment manufacturing site established in northern Vietnam. Here, Esquel experienced first-hand the effects of global warming and social unrest – yet the spirit of the community Esquel has nurtured led to the inspirational example of employees’ fighting courageously against a flood and a riot to protect their second home at Esquel in 2014.

When our communities thrive, we thrive. Esquel promotes quality employment, and our goal is to have an inclusive and diverse workforce prepared for a changing business landscape. Our decision not to chase cheaper labor locations as wages rise has led to a progressive localization of our workforce. By upskilling our local talent and providing the tools necessary to succeed, our workers increase their overall output and in turn, their take-home pay, which benefits the wellbeing of their families and local economic growth. In line with our strategy to ‘groom people from within’ since 2013, Esquel has sponsored the education of 1,638 employees, and the number of diploma-holder operation leaders has steadily increased.

The future of our communities depends on ensuring the health and resilience of our planet. To tackle climate change, we leverage our vertically-integrated supply chain to actively respond to the biggest environmental challenges in relation to energy, water, air quality, chemicals and waste. We adopt ethical and responsible production principles to pursue continuous improvement of our production processes and product quality to reduce waste. Our state-of-the-art manufacturing technology and intelligence systems enables us to utilize resources more efficiently and enhance workers’ capabilities. We believe we can shape a future whereby technology, people, and the planet coexist for shared prosperity.

Shifting the Paradigm

Esquel believes that sustainable economic development can be achieved in harmony with the environment and society. ‘Integral’ – our new 500,000 square meter industrial eco-tourism garden in Guilin, China – reflects this vision by integrating quality employment innovations, modern technology, environmental sustainability, arts and culture.

Integral is delivering on Esquel’s vision and promise on sustainable development, keeping the Group at the forefront of creating a greener future.

To learn more about sustainability at Esquel, please visit our site at: https://www.esquel.com/sustainability