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MAS Thurulie goes Green in truest sense

Dec '08
MAS Intimates Thurulie plant in Thulhiriya is the first purpose-built eco-manufacturing plant for lingerie. It is an initiative undertaken by MAS Holdings under the groundbreaking sustainability plan of Marks & Spencer, 'Plan A'.

“We set out to create a 'green factory' both in terms of building and the way it is run. We have created a facility that is naturally cooler (a challenge in tropical humid conditions) and used a low-energy cooling system. The factory uses less resources to run compared to similar facilities. It is powered by renewable energy and boasts of the largest solar PV installation in the country”, said Mr Vidhura Ralapanawe, Manager – Sustainability & Communications, MAS Intimates, while speaking to Fibre2fashion.com.

All employees working in the facility enjoy natural light, outside views, good thermal comfort and high air quality – moving far beyond traditional definitions of employee wellbeing. The facility is built with a special eco-brick, and uses rainwater for toilet flushing. About 400 trees were planted to help cool the environment and enhance bio-diversity.

Discussing the challenges the company faced while building this one of its kind facility in Sri Lanka, Mr Vidhura Ralapanawe stated, “Our biggest challenge was to create a low-energy cooling mechanism within the buildings - something that dramatically reduce the energy compared to A/C, in a high heat/humidity environment, which we successfully did with our design”.

While sharing information regarding the basic differences between manufacturing eco friendly products in comparison to others, the Manager asserts, “The product is the same, yet the way it is manufactured has some key differences. First, the amount of energy used per product is substantially less, as is the greenhouse gas emissions from the manufacturing processes.

“MAS intimates Thurulie uses 40 percent less energy compared to a similar sized plant and is also powered by carbon neutral power sources. The products are manufactured at a facility built and operated on sound environmental principles. With the renewed global focus on environmental sustainability, consumers will look for companies to show leadership in greening manufacturing processes. MAS Intimates Thurulie is the first in this transformation.”

MAS Intimates which conceptualize and produce luxuary intimate wear is sought out by consumers of world over. The company focuses primarily on bras, limited quantities of panties are also produced.

All goods manufactured at MAS Intimates Thurulie plant are made exclusively for Marks and Spencer of UK. They are not available in Sri Lanka. They are sold with a special eco-label, highlighting the fact that they were produced in a 'green manufacturing facility'.

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