TFG officially opened its newly revamped Prestige Clothing factory in Caledon.
The company’s local supply chain division comprises of TFG Design and TFG Manufacturing. Prestige Clothing Maitland and Prestige Clothing Caledon are two wholly-owned apparel manufacturers which form part of this structure.
The move represents a vote of confidence in, and a substantial investment for the local manufacturing industry.
Graham Choice, Head of Design, TFG Manufacturing and Prestige Clothing, says the company, South African pioneers of Quick Response and fast fashion, is totally committed to continually expanding and growing its lead position as the top producer of in-demand apparel in South Africa.
“TFG’s Prestige Clothing is the leader in quick response manufacturing, and this latest investment in our manufacturing capacity means that we’ll be able to respond even faster, and in greater volumes, to our customers’ needs,” he says.
Choice says this recent R75 million investment, saw the construction of a brand new building as well as the refurbishment of the existing factory, including the re-tooling of the entire new facility. In addition, the establishment of a highly effective training school has ensured that more than 300 previously unemployed women have acquired the skills and a national qualification from the department of higher education in apparel manufacturing. This has seen employee numbers grow from only 8 in 2008 to 315 currently.
“This latest investment is not only good for business, as it enables TFG to boost our speed-to-market response and capacity, but also for continued job creation specifically in a rural area and the economy as a whole,” notes Choice.
The combined size of the new factory is now 4000m ² up from 900 m², with one third of energy needs being provided by solar energy. Additionally, the upgrade invested heavily in employee wellbeing on site with a range of benefits.
Choice says TFG’s investment into manufacturing over the past five years since the purchase of Prestige in 2012, means that the company has
• Reduced assembly time from an industry average of 15 days to 4 days
• Introduced multi-skilling ensuring employee retention
• Increased versatility, capability and product range
• Achieved substantial growth of 30% because of efficiency gains and the ability to maintain product cost below inflation
• Increased output at a similar cost by 25% through increased efficiencies
• Been able to keep manufacturing costs similar to those charged in 2010.
“TFG already produces 6 million garments annually, and our investment strategy has enabled us to ensure future scalability and growth. Our layouts, technology, processes and systems are independently recognised as matching and often beating global best practice,” says Choice.
He says the company’s focus is on continuing to develop its local manufacturing capability, and upgrading skills and machinery, to continue giving TFG a substantial competitive advantage locally and globally.
“Additionally, by working effectively with our various stakeholders, including national employer bodies, trade unions, government ministries, higher education and SARS, we are in a strong position to continue contributing to the lives of many South Africans, growing employment and skills development and enhancing our supply chain, ensuring the continued competitive advantage of our retailers,” he says.