Saitex Large

Saitex doing business in an inclusive and sustainable way

IKEA is always looking for ways to grow even more inclusively and contribute to a fair and equal society. A part of IKEA Social Entrepreneurship's strategy includes partnering with large-scale scalable social businesses. This allows our partners to manage large production volumes and involve local communities. 

The partnership with Vietnamese denim manufacturer Saitex enables the co-creation of a range of products made from sustainable materials like natural fibres and waste materials which will be sold at IKEA. In the process job opportunities for marginalised groups such as women and differently-abled persons in Vietnam are created.

Large or easily scalable businesses such as Saitex have a big social and environmental impact because of their size. Saitex is known worldwide for being revolutionary in its holistic business approach where social and environmental work is seamlessly integrated throughout every aspect of the business. For example, recapturing heat to use for drying rather than relying on industrial dryers and water recycling. But also hiring more women and integrating people with disabilities and other vulnerable backgrounds into the workplace. For this, a special socially and environmentally focused division named Rekut was initiated, 
where people with disabilities and other disadvantaged backgrounds are employed and trained.

Placing people first is something that Sanjeev Bahl, founder and CEO of Saitex, has been working actively on since the beginning, making issues such as gender equality, equal pay, respect and dignity cornerstones for Saitex. By 2025, Saitex aims to have 20% of their workforce be persons with disabilities and involved in production for IKEA.
Saitex Sanjeev profile update
Sanjeev Bahl, founder and CEO of Saitex
 

In Vietnam, people with different abilities are hidden and not heard. Our society still has no solution to the employment and inclusion of the differently-abled people that make up 15% of the world’s population. IKEA is huge, but it’s a humane and value-driven organisation. If this collaboration succeeds, then we have created a future formula for success that potentially could be replicated in other factories. Imagine what a huge, massive dent we together would create on this matter.

Saitex rekut

Saitex employees at the Rekut facility.

Putting people and planet first 

Saitex integrates both environmental and social sustainability, transforming its business from linear to circular. Its highly efficient industrialised factory setup shows that social businesses do not need to be small or in the handicraft sector. 
 
As of 2019, the Saitex plant is a zero-discharge facility — recycling 98% of all its water and evaporating the other 2%. The factory is powered by solar and biomass energy and the jeans they produce are air-dried using the heat that is naturally produced in the building. The toxic by-product that is created during production is extracted and shipped to a nearby brick factory where it is mixed with concrete. This means that it cannot seep into the environment, instead of resulting in bricks used to build affordable homes for people in need.
 
Saitex factory image

Saitex plant in Vietnam.

Creating the business of the future

 
Since 2019, IKEA Social Entrepreneurship has supported social entrepreneurs and businesses worldwide through our development programmes and partnerships to upscale their impact and find new possibilities to create lasting change. 
 
Collaborating with large-scale scalable social businesses allows social business partners to manage large production volumes and involve local communities. Adding Saitex as a supplier to IKEA’s range, will diversify the range in materials and techniques and allow for faster upscaling with both single products and collections.
 
Through this partnership, we will be offering an even more sustainable industrial setup in textiles, jute and other locally sourced materials to the many people in stores around the world. The first collection VÅRDANDE will be launched in June 2022.