Drop a Pin: Kontoor’s Manufacturing Hub in the Yucatán Peninsula

By: Kontoor Brands News Team Oct 15, 2019 Feature Story Tags: Workplace, Culture

Yucatán, Mexico
At a Glance
Number of employees: 4,400
Teams Represented: Supply Chain – Sewing, finishing, laundry and quality control

With more than 200 combined years of history, Wrangler® and Lee® have proven their apparel can stand the test of time. That same determination and spirit remains just as strong for Kontoor Brands’ Yucatán division. Approaching its 25th year of operation, the 4,400 employees who work at this owned manufacturing hub (many of whom have been with the facility since its beginning) are integral to the success of Kontoor brands worldwide.

“What makes Kontoor’s supply chain unique in the apparel industry is that we own and operate world-class manufacturing sites,” said Randy Fortenberry, VP, Supply Chain, Kontoor Brands. “For a quarter century, the employees at our Yucatán division have been dedicated, passionate stewards of our iconic brands and have enabled our supply chain to be a true competitive advantage for our company. We are immensely proud of the work they do every day.”

Size is one sign of the division’s strength. With three buildings and five departments, Kontoor is one of the largest employers in Yucatán, Mexico. But an even better indicator of the Yucatán divisions’ power lies in how the organization manages countless complexities. In an average year, the team produces millions of pieces of apparel, including different styles and different constructions of denim bottoms.

Culture in Action

“A lot of people who work at Kontoor have lived in Yucatán their entire lives and are very proud of that,” says Piero Vento, Area Manager for the Yucatán divisions. “There’s also a lot of culture here, and it’s a quiet place that preserves nature. The Mayan influence is felt in our manufacturing center. A lot of operators and supervisors speak Mayan. With a company atmosphere full of people who want to keep their identity, family values and culture, it reflects in the way we do business.”

Values and culture are evident in the way these employees “win together” every day, and they bring that same mindset to their communities. Each year, members of the Yucatán team volunteer—painting schools, cleaning parks and helping in assisted living facilities. Each division is also dedicated to reducing its carbon footprint by investing in advanced manufacturing, reusing and filtering water, recycling old materials and encouraging employees to bring their own sustainability ideas to management. In one initiative, Yucatán manufacturers are changing the laundering processing, forgoing conventional stone methods and protecting clean water sources.

“We are dedicated to the environment, community and one another,” Piero says. “Our teams here believe in what we do. They believe in building deeper connections to each of these categories, and they know that they're a big part of making that possible.”

More information about Kontoor’s supply chain is available here.