Vietnamese Denim Manufacturer Saitex launches sustainable “factory-farm”

Saitex, a Vietnam-based denim company that bills itself as the world’s most sustainable denim manufacturer, is establishing a new production factory in Vietnam that has been designed as an extremely sustainable, energy-efficient, and environmentally-friendly facility, and includes a vegetable farm.

The “factory-farm,” which will mill denim from cotton and make denim for a number of global fashion companies and garment retailers, is set to debut in August 2021 on a 100,000-square-meter plot of land at the Nhon Trach Industrial Zone in Dong Nai province northeast of Ho Chi Minh City.

The buildings take up 50 % of the area, farming takes up 40%, and the rest is utilized for agriculture. Natural ventilation is built for manufacturing, office, and community spaces, and the roof reflects the sun.

According to the firm, the factory was constructed using components that would help it obtain LEED gold certification, the highest level of green building certification awarded by the US Green Building Council.

A bespoke water filtration and recycling system are also installed, allowing the facility to function without the need for freshwater, establishing a closed-loop system, and a rainwater collection system for flushing industrial toilets, irrigation, and firefighting.

The mill also includes 15000 solar panels with a capacity of up to four megawatts, and industrial sludge is utilized to produce 40 % of the steam required for the milling.

Saitex is cultivating over 24000 square metres using an organic hydroponic clean farming system that will generate 6 tonnes of clean veggies each year. Saitex has planted 6000 trees in the industrial park and 50 hectares of mangrove trees on the mill site to attain carbon neutrality by 2025.

Saitex, which was started in 2005 by Indian entrepreneur Sanjeev Bahl and switched to sustainable denim production in 2010, now employs over 4500 people worldwide and produces 20000 pairs of jeans each day. American Eagle, Banana Republic, Calvin Klein Jeans, Ethical fashion brands including Everlane, Eileen Fisher, GAP, G-Star Raw, Madewell, J. Crew, Tommy Hilfiger, Outerknown, Ralph Lauren, and others, are among its consumers.

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