Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, Hong Kong-based apparel manufacturer Crystal International has distributed more than 4 million masks to employees and communities to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. It also established a crisis management committee to help protect workers, and adopted preventative measures such as stringent visitor control and social distancing requirements. And now, it’s continuing its assistance by providing more accessible Covid-19 testing and vaccines for employees throughout its facilities.
The global company recently announced it has successfully brought up its vaccination rates throughout its factories, with 96 percent of workers in its China factories, 72 percent of workers in its Cambodia factories and 78 percent of workers in Sri Lanka factories fully vaccinated as of last month. In Vietnam—where there’s a shortage of vaccines and Reuters reports that the country’s vaccination rate is 20.3 percent as of Sept. 28—23 percent of its employees have received their first dose.
The company is dedicating many of its efforts to supporting employees and communities in Vietnam. It provided employees with in-house accommodations, including temporary dormitories, mobile toilets, temporary shower facilities and clothes washing areas inside the factory premises. It also worked with a local nonprofit to distribute more than 10 tons of rice and 200 boxes of noodles to support the 2,400 workers living in lockdown areas with limited access to food.
In addition to removing barriers to vaccines and testing, the company also provided financial support for Vietnam-based Covid-19 relief organizations, including a combined $453,000 (10.3 billion dong) donation to support the government’s vaccine purchasing and distribution plan.
Inside its Bangladesh factory, the company opened a vaccination registration booth where employees sign up and receive complimentary transportation to and from the vaccination center. And at its Sri Lanka factory, Crystal International worked with the Board of Investment and the Ministry of Health to set up an intermediate care center consisting of 445 beds to treat patients who tested positive for Covid-19.
Within its Vietnam, Cambodia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka factories, the company has rolled out thorough disinfecting procedures, including the regular sanitization of production floors, shuttle buses, warehouses and canteens.
Covid-19 testing and vaccines remain inaccessible for some of the world’s most vulnerable populations. While governments scramble to find solutions, companies throughout the denim industry have devised strategies for helping their own. India-based Arvind Denim arranged on-site vaccination drives for all employees, as did Pakistan-based Naveena Denim Mills and Artistic Fabric Mills. Crescent Bahuman Limited, also based in Pakistan, offered on-site vaccination drives in June sponsored by the Government of Pakistan, helping it achieve 100 percent vaccination at its facilities.