Esquel Group

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Esquel Group
Type Private
Genre Textiles & Apparel Manufacturing
Founded 1978
Founder(s) Yang Yuan Loong
Headquarters Hong Kong
Industry Textiles & Apparel
Revenue USD 500,000,000 (2000)
Employees 44,894 (2005) [1]

Esquel Group is one of the world's leading producers of premium cotton shirts, with production facilities in China, Malaysia, Vietnam, Mauritius, and Sri Lanka, and a network of branches servicing key markets worldwide. The company's operations are vertically integrated, from producing cotton, buttons, and packaging to design and manufacturing.

Company history

Esquel was founded by Yang Yuan Loong in 1978. The company was one of the first to invest in China when the country opened up in the 1970s. Today the company is led by the founder's daughter, Marjorie Yang.[2]

Historical financial results

2000 Revenues: USD 500,000,000 [3]

Business strategy

"Esquel's core strategy for years has been to go upmarket. In the late 1980s that meant our operations had to reach Japanese quality. Now we want to reach Italian quality, which is the best in the world. To do that, I wanted to invest $150 million in a brand-new fabric mill to increase our capacity and make us the mill with the highest quality in China... We grow our own high-quality cotton in western China--why not make the most of it? My bet is that with the end of quotas, more people are going to invest in the low end than the high end. If Esquel can reach the pinnacle of quality, profit margins are better and competition is less. The first company in China to get there is going to have a big advantage... it is critical if we want to be the best shirtmaker in the world. My goal is for Esquel to be a billion-dollar company by 2008, double what we are now." -- Marjorie Yang interviewed for Fortune Nov. 14, 2005

Political & public influence

Corporate Accountability


2000 Esquel joined Global Compact
2002 Esquel adopted company code of conduct


  • member of Global Compact
  • all factories certified by WRAP
  • company code of conduct (based on WRAP and codes of major customers)

Campaigns against company: None found.

Major reports:

  1. Global Compact Communication on Progress
  2. Measuring Sustainability: A Snapshot of a Hong Kong Company

Human rights

2000 Esquel joined Global Compact

Environment & product safety

2000 Esquel joined Global Compact


  • Environmental strategy
    • cost: USD50-100 million a year, or 10 percent of the company's USD500 million fixed assets. [4]
    • ISO 14001 certification for plants in China, Malaysia, Mauritius and Sri Lanka [5]
  • China: USD29 million low-emission thermo-power plant, which produces a steady supply of electricity (up to 30,000 kilowatt) and steam (100 tonnes/hour). Compared with normal power plants, Esquel's has a higher energy efficiency rate of 53 percent versus the 40 percent in others, and a lower operation temperature of 900 degrees Celsius versus 1,100 degrees in others. It also controls emissions with its circulating fluidized bed, which adds limestone into coal to reduce sulfur-oxide emissions, and its electrostatic precipitator in reducing emissions of particulate matters. As a result, its emissions of sulfur dioxide (around 1,000 milligrams per cubic meter), nitrogen oxides (less than 250 mg/m3) and dust (around 120 mg/m3) all meet or exceed the Guangdong and the national emission standards. [6] (also see Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce Clean Air Initiative)
  • China: USD7 million wastewater treatment plant, which biologically treats the 22,000 tonnes of wastewater produced daily by the Pearl River Delta factory. [7]
  • China: organic cotton farms in Xinjiang province [8]


  1. Global Compact Communication on Progress
  2. Measuring Sustainability: A Snapshot of a Hong Kong Company

Consumer Protection & Product Safety

Anti-Trust and Tax Practices

Social responsibility initiatives

  • Support for schools in Xinjiang region of China: book donations, renovations, exchange program for high school students from Hong Kong and United States, Eco-Mobile, scholarships for students whose parents are HIV positive [9]

Business scope

Lines of business

  • Cotton production
  • Yarn spinning
  • Fabric production (cotton woven & knits)
  • Garment production (primarily cotton shirts)
  • Accessories (buttons, labels, tabs, packaging)
  • Retail (two shops in China for PYE brand)


Cotton group:

  • Akesu Esquel Agricultural Development Co. Ltd. (China)
  • White Field Farming Co. (China)
  • Xinjiang Esquel Agritechnology Co. Ltd. (China)

Textiles group:

  • Guangdong Esquel Textiles Co. Ltd. (China)
  • Turpan Esquel Textile Co. Ltd. (China)
  • Xinjiang Esquel Textile Co. Ltd. (China)

Apparel group:

  • Guangdong Esquel Textiles Co. Ltd. (China)
  • Changzhou Esquel Knitting Apparel Co. Ltd. (China)
  • Changzhou Esquel Garment Co. Ltd. (China)
  • Ningbo Esquel Apparel Co. Ltd. (China)
  • Yang Mei Garment Factory (China)
  • Way Yat Industrial Limited (Hong Kong)
  • The Eastern Garment Manufacturing Company Sdn. Bhd. (Malaysia)
  • Esquel (Mauritius) Ltd.
  • Polytex Garment Ltd. - Jaela (Sri Lanka)
  • Polytex Garment Ltd. - Kegalle (Sri Lanka)
  • Polytex Garment Ltd. - Koggala (Sri Lanka)
  • Polytex Garment Ltd. - Yakkala (Sri Lanka)
  • Esquel Garment Manufacturing (Vietnam) Co. Ltd.

Accessories group:

  • Guangdong Esquel Textiles Co. Ltd. (China)
  • The Eastern Garment Manufacturing Company Sdn. Bhd. - Paper Product Factory (Malaysia)

Retail group:

  • PYE - Beijing (China)
  • PYE - Gaoming, Guangdong (China)

Sales offices:

  • Guangdong Esquel Textiles Co. Ltd. Shanghai Office (China)
  • Esquel China Holdings Ltd. Beijing Representative Office
  • Esquel Enterprises Limited (Headquarters) (Hong Kong)
  • Esquel Japan Ltd. K. K.
  • Esquel Apparel Ltd. (United Kingdom)
  • Esquel Apparel Inc. - Columbus (United States)
  • Esquel Apparel Inc. - Madison (United States)
  • Esquel Apparel Inc. - New York (United States)
  • Esquel Apparel Inc. - Seattle (United States)


  • PYE
  • anywear

Brands marketed only in China. The company's main business is production for other brands.



Esquel's production is largely vertically integrated.



Financial information

List of largest shareholders

Wholly family-owned

Total revenue

Net income

Geographic scope

Countries of operation

China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Japan, United Kingdom, United States

Breakdown of sales

> 60% United States
30% Europe & Japan
< 10% China and other new markets
Source: [10]

Breakdown of profits

Breakdown of assets

Breakdown of employees

53.5% China
16.2% Mauritius
14.6% Sri Lanka/Maldives
10.6% Malaysia
3.2% Vietnam
1.8% Hong Kong
0.1% Other
Source: [11]

Primary industry ranking

  • Fortune Global Power 50 (Women) 2005 rank: 41
    (Marjorie Yang, Chairman and CEO; 2004 rank: 44)[12]



Marjorie Yang (chairman & CEO), John Cheh (COO)

Board members & affiliations

Marjorie Yang (Chairman), Theresa Yang (Vice Chairman), Hau Leung Lee (Indep. non-executive director), York Liao (Indep. non-executive director), Daniel Ng (Indep. non-executive director), John Strickland (Indep. non-executive director)

Executive/director compensation

Contact information

12/F Harbour Centre
25 Harbour Rd.
Wanchai, Hong Kong
Tel:(852) 2811 8077
Fax:(852) 2960 6988

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. Esquel Sustainability Report
  2. Esquel Group Website: Corporate News
  3. Measuring Sustainability
  4. Green moves prove profitable
  5. Esquel Sustainability Report
  6. Green moves prove profitable
  7. Green moves prove profitable
  8. Green moves prove profitable
  9. Esquel Sustainability Report
  10. Measuring Sustainability
  11. Measuring Sustainability
  12. Global Power 50, Fortune (via CNN Money), November 14, 2005.

External resources

External articles

  • Global Power 50, Fortune (via CNN Money), November 14, 2005.
  • Murphy, C. 2003. "The Daughter Also Rises: Marjorie Yang took over the family shirt business - then turned it inside out." Fortune (European Edition) 148(8): 50-57.