West Africa’s largest clothing manufacturer, DTRT Apparel Ltd (DTRT), have announced a major investment from leading investment firm Verod Capital Management and Red Bull GmbH, in a transformative deal for the Accra-based apparel industry.
DTRT supplies cost-competitive products to major US and EU-based brands via a global network spanning three continents. The company employs over 2,000 people in West Africa, procures textiles from Asia and exports primarily to the EU and US markets, benefitting from supportive trade arrangements between the US/EU and Ghana.
The investment is a massive boost for apparel manufacturing in West Africa. Verod Capital is investing alongside a major strategic investor, Red Bull, the US$7bn producer of Red Bull energy drinks and one of the most innovative marketers in the world. Red Bull will be an anchor customer for DTRT, and DTRT will be a part of Red Bull’s global apparel sourcing operations.
DTRT Apparel was founded in 2013 by two apparel industry entrepreneurs in a joint venture with a renowned Ghanaian fashion entrepreneur, Mrs. Salma Salifu, Managing Director of Dignity DTRT, the company’s manufacturing partner. Founded on a commitment to “Do the right thing”, the company is an industry leader in sustainability and has a Gold-level Certificate from the Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) organization, verifying the company’s commitment to ethical manufacturing and employment practices. DTRT provides access to training and healthcare.
Environmental sustainability is also at the core of the DTRT business model. The business works with suppliers to produce a polyester fabric that requires 80% less water for dyeing than the traditional fabric-dyeing process. DTRT estimates they have saved over 200,000,000 litres of water over the last five years using this fabric. As a small example of its efforts to support their community, the Company utilizes leftover fabric from production for conversion into re-usable sanitary pads that are then provided free-of-charge to lower-income people in the nearby community.
Skip Richmond, co-Founder and co-CEO of DTRT Apparel said: “Given today’s global macroeconomics, apparel brands are increasingly looking for cost competitive, socially responsible, longterm manufacturing alternatives outside Asia. This milestone deal is an affirmation of our vision of sustainable apparel manufacturing in Ghana – with the highest production, environmental and labour standards – and affords us the opportunity to significantly expand our production capacity and capabilities to make DTRT Africa’s leading apparel manufacturer. We’re very excited to work with our partners and strategic investors to drive growth and provide our value-added services on a larger scale to current and future customers”.
Danladi Verheijen, Verod Managing Director said: “Verod Capital’s investment in DTRT is predicated on the very rapid growth of the Ghanaian economy, due largely to its political stability, and Ghana’s unique advantages for cost-competitive production. The DTRT team are highly experienced operators who are also 100% committed to improving the lives of West Africans, which aligns with the mission of Verod Capital. We look forward to working with the Founders to build up this business but also to help West Africa become a major hub for apparel manufacturing.”
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