our Own production
Ukrainian subsidiary is at the heart of Fristads’ production
Since 2001 we have our own workwear production in Ukraine. With new management at the helm, the Stritex factory has both seen increased production efficiency and remarkable growth. Now the factory also aims to be in the forefront when it comes to environmental responsibility.
The Stritex factory is in Stryi in western Ukraine and has been running for over 70 years, from the beginning producing school uniforms for the Soviet Union. For the last 20 years the factory has been producing workwear – specialising in more advanced garments such as flame-retardant clothing.
In 2021 the production was tripled – a result of many different factors such as increasing efficiency in the production flow, partnering with subcontractors and hiring 50-60 new employees. But it was also a result of Covid-19 leading to factories around the world shutting down.
Employee retention is important to Stritex, which historically has lost workers to Poland, where salaries are generally higher. Pay raises, along with the pandemic making it harder for Ukrainians to cross the border, have now made it more attractive for workers to stay with Stritex.
“We made a lot of efforts to attract employees and now we often have people who come back to us after working in Poland. The difference in salaries is not as dramatic as it used to be and we also offer a social insurance package. We have broken the trend of losing staff.” – Galina Kreminets, CEO at Stritex.
Ways in which Stritex is reducing their environmental impact
The factory has an upgraded ventilation system, saving energy and cleaning and disinfecting the air inside.
Cutting down on transports
By moving some key functions, like Stritex’ marker maker office, technical support team and purchasing to the factory in Stryi to get them closer to production, the number of transports has decreased.
All waste is separated and almost everything is recycled – paper, plastic and fabric. Small fabric parts are reused as insulation and filling for pillows and sofas. All the fabrics and trims are sourced from Riga and other parts of Europe and the factory generates very little waste.
New sewing machines
In 2021, Stritex started to replace the engines on its sewing machines with quieter, more energy efficient models, a project that will continue during 2022.
LED lighting and solar panels
The next project on the list is to exchange all lights to LED and install rooftop solar panels to further lower the energy consumption of the factory.
Wartime production at Stritex
On February 24, Russia invaded Ukraine and since then several cities have been heavily shelled, with disastrous consequences. Stritex is located in Stryi, approximately 100 km from the Polish border, which at the time of writing has been spared from attacks. At the request of our employees, the factory has stayed open and not only maintained production since the outbreak of the war but increased its output. Fristads is continuously monitoring the developments of the war and has an emergency plan in place to support the safety of our Stritex employees and their families. Should Stritex be forced to close down, there are also contingency plans for securing the production outside of Ukraine.
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