9 March 2005
Lovely Labels(HKTDC Fashion - Fabrics & Accessories, Vol 02,2005)
Hong Kong Naxis Co Ltd
History is certainly on the side of Hong Kong Naxis Co Ltd, which started out making belts for kimonos in 1897 when it was known as Donsuya Isuke in Nishijin, Kyoto, Japan. In 2003, the company changed its name to the present form, and the manufacturing focus shifted to woven labels.
"Naxis produces brand labels, tags, care labels, apparel parts such as buttons and buckles, patches, embroideries/prints on fabrics and wrappings," says sales manager Ben Wong.
Production takes place at the company's four factories in Shanghai and Dongguan on the Chinese mainland, Kabinburi (Thailand) and Fukui (Japan). "We understand our products and the needs of our clients, and this knowledge enables us to forge ahead in our field," Wong claims.
Japanese technology and complete in-house QC has been introduced in all factories. "By the middle of this year, an additional factory is expected to open its doors in Qingdao," says Wong.
Security labels are a major line that also set Naxis apart from its competitors. "Using Brandguard, a type of yarn made in Italy and imported to our factories on the mainland and Japan, assures customers of the authenticity of their goods," Wong claims. "We have a monopoly on this yarn."
Using Brandguard, a company's logo is placed on one side of a label but the logo can only be detected under UV light similar to a money-detector. "The yarn looks white, but will emit a brilliant red light when irradiated by ultraviolet light," he says.
Naxis has obtained a patent for this yarn in the US, the UK, Italy, the mainland, Thailand and Hong Kong. Wong says the cost of Brandguard yarn is approximately 10-20% higher than that for usual materials.
Sofbel - or soft labels for inner wear as well as children's clothing - has a thickness of only 35D as opposed to 90D or 100D, and is another type of yarn that was developed in Japan for which Naxis also holds the monopoly.
Holding such monopolies allows Naxis to export yarn direct from Japan to its factories on the mainland. Additionally, the yarn can be manufactured on the mainland at a considerably lower cost. "Sofbel was developed in 2004, and mainland production will start in the spring of this year," reveals Wong.
Naxis also manufactures woven labels with added values such as negative-ion, anti-static properties as well as chitsan and collagen.
Round-cut labels are another recent development. In late 2003, Naxis' Thailand factory began production of this "no more scratching" type of label. "What prompted the introduction of round-cut labels, and other changes in our product line, was that we found out the customers were just as interested in image and appearance as in quality and form," says Wong.
"Image is our catchword and part of our business philosophy. We cannot make low cost a workable business philosophy because if we did the company would never grow," he adds.
Other interesting Naxis touches on tags that have been around for a while include Braille and organic cotton labels. "Organic cotton labels are made of cotton grown free of chemical fertilizers or agricultural chemicals for more than three years," Wong asserts.
The design of buttons and buckles formed the second stage of new Naxis' development strategy. "We have two R&D teams working on these items in Kyoto and Tokyo. There is another team in our Shanghai factory," Wong says.
Another Naxis strength, claims Wong, is the Labonet Data Tag System - a system where customers can check their layout or artwork online, as well as monitor where their products are in the manufacturing stage and/or the delivery schedule. "At present," says Wong, "this is only available in Japanese. However, an English-language version will be online later this year."
Naxis has also joined with the Leading Information Technology Institute Inc (Liti) to develop a system for producing IC-R tags, while its Labonet Apparel Parts System assists clients searching, comparing and examining data on apparel and accessories.
As all the evidence suggests, Naxis has come into the present day with a strong future firmly in mind.
WRITTEN BY TAMARA CHEUNG
Hong Kong Naxis Co Ltd