Partners In Quality
Chenab takes advantage of BASF's branding strategy to promote benefits of its textile auxiliaries.
Janet Bealer Rodie, Associate Editor
T he move in recent years by US and European textile and apparel companies to outsource production to lower-cost countries has influenced a growing cadre of manufacturers in those countries to commit to playing by quality, environmental and social accountability rules that are the norm for operations in the more developed countries. They must make such commitments in order to meet the expectations of socially and environmentally aware customers as well as to comply with trade regulations instituted by forward-thinking governments and in free trade agreements; and they expect their suppliers also to conform to the expected standards. Some offshore manufacturers also are realizing the importance of branding in the marketing game, and thus are taking advantage of opportunities offered by upstream suppliers whose own branding campaigns create awareness of the benefits of their raw materials and/or auxiliaries.
Chenab Ltd. is a fully vertical manufacturer of apparel and home fashion textiles including a full range of bedding products.
Chenab Puts Quality First
Pakistan-based Chenab Ltd., founded
in 1975 by current Chief Executive Mian Muhammad Latif, is a fully vertical textile and apparel
manufacturer and exporter that touts itself as a technology-oriented manufacturer that puts quality
first at every step of the process. As one of the country’s largest textile processors, with annual
revenues totaling approximately $110 million, Chenab maintains nine facilities that house
operations including ginning, spinning, weaving, bleaching, printing, dyeing, finishing, stitching,
designing/engraving, and quality testing. Its most recent investments include latest-generation
pretreatment, finishing and stitching machinery.
The company considers its state-of-the-art machinery and dedicated workforce of more than 10,000 employees to be its key strengths, and its wider-width vertical setup to be central to its success. This structure and its recent investments have helped it gain such competitive advantages as improved quality; increased production; innovative, value-added product; and timely deliveries.
Chenab has an annual production capacity of more than 70 million meters of fabric for home fashion textiles including sheets, duvets, pillows, curtains, kitchen textiles; and men’s, women’s and children’s apparel. It manufactures all of its product for export; and its primary customers include such retailing giants as Wal-Mart, Target, JCPenney, Sears, IKEA and Federated Department Stores Inc.; apparel manufacturers and brands including Kellwood Co. and Tommy Hilfiger; and other well-known textile and apparel brands worldwide. As it looks toward the future, Chenab anticipates growth in the areas of formal and specialty worked garments and value-added home textiles.
The company places a high priority on employing environmentally and socially responsible practices, as well as on maintaining high quality standards, stating: “Our policy is ‘Customer Satisfaction,’ which we ensure through proper planning; continual improvement; employee satisfaction; environmentally friendly production; prevention of environmental pollution; effective occupational health and safety; resource conservation; and implementation of relevant national and international environmental, social, cultural, and health and safety norms/laws.”
As evidence of its commitment in these areas, Chenab has achieved certification under such standards as ISO (International Organization for Standardization) 9001 quality management and 14001 environmental management, SA (Social Accountability) 8000, WRAP (Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production), and OHSAS (Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series) 18001. It also has received numerous export performance awards from the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), and Mian has received five Businessman of the Year awards — also from FPCCI.
BASF's customers may use its Easy Care, Non Iron and Cosinel quality labels to help educate downstream customers and consumers about the benefits provided by BASF textile finishes.
Branding Strategy To Promote Quality
According to Mian Muhammad Naeem,
director of marketing and planning, as part of Chenab’s effort to promote the high quality of its
products, the company is taking advantage of branding efforts by Germany-based BASF AG, its
longtime finishing auxiliaries supplier. BASF has created three quality labels that its customers
may use to help educate downstream customers and end-product consumers about the benefits provided
by its textile finishes. BASF also serves as a facilitator between manufacturers that use its
finishes and trading companies and brands.
Chenab tags its easy-care, no-iron bed linens with BASF’s Cosinel quality label to advise customers and consumers of the special benefits imparted by the BASF resin finish and enhanced softeners it uses in processing the linens. Chenab and BASF also participate in joint trade-fair activities and advertising to promote the Cosinel brand.
BASF created the name Cosinel to connote such qualities as comfort, softness and coziness. The brand is used in connection with a fiber protection system comprising BASF finishing products including Fixapret® crosslinking easy-care resin finishes and Softeners Universe products. The Cosinel tag pictures a morning glory to represent freshness and lightness. An accompanying brochure describes how the system works to provide no-iron and shape-retention properties to the sheets.
BASF offers its other two quality labels, Easy Care and Non Iron, to apparel manufacturers that use its textile chemicals. According to the company, the BASF chemicals that impart the attributes covered under all three labels all comply with Oeko-Tex 100 Standard Class II, which evaluates the safety of substances present in apparel, linens and other textiles intended for consumer contact.
According to Betty Yam, marketing specialist, BASF, the company is particular about with whom it will partner in its branding efforts. BASF, with its long-standing reputation as a manufacturer of high-quality products, expects its partners to agree with its concept of quality, and comply with quality criteria and relevant standards.
Chenab’s aforementioned commitment to such standards and its longtime stance as a customer of BASF puts it in good stead vis-à-vis BASF’s expectations and contributes to a relationship of mutual trust. Nevertheless, BASF conducts occasional spot checks of product tagged with the Cosinel label to ensure the asserted quality is being delivered.
“Ultimately, the consumer must be able to rely on Cosinel,” Yam said. “Only this will ensure sales and confidence in Cosinel.”