OUR STORIES

Tale of the Thread

For over 75 years, TAL has been a pioneer and leader in garment manufacturing, producing high-performance garments and developing supply chain solutions tailored to our customers. Honoring the proud traditions of our Founder Mr. CC Lee, TAL continues to produce technologically superior garments that deliver comfort, style and functionality across all clothing categories.

1940/50s: TRAILBLAZING
THE HONG KONG
TEXTILE INDUSTRY

1946-1947
CC Lee, a Shanghai industrialist, arrives in Hong Kong and establishes South China Textile Limited, a cotton spinning company with 5,000 spindles and 200 looms.
1948
Nanyang Cotton Mill opens in June 1948 with 15,000 spindles and 200 looms.
1950
CC Lee acquires Nan Sing Dyeing Works.
1954
CC Lee starts garment business in Hong Kong, with establishment of Star Textile Ltd, with 6,280 spindles.
1956
CC Lee is elected Chairman of the Hong Kong Cotton Spinners Association, founded in 1955.
1957
CC Lee establishes Beautex Industrial Co Ltd, a joint venture with Toyobo.

1960/70s: CHARTING
NEW FRONTIERS

1960
Great Eastern Textiles Ltd opens with 20,000 spindles. CC Lee makes first investments overseas in Thailand and Taiwan.
1961–1962
Start of Quota System.
1962
Jardine Dyeing and Finishing Co Ltd are incorporated into Textile Alliance Ltd. TAL now has two dyeing works, 50,000 spindles, 1,000 looms and 2,000 sewing machines.
1964
TAL Ltd is listed on Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
1968
TAL opens two factories in Thailand (TG1 & TG2).
1969
TAL makes investment in Penang and expands presence in Thailand.
1972
TAL takes out first syndicated loan in Hong Kong, raising US$10 million. Pentex established in Penangnes.
1973
TAL expands to Malaysia in dyeing and printing.
1974
Expansion in Thailand. Total equipment at TAL increases to 350,000 spindles, 7,400 looms and 7,700 sewing machines.
1975
Hong Kong becomes world’s top clothing exporter.
1979
TAL boasts 300,000 spindles and 5,700 looms, and 7,200 garment machines. CC Lee sells part of the land in Tsuen Wan on which the big Nan Sing Dyeing Works was located.
1982
TAL opens its first garment factory (PAP) in Malaysia.

1980s: RESTRUCTURING FOR A STRONGER FOUNDATION

1983
TAL undergoes restructuring and the company is privatized. Lee family establishes TAL Apparel Ltd, with 30 million pieces quota allocation. CC Lee retires.
1987
TAL Apparel invests in textile company Ramtex in America.
1987
Acquires Imperial Garment (IG) in Malaysia.

1990s: CROWNING THE
"KING OF DRESS SHIRTS"

1993
TAL Apparel pioneers the PuckerFree™ production method.
1994
TAL Apparel opens its first mainland China garment factory (TAA) in Dongguan. Another factory (MCL) in Thailand is opened.
1998
TAL Apparel produces the first 100% cotton wrinkle-free shirt.
1998
First wastewater treatment plants in China established.

2000s: FORGING A PATH
TO INNOVATION AND SUSTAINABILITY

2000
One of the first garment manufacturers to launch VMI Services, a unique supply chain management system.
2001
TAL Apparel opens a new factory (KAT) in Indonesia.
2002
TAL Apparel invests in “Alianza” in Mexico.
2002
TAL Apparel launches new logo.
2003
Made-to-Measure (MTM) is launched.
2004
TAL opens a new factory (TAV) in Vietnam.
2005
End of Quota system.
2007
TAL opens a second factory (PAL) in Dongguan, China.
2008
TAL becomes one of 12 founding members of the Sustainable Fashion Business Consortium (SFBC).
2009
TAL begins monitoring and measuring GHG footprint.

2010s: ACCELERATING
SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVES

2010
Total annual garment capacity of TAL Apparel reaches 53 million pieces.
2010
TAL publishes its first sustainability report.
2011
TAL begins measuring reduction in water consumption.
2011
TAL becomes one of the original members of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC).
2012
TAL Vietnam is awarded the LEED® for New Construction GOLD Certificate.
2014
TAL Apparel opens a new 80,000sqm garment factory in Vietnam (VNG).
2015
TAL creates first fully recycled shirt - InnoGreen™.
2016
TAL Apparel now operates 11 factories in Asia and has over 26,000 employees across the world.
2016
Social and Labour Convergence Program is established with TAL as a founding member.
2017
LEED gold certified – factory in Vietnam (VNG). LEED platinum certified – Hong Kong HQ building. LEED gold certified – Shanghai office.
2017
TAL sets up its first garment factory in Ethiopia.
2019
TAL becomes a Global Fashion Agenda (GFA) associate partner.
2019
TAL joins the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action (FICCA).

2020s: LEADING THE CHANGE
IN AN ERA OF TRANSFORMATION

2020
TAL begins developing PPE items in response to global pandemic. 50 million masks are made to meet the supply shortage.
2020
TAL becomes a bluesign® System Partner.
2020
Enro mask launched.
2020
The Enro mask by TAL Apparel wins the Hong Kong Business Designed in Hong Kong Awards 2020.
2021
The Enro mask was called the "most protective", "best-fitting" and "most breathable" mask by the New York Times. Rated as the best reusable mask by Wirecutter/NY Times.
2021
TAL launches major strategic reorganization, creating focused business units to enhance operational efficiency.
2024
To embark on a new era of growth and innovation.