Ivan Brown, CEO at MAS Fabrics Matrix, with some of the 3,900 solar panels

Ivan Brown, CEO at MAS Fabrics Matrix, with some of the 3,900 solar panels

Sri Lankan apparel and fabric giant MAS has unveiled what is thought to be the country’s largest rooftop solar plant at its dedicated knitting facility for Nike Flyknit running shoes.

Fittingly, the solar investment at the MAS Fabrics Matrix plant inside its fabric park in Thulhiriya adds further value to a product that already has the environment in mind with the use of recycled polyester and closed loop initiatives.

The 1 megawatt rooftop solar solution consists of 3,900 solar PV panels, roughly the size of 1.3 football fields, making it one of the largest in South Asia.

According to Ajay Amalean, managing director of MAS Brands, the group’s commitment to sustainability began in 2010, and today “41% of MAS runs on renewable energy.”

Matrix CEO Ivan Brown adds: “Breaking that paradigm that it takes 20 years to get a return on clean energy is the toughest job. We revisited the concept of ‘cost’ and we did it after countless hours of rehashing the ‘standard’ ROI measurement and seeing the value beyond revenue growth.”

The switch to solar power as part of its energy mix is also an extension of MAS’s other sustainability investments.

The group is one of Asia's largest manufacturers of intimate apparel, sportswear, performance wear and swimwear, and in recent years has diversified to provide specialised IT solutions to the apparel and footwear industry worldwide. 

Notable achievements include MAS Intimates Thurulie, which was constructed as the world’s first purpose-built eco-manufacturing plant and was certified the world’s first LEED Platinum New Built Factory by the US Green Building Council.

And in 2011 the company partnered with Marks & Spencer to create the first carbon neutral lingerie range for the UK high street.