In this episode we talk to Sanjeev Bahl, founder and chief executive of Saitex, a Vietnam-based jeans manufacturer and certified B-corp that counts Everlane, Madewell, J. Crew, Target and G-Star Raw among its clients. Saitex makes 6 million garments per year, has 4000 staff, 4 factories in Vietnam, and one in Los Angeles.
Sanjeev starts by sharing a bit about his personal journey. How did he get into the apparel manufacturing business? Why Vietnam? He shares his reservations about the term “sustainability” and makes a case for using the term “intersectional environmentalism” instead.
We also asked how he copes with situations where short term profit objectives might compromise social and environmental goals. His response? We have to flip the question: the question isn’t whether profitability compromises other goals, but how much profitability do we really need?
Which brings us to inclusivity, and Saitex’s REKUT project. REKUT is an offshoot of Saitex. It describes itself as a movement to create jobs and equal opportunities for people with different abilities.
Want to dig deeper ?
Transformers Foundation is the unified voice representing the denim industry and its ideas for positive change. It was founded to provide a thus-far missing platform to the jeans and denim supply chain, and a central point of contact for consumers, brands, NGOs, and media who want to learn more about ethics and sustainable innovation in the industry.
Sanjeev Bahl on using profits wisely.
For more on the intersection of social and environmental issues check out this memoir by Wangari Maathai .
Photo from Saitex