World’s leading industrial thread company, Coats recently celebrated 30 years of operating in Vietnam on October 21. From a single small factory in Ho Chi Minh City 30 years ago, Coats has expanded its operations to major cities across Vietnam and Cambodia. The recent expansion of the Hung Yen site in Vietnam has increased Coats’ capacity further.

The milestone recognises the highly successful joint venture between Coats and Phong Phu Corporation which was established in 1989. “The business we have developed in Vietnam is a flagship operation for Coats. Its location within a major global apparel sourcing hub provides a strong geographic advantage. However, it is the close and collaborative relationship with our joint venture partner Phong Phu Corporation that has helped makes it the success that it is today,” said Rajiv Sharma, Group Chief Executive, Coats.

Part of the 30th anniversary celebrations included the formal opening of a new rooftop solar power generation unit at the Ho Chi Minh site. The solar power generation unit is both one of the first and largest installed within the textile industry in Vietnam. The generation capacity will be 1 Megawatt.

Bill Watson, Managing Director, Coats Vietnam said, “Integrating renewable sources of energy, like our new solar power generation unit, into our operations is important for our business in Vietnam and also supports the wider Coats priority to put sustainability at the heart of our company strategy. We will be looking at every opportunity to increase our sustainability further to see us through the next 30 years, and beyond.”

Coats Phong Phu has an extensive community engagement programme to achieve its objective of creating long-term, real benefits for the communities surrounding it, as well as the environment. It supports the Ta Oi people in the mountainous region of A Luoi in central Vietnam by supplying them with excess threads to help sustain ancient weaving traditions. The woven textiles are sold to designers of ethical products which supports further economic development. Other projects include renovating local primary schools, providing computers and books to students and installing clean water supply systems for citizens in Ninh Thuan, a province in South East Vietnam.