Bernard Botejue Industries (Pvt.) Ltd, Sri Lanka’s oldest apparel manufacturer and pioneer in the garment sector, is commemorating the 25th anniversary of its Bernard Botejue Kolonna plant today.
The plant, which was established in a remote village in 1992, has made a tremendous impact on the Kolonna locality, uplifting the rural economy by offering successful career opportunities to the youth.
Religious programmes presided by a Pirith sermon will be held at the premises to invoke blessings on the management and employees of the Bernard Botejue Kolonna factory and community.
Upholding the vision of becoming the most renowned branded clothing manufacturer in Sri Lanka, the Bernard Botejue Kolonna plant produces some of the world’s top designer brands such as Victoria’s Secret – Pink, NEXT and Marks & Spencer.
Furnished with state-of-the-art technology, the plant was founded by Bernard Botejue Industries under the ‘200 factories’ programme, an initiative by the then government, to provide employment opportunities to youth in rural areas. Rising from its humble beginnings, Bernard Botejue Kolonna has steadily grown in multifarious aspects and currently has a workforce of 660 employees operating with 300 machines.
Bernard Botejue Kolonna is in the forefront of implementing socially responsible and environmentally-conscious corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives every year. As a result, the company spearheaded Sri Lanka’s first-ever largest single-day reforestation project in Kolonnain collaboration with ReForest Sri Lanka, a non-profit society committed to protecting and extending the country’s forest cover. This joint initiative saw to the planting of 4000 saplings in seven acres of land with the participation of a large number of volunteers and residents of the area, employees of Bernard Botejue and members of ReForest Sri Lanka.
Being an energy-efficient factory, Bernard Botejue Kolonna has installed LED lighting and eco-friendly air cooling systems in line with its green policies. The plant also maintains stringent regulations to ensure the premises remain plastic and polythene free. Maintaining the highest standards to manufacture world-class apparels, Bernard Botejue Kolonna has earned several globally recognized accreditations including Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP), SEDEX and the Joint Apparel Association Federation’s ‘Garments Without Guilt’.
Commenting on the 25th milestone of the Kolonna plant, Bernard Botejue Industries (Pvt.) Ltd Managing Director Janaka Botejue said, “Bernard Botejue Kolonna will not be where it’s today without the immense support and strong working relationship created by our dedicated employees and all stakeholders of the company. We feel quite honoured to share our successful journey of 25 years with our employees and customers and we hope to continue this journey for another 25 years and more with the same passion and commitment.”
Elaborating his views further, Botejue noted, “Being an environmentally-conscious company, we constantly strive towards giving something back to the country. Therefore, we have imposed stringent eco-friendly policies at our Kolonna plant to maintain the company free from non-degradable material. We believe our ongoing initiative will inspire other companies to start their own green initiatives and give something back to the country.”
Sharing his thoughts, Bernard Botejue Kolonna Chief Executive Officer Ranjith Koralage said, “Bernard Botejue Industries has always strived to offer a holistic development for its employees, giving them in-house training and a secure career with ample opportunities for progressive growth.
I have received tremendous support from the company for personal and career growth, which had helped me to climb the corporate ladder from a mere entry-level position to the current role of the CEO at the Bernard Botejue Kolonna plant. Inspired by its 25 long years of service, I hope to dedicate my time and energy to steer our employees towards a positive growth.”