The company widely known as the “cleanest denim factory in the world” is officially up and running in Los Angeles.
One year after the pandemic brought the global denim industry to a standstill, Saitex announced Tuesday the opening of Saitex USA, a “factory of the future” equipped with state-of-the-art manufacturing technology and energy- and resource-efficient machinery. It is Saitex’s first facility outside of its Vietnam home base and mirrors many of the accomplishments achieved by the B Corp manufacturer.
Though L.A. is America’s denim production hub, the city’s manufacturing capabilities have lagged in innovation and change. The new factory, however, builds on Saitex’s vision for responsible manufacturing with the latest laser cutting technology, semi-automated sewing, robotic spraying, 3D laser detailing and one-step wash machines that are connected to a water recycling system.
The technology implemented allows for an automated supply-chain ecosystem at speed using interconnected ordering and costing with shorter lead times, giving the L.A. facility a competitive advantage.
Through the use of its cloud-based digital platform, the Speed to Market system, Saitex provides clients a conscious approach to inventory management and a trajectory towards “made to order” capabilities, the company stated. The system offers online garment design, collaboration and the manufacturing of custom garments at scale without sacrificing sustainability or speed.
“Saitex USA is another step in our journey, providing an opportunity to bring sustainable manufacturing and jobs to the United States, a first step in reevaluating and reinventing global supply chains,” said Sanjeev Bahl, Saitex CEO and founder.
The launch of Saitex USA coincides with a time when the denim industry’s supply chain is under a microscope. Though the facility was in development prior to the pandemic, the global health crisis exposed the vulnerabilities that come with having a long supply chain, and magnified the benefits of domestic manufacturing, which offers shorter lead times, more on-demand product and a more planet-friendly carbon footprint.
In January, Karachi, Pakistan-based denim manufacturer Artistic Milliners announced the launch of Star Fades International, a new effort to offer clients supply chain 4.0 principles and 360-degree denim design in the U.S.
With industry veteran Kathy Kweon as Saitex USA president, the L.A. factory has recruited experienced talent to jumpstart production. Initially, the factory will produce 600,000 units per year. Capacity is expected to increase gradually and peak at 1.2 million units per year.