Oak furniture retailer Oakea is to strengthen ties with an innovative factory in Vietnam. The Tan Thanh factory is a family-run business that boasts an environmental- and people-friendly ethos.
Oakea designs and produces its own ranges of oak and pine furniture, and is looking to work with a new factory. During a recent QC visit to Vietnam the company’s director Henrik Pontoppidan visited the Tan Thanh factory. He says: “The first thing that strikes you is that everyone from bottom to top meets you with genuine smiles - an incredibly positive, contagious and engaging attitude throughout the work force of 1000 people. But then the reason for this dawns on you. It's because these people are treated with more respect and support by the company than imaginable.”
The factory, situated in the Binh Duong Province, controls the whole of its own production chain. The factory uses its own saw mill, to buy logs direct, and provides full certification to the end retailer. The owner cycles around the huge property, but at the same time applies modern technology, skills, know-how and education to a high standard, and the technology is specifically designed to have a low environmental impact.
“They don’t just meet minimum requirements for the health of staff – they go beyond this and more,” says Henrik, who says that the owner is committed to education and provides a school for the children of the workers.
“This factory doesn’t just make decisions on cost, they want what’s best for their workers and for the environment,” continues Henrik.
Oakea is set to become the first British retailer to work with the factory.
“We are delighted to have found them," says Henrik, "as they encompass everything we are looking for – the right attitude, staff loyalty, and a company that cares about its impact on the world.”
The factory is now producing new samples for Oakea, with a view to being a long-term supplier.