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December 22, 2021

DTRT Apparel sets new sustainability standards ahead of 2022

African clothing manufacturer DTRT (Do The Right Thing) Apparel has implemented a new production planning software solution to ensure it maintains sustainability standards while growing the business.

By Laura Husband

DTRT Apparel has an ambitious multi-year sustainability-based growth strategy and is using Coats Digital’s FastReactPlan across its production lines to improve its on-time delivery while driving positive social change.

Founded on the principle the apparel manufacturing industry has the power to drive significant, positive change to communities in emerging economies, “mission-led” DTRT operates what it calls a uniquely sustainable production facility in Ghana.

The company has implemented Coats Digital’s production planning tool in a bid to have strong foundations for future growth without compromising the stringent ethical and environment standards that it says are critical to its reputation.

Employing more than 2,500 people across 35 production lines, DTRT’s Ghana site produces sports and sports-lifestyle apparel – including polo shirts, fleece jackets, and T-shirts – for overseas brand customers, with a current production capacity of four million garments per year.

It is also looking to increase its output, scaling to 150 production lines and creating vital manufacturing jobs in much higher volume in the near future.

The company implemented Coats Digital’s FastReactPlan to maximise efficiency across both its existing and planned production lines. Prior to implementing the system, the company says its efficiency was held back by a reliance on manual processes and disconnected data.

At the same time, a lack of visibility into the causes of production delays and the impact of material delays had led to an over-reliance on air freight so orders reached overseas customers on time.

Since implementing the system, the company says it has built a clear, systematic path for its materials, allowing it to identify delays in material availability and make quick and easy adjustments to plans with minimal disruption. The company is also using the system to connect and consolidate its production data, allowing it to track exactly how many units it needs to cut, sew, and adjust its production and capacity plans based on accurate information.

“It was critical to us to lay the right foundations for the level of expansion we are targeting, and Coats Digital’s reputation, combined with the clear results that other manufacturers have obtained from implementing FastReactPlan made this partnership the best possible choice for us,” says Wasantha Perera, global COO of DTRT.

“We plan to double our capacity annually for the next three years, and had we left our existing challenges and excess costs unaddressed, we would not have the right foundations in place to grow efficiently and cost effectively.  Now, with Coats Digital’s support, we’re confident that we have the right structure to allow us to increase our margins, improve efficiency by up to 10%, reduce our air freight costs and carbon footprint by up to 50%, and safeguard both our world-leading sustainability standards and our strong reputation with our customers.”

Stuart McCready-Stocks, Coats Digital’s sales director for the EMEA region, adds: “Coats Digital are extremely proud to be supporting DTRT Apparel in their ambition to become a major player in the apparel industry. Not only is DTRT focused on jumpstarting the economy of developing nations and creating thousands of essential jobs, but they are committed to doing this in a safe, fair, and ethical way – all of which are principles that Coats Digital has long shared.

“We are thrilled that, by implementing FastReactPlan, DTRT will be able to better balance its capacities, material availability, and critical path, giving it the ability to grow with confidence and without sacrificing either efficiency or ethics. We look forward to being a continued partner on DTRT’s journey to become the go-to apparel manufacturing destination for Africa.”

Seamless garment manufacturer Tefron is also using Coats Digital’s FastReactPlan to accelerate its digitisation strategy.

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