2020 has been a harrowing year for the greater community as a whole due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic, but throughout it all, Star’s resilience to continue innovating and persevering through these unprecedented times has kept the company at the forefront of Sri Lanka’s apparel industry.

Taking a look back at 2020 – In January, Star announced that it had been certified as CarbonNeutral® by The Sustainable Future Group (SFG), Sri Lanka’s foremost sustainability verification and certification body. This makes Star both the largest carbon-neutral company in Sri Lanka and the only one in the apparel sector to have all of its 14 facilities assessed and certified.

Following the monumental award received in January 2020, the company’s Innovation Center received the 2020 Merit Award Winner in the category of Sustainability from the AIA New York (“AIANY”). AIANY’s annual Design Awards program recognizes outstanding architectural design by AIANY members, New York City-based architects in any location, and work in New York City by architects around the globe.

With the ensuing lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, March 2020 saw an overwhelming number of Star family members who were adamant to assist with Sri Lanka’s effort towards controlling the spread of the novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) pledged to work during the curfew times under strict COVID-19 rules to aid in making masks for the shortage. From Warehouse Associates to Commercial Associates, to Factory Associates, these heroes showed up, sacrificing the few hours without curfew they had in some cases, with the goal to produce 100,000 protective masks and 5,500 PPE kits for healthcare personnel and other first responders around the country.

By April 2020, Star became one of the first apparel manufacturing companies in Sri Lanka to implement safe workplace standards (set by Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Health) which included automated disinfectant chambers to foot-operated/ automatic handwash stations and reengineered workspace layouts that maintain social distancing requirements. Following a detailed operational guide on how to manage the risks associated with Covid-19 in the workplace, all-Star facilities obtained the necessary approval to operate within the realm of the prevailing global pandemic.

By the end of the first lockdown in Sri Lanka, Star achieved their goal of supplying PPE and face masks; among the beneficiaries were over 15 hospitals around Sri Lanka and other local administrative bodies such as Police Departments and Export Processing Zone offices.

Star’s commitment to sustainability was further cemented in 2020 as two more facilities were LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified in 2020.  LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system,  providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. Star Garments Koggala was certified as LEED Gold while Star Fashion Clothing was certified as LEED Platinum.

Star continues to be an integral part of not just Sri Lanka’s apparel industry, but for the global apparel market as a whole.