Sri Lankaâ€™s Hayleys unit says new fabric types draw top brands
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Hayleys Fabric says new types of fabrics it has begun developing at its own ‘Innovation Centre’ has been well accepted by apparel manufacturers and yield higher profit margins.
The Hayleys group subsidiary which has returned to profitability after four years of losses said customer confidence has increased as orders are now for more innovative fabrics of higher value which is necessary for sustainable growth and returns.
The team of technologists at Hayleys Fabrics, formerly known as Hayleys MGT Knitting Mills, has introduced its own “Inno” branded fabric, which chairman Mohan Pandithage said was the first such innovation in the country.
“Acceptance of this light weight fabric with our customers who are global fashion brands is encouraging as their designers adapt it to fashion a variety of garments,” he told shareholders in the firm’s annual report.
The company’s name change, he said, better reflects it capability as a fully-fledged fabric mill with the ability to meet a wider product portfolio of the customer, doing design, development, and finishing of pure and blended polyester and cotton fabrics.
Managing Director Rohan Goonetilleke attributed the turnaround after four years of losses to increased customer confidence as the firm improved delivery capability, a strong focus on innovation and a deep understanding of customer requirements.
Hayleys Fabric upgraded its technology during the year buying new machinery from reputed brands in the industry by investing 1.7 million US dollars.
“The key areas that received focus was in knitting, dyeing, effluent treatment and environment related areas to ensure that we are future ready,” Goonetilleke said.
The company’s ‘Innovation Centre’ develops new fabric types and with different qualities, as opposed to the traditional method of duplicating fabric types and qualities at the request customers.
“The company invested in a dedicated team of fabric technologists to create new fabric to suit specific customer markets, requirements and their product ranges,” Goonetilleke said.
“Success was measured when the company attracted designers of leading brands to select these fabric and place commercial orders for cost effective and innovative fabric under the brand name ‘Inno’.” (Colombo/August 3 2015)