Striving for a Higher Manufacturing Standard
General 13 Apr 2021
For more than 70 years, we have made leading innovative flame-resistant (FR), arc-rated (AR) fabrics that serve a variety of industrial and technical industries. We engineer our fabrics from the inside out to guarantee their flame-resistant properties for the life of the garment—where many competing fabrics cannot make the same claim.
By now, you know how much we stress sourcing the FR/AR fabric used in your daily wear or PPE garments. It’s important to know who makes the fabric, how the fabric performs in a battery of industry tests and, most importantly, how it performs on the job. It’s not enough to simply know it’s NFPA® 2112-certified or if it provides Category 2 protection according to NFPA® 70E, for example; you need to know and trust in the fabric brand itself.
We are firm believers in this approach for one simple reason—it’s what’s right for our customers and end users.
It drives back to the heart of our approach as a Milliken brand, to make a positive impact on the world for generations to come. Part of that positive impact is our dedication to responsible manufacturing, which can touch many facets of our work. From exploring what’s possible in product development and creation to enhancing or improving our product performance where possible, we are striving to be a responsible and ethically minded company—as evident in Milliken’s inclusion on the World’s Most Ethical Companies® list for the past 15 years.
It also means being a valued and reliable partner for our customers and our suppliers alike. Just like we stress knowing what FR/AR fabric goes into your protective garment, we are constantly working to understand the materials used in our FR/AR fabrics.
Simply put, we are on a journey to see that Westex® fabrics are:
Ethically Minded We want the fabrics we make to be in line with our goals as a values-based company. For 15 years—every year since the award was first introduced—Milliken & Company has been named to the World’s Most Ethical Companies® list curated by Ethisphere Institute. In keeping with that prestigious designation, we work to see our FR/AR fabrics are in line with the ethics and integrity we strive for globally. Each supplier is required to sign the Milliken Supplier Code of Conduct, and we have a modern slavery statement, which we monitor our supply chains for compliance. Whether it’s mindfully sourcing our cotton, much of which comes from North American cotton producers, to ensuring our fabrics exceed industry standards and regulations, we’re always exploring how Westex® brand fabrics perpetuate our company values.
Responsibly Manufactured We believe what we make is as important as how we make it. Informed by the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, our 2025 sustainability goals motivate us to reduce our global environmental footprint to increase our global impact. For example, in 2019, Milliken broke ground on a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) facility for two manufacturing plants, one of which produces Westex® fabrics. The CHP enables us to reduce energy consumption by capturing wasted heat, increase energy reliability by generating electricity onsite, and finalize our steps to eliminate coal as a primary steam fuel source. This will reduce those plants’ greenhouse gas emissions by an expected 30% and waste by 33% upon the project’s completion in 2021.
Made For People, By People Our associates work tirelessly to bring our innovative FR/AR fabrics to life because they are integral to the process. They are the makers behind the fabrics that help protect others. We prioritize our teams—emphasizing their safety and wellbeing, which in turn inspires them to achieve new heights on behalf of customers and end users. We’re proud to partner with Milliken businesses and divisions globally to achieve zero lost-time safety incidents per year and create an inclusive associate culture, as outlined by our 2025 sustainability goals. When our associates are cared for, it radiates out to impact our communities, customers and end users.
We are committed to being a trusted partner in all your FR/AR garment needs.