African Excellence Awards 2023

African Excellence Awards 2023 43 Jun23125 Equator – The Belt Factory is a Durban based South African manufacturer for the fashion, retail and wholesale trade globally. The company has been in business as a design-housemanufacturer for over 20 years, with the intention of becoming a world class supplier. Equator – The Belt Factory has taken its name from the Earth’s favourite belt. With its head office based in Durban, South Africa, from where it strives for excellence in its people, products, and supply chain capabilities. The way it goes about achieving this is to strike a careful balance between the needs of the environment, its retail partners, customers, and its own people. To do this it applies innovative technology and the very latest in design and trend-led thinking to its working processes. In 2020, Equator – The Belt Factory became the first member of the local fashion industry to achieve a 5-Star Green Star Certification for Existing Building Performance from the Green Building Council of South Africa. This year it has successfully achieved both a GRS and RCS certification, which aligns with its core value of consistently striving to support sustainability. Equator works hard to ensure that the people behind its world class South African products are happy in their jobs and efficient in their operations, with proud ethical processes, and trade transparency at the heart of what it does. Decisions are made every day with the ideal outcome kept in mind of raising the bar and being more sustainable. Equator realises that there is no definitive destination for the sustainability journey, just incremental daily improvements. However, the focus for its sustainability goals, and the guiding light for the company, is to concentrate on becoming a circular economy, with a carbon neutral global footprint. This means that every decision is made with sustainability in mind. Clients of Equator include companies within the South African Retail Chain sector. It has also recently added export proficiency to its roster, catering to global customer needs. Whether designing, manufacturing or distributing its product categories for its own brands or those of its local or international brand partners, Equator has one overarching goal. That is to understand its customers’ value equation in regard to its own categories, and to offer them the best choices possible. Equator does this with a deep understanding of trends, environment, materials and the inherent value of belt manufacturing. Equator - The Belt Factory greatly values its people, and believes in empowering their growth both professionally and personally. It is home to a diverse array of talented people, choosing to make their belt manufacturing careers with the company. As such, it values authenticity, individuality, and self-expression in its people, 68% of whom are female. Equator is a business who believes in fostering an open and dignified place of employment, not only for its staff but also for its customers and suppliers. “We believe that business is a balance between human & financial capital for a mutually beneficial outcome. Our balanced approach has enabled us to craft mutually respectful relationships with our customers, our suppliers and our people.” Having achieved factory certification for its sustainable building, Equator – The Belt Factory now intends to shift its focus towards more responsible sourcing of the raw materials it requires. This covers packaging and lower impact logistics, with the company having already gone some way towards introducing positive changes. This includes using responsible tanneries, recycled leather, and staying on the cusp of innovation in plant based alternative materials for its products. A reduction in plastics and packaging is already on the agenda, and Equator is now working with its customers to push its sustainability efforts even further. It is little wonder this incredible, forwardthinking company has been named as Belts Manufacturer of the Year 2023 - South Africa in the African Excellence Awards. Its ethical approach to product manufacture is something to be incredibly proud of, and this well-deserved award is certainly confirmation of such. Company: Equator – The Belt Factory Web Address: Contact Name: Tanya Miller Belts Manufacturer of the Year 2023 - South Africa