No.50, Shwe Myodaw Zaydi Street, Mingalardon Garden Park, Yangon Industrial Zone, Mingalardon Township, Yangon, Myanmar

No.50, Shwe Myodaw Zaydi Street, Mingalardon Garden Park, Yangon Industrial Zone, Mingalardon Township, Yangon, Myanmar

The ZK Group (ZKG), an established Hong Kong-based company with a reputation for excellence is one of our longest standing and most important partners. ZKG’s strength is doing it all and doing it well. Although we first turned to this family-owned company for its expertise with down when we were launching our down line in 2013, ZKG’s talented, multi-skilled workforce now produce a wide range of Arc’teryx products, from knit and down to GORE-TEX products and pieces in Veilance.

The ZKG facilities have the right technical capacity and the best equipment to suit our specific needs. ZKG is a down specialist with a long history of making high quality products. It is also an established GORE-TEX test facility, with a strong pre-existing relationship with W. L. Gore & Associates.

What makes the company particularly special to Arc’teryx are its people and culture. The family that owns and operates ZKG, now in its third generation of managing the company is a joy to partner with. They are pioneering, responsive, and willing to grow and invest with us. The family members and other leaders actively listen, present solutions and think ahead – they are helping us manage our current period of strong growth by developing new facilities to meet our capacity needs.

The ZKG Asia facility is located outside Yangon in Myanmar. ZKG explored Myanmar as soon as the trade sanctions were lifted and became one of the first companies to move into the region, partnering with local businesspeople and using pre-existing buildings until its own facilities were completed.

The new ZKG Asia facility was purpose-built with Arc’teryx in mind, from the choice of equipment to the type of staffing. Coming from a culture strong in textiles, the workforce has been trained incrementally, starting with lightweight stretch woven jackets before moving to down and GORE-TEX products.

In 2017, we reassessed our presence in Myanmar due to the Rohinga crisis that came to global attention.  After much debate and consideration, we decided to focus on what we could control, watch the situation closely and engage more directly on the social and environmental impacts within our manufacturing partners (learn more in Arc’teryx in Myanmar Blog). We discussed two social impact programs with ZKG, and with their agreement launched those programs in 2018.

Arc’teryx sponsored ZKG Asia’s participation in SMART, an E.U.-funded Myanmar program where management personnel are trained over a six-month period in environmental, health and safety practices as well as general human resource management. ZKG Asia made excellent progress, meeting more than 75% of the recommendations in the six-month timeframe.

ZKG Asia has also been participating in an 12-14-month women’s health education program called Health Enables Returns (HER). For further details on the impacts and benefits of both the SMART and HER programs refer to our blog post here.

ZKG’s attention to detail and understanding of Arc’teryx quality standards, along with responsive leadership, share significant credit in our success and growth.