A Move for Sustainability by Textile Manufacturers: Environmental Practices Will Gain Importance

Turkey's first and most comprehensive "Conference for Sustainability in Textiles" was held at Zorlu PSM in Istanbul. Hosted by Orbit Consulting and Kipaş Textiles, the Sustainability Talks brought together the pioneers of the textile industry in Turkey and in the world, lit the way for in the development of sustainability in the industry.

A Move for Sustainability by Textile Manufacturers: Environmental Practices Will Gain Importance

Turkey’s first and most comprehensive “Conference for Sustainability in Textiles” was held at Zorlu PSM in Istanbul. Hosted by Orbit Consulting and Kipaş Textiles, the Sustainability Talks brought together the pioneers of the textile industry in Turkey and in the world, lit the way for in the development of sustainability in the industry.

It is reported that global production has increased more than doubled in the textile industry, which is the second largest pollutant sector in the world following the oil sector since the beginning of the 21st century and annual production has reached approximately 100 million tons. This significant increase in textile consumption also raises the waste problem. Environmental awareness has become more important than ever while approximately 20,000 liters of water are consumed for the production of only one T-shirt and jeans.

Sector representatives, who want to create a sustainable future in the textile industry, started to take steps one by one. At this point, speeding up the awareness efforts, the textile industry representatives came together at the Sustainability Talks hosted by Orbit Consulting and Kipaş Textiles. Various issues such as transparency in the supply chain, eco-friendly raw materials, environmental designs, traceability and social compliance procedures, and a sustainable future journey in textile were discussed at the conference.

Many Brands Shift to “Sustainable Solutions”

Kipaş Holding Board Member and General Manager Halit Gümüşer

In his speech for the program, Kipaş Holding Board Member and General Manager Halit Gümüşer stressed that for sustainable fashion the raw materials must come from sustainable sources. Gümüşer said, “There are many examples of this in the world. Many brands publish their standards. When raw materials and yarns are chosen in line with these standards and fabrics are produced consuming less water and without damaging the environment, it becomes a sustainable product.”

Noting that the textile industry is in a serious need for water and energy, Halit Gümüşer added, “Therefore, this industry has high carbon emission rate. Also, we are dependant on raw materials. Each of these problems needs to be solved. In this sense, there is a trend in the world to recycle the consumed products. I take this very seriously. It means significant saving on water and reduced carbon emissions.”

“Educational Institutions are also involved”

Orbit Consulting Co-Founder Emir Oztürk

Orbit Consulting Co-Founder Emir Oztürk, who offers consultancy services on sustainability for textile companies, said, “The world has finite resources. And the entire world is demanding it. As a manufacturing country, we have companies that know how to react to this and those who don’t. We wanted to bring together all of them at this event. Everyone needs to develop awareness and address this issue. We also cooperate with universities. We intend to identify the practices applicable in their R&D centers and cooperate with the industry.”

“Sixth Mass Extinction Begins”

Speaking at the conference, Aslı Pasinli, the President of Wildlife Conservation Society (WWF) Turkey stated that the world’s sixth mass extinction is happening and 60% of the animal populations has gone extinct since 1970. She also noted that plastic, that came into our lives in the 1950s will be more than the fish in the seas by 2050, adding that this was all done by human beings. She also reminded that the irrigation for most of the agricultural products is made with waters mixed with industrial wastes and that everyone must shoulder responsibility on this issue.  Pasinli finally emphasized that the business world has started to act conscientiously rather than doing only what is legal.

ITHIB Chairman Öksüz: We need to speed up the efforts

Ahmet Öksüz, Chairman of Istanbul Textile and Raw Materials Exporters’ Association (ITHIB), said there is an enormous water consumption in the textile production process, adding “Technology is advancing and correspondingly our companies are developing some new methods. Many methods have been developed especially for denim fabrics. We can reduce the water use to 10%. That is 90% reduction. We need to improve these techniques. This is a social responsibility. We all need to save the planet.  Water is the most basic need for humanity. In this sense, we need to speed up such efforts.”

“We are moving forward firmly for sustainability”

Hale Saraçoğlu, Marketing and Business Development Manager at Lenzing, spoke about the sustainability conference, “As Lenzing Group, we prioritize development of innovations and new technologies around our sustainability value. With the innovative approaches and new technologies we have developed, we aim to provide fast and sustainable solutions for our business partners as well as features such as soft touch and drapiness to the fabrics in our fibers. We obtain wur raw material, wood and wood pulp from the FSC® and PEFC® certified and controlled sources, and we apply closed-loop processes in our production and recycle the water and solvents.

The “Sustainability Talks” was a comprehensive initiative aimed at gathering all practices that exist under the roof of sustainability. And we have been very delighted to take place in this initiative. Witnessing the interest from the entire textile community and the supply chain was also an indication of the firm steps forward taken in terms of sustainability.

Our latest innovation in recycling is our TENCEL™ x REFIBRA™ Lyocell fiber. We recycle cotton fabric waste. We produce lyocell fiber with the closed loop lyocell process by converting the fabric cutting wastes into cellulosic pulps, mixing them with original wood pulp in a certain ratio. This way, we use less wood resources and more waste fabric. TENCEL™ has all the physical features of lyocell fibers.  It can ve fully recognizable in the forms of yarns, fabrics and finished products, and thus retail Brands can use them comfortably.

TENCEL™ lyocell fibers are produced in a closed loop system with eco-friendly production processes, where we recycle and reuse more than 99% of chemicals and water. This way, we try to minimize the damage on the environment with our nature-sensitive production methods.

Our Lenzing ECOVERO™ Viscose fibers are certified by the European Union with EU Ecolabel. As you know, the EU Ecolabel is a certificate that adopts environmental excellence and is awarded by the European Union to companies that adhere to very high environmental standards. Lenzing ECOVERO™ viscose fiber production has up to 50% less gas emissions and water effects than generic viscose. This way, we aim to add value to our business partners and consumers with our eco-friendly production processes and sustainability principle.”

Coats: We aim to be a leading company in sustainability

Anıl Çam, Global Sales Responsible for Coats

Emphasizing that sustainability is one of the most important issues for Coats, Anıl Çam, Global Sales Responsible for Coats, added: “In this regard, we published our sustainability report in March that covers 5 prioritized areas and7 ambitious targets to be achieved by 2020. Coats has been a pioneer in all the fields of activity throughout its 260-year history. We aim to be a leading company aslo in sustainability. The 5 priority areas identified by Coats are water, energy, waste and emission, sustainable living and social activities. We are working tirelessly to achieve our goals in all these areas.

At the Sustainability Conference, which we attended upon invitation from Orbit Consulting as one of its main sponsors, we had the opportunity to share Coats’ vision of sustainability and listen to the goals and success stories from other global and local players in the industry. We shared our EcoVerde sewing threads, which are 100% recycled from waste plastic products, and our Tre Cerchi Vero product group, which is 100% cotton yarn, produced from sustainable raw materials. At EMEA Innovation Center, which we have opened in Bursa this year to serve the entire Europe, we are carrying out innovative activities on sustainability with many global and local brands, manufacturers and universities. As Coats, we believe that such events are very important for raising awareness and increasing sustainability, and we offer all the necessary support to make it a success. We will continue to announce Coats’ sustainability activities and value-adding products with our stakeholders through the events we will organize and support in 2020.”

The eminent members and opinion leaders of the industry made presentations under the titles of “Water”, “Raw Material ”, “Digitalization” and “Supply Chain Improvement.” Variolus presentations were made by Ikea Global Supply Development Leader Calvin Woolley, Stella Mc Cartney’s Environmental Sustainability Manager Debra Guo, İpeker’s CEO İhsan İpeker, Coats Global Sales Manager Anıl Çam, Kipaş Holding Sustainability and Quality Manager Halil İbrahim Cülfük, Sustainability Expert from Central Anatolia Sebla Önder, LC Waikiki Material Quality Assurance Manager Arzu Konyalı, New Mill CEO Stefano Milanesi, Unifi General Manager Özgür Atasan, Fulgar Marketing Manager Alan Garosi, Bossa Sustainability Manager Besim Özek and H&M Supply Chain Sustainability Manager Derya Ural.

Among the participating companies are; WWF, IKEA, Brax GMBH, Taypa Tekstil, Jeanologia LC Waikiki, Coats Turkey, Carbon Design, Kipas Holding, Unifi, Bossa, Lenzing, EKOTEN fabrics, Fulgor, Orta Anadolu, Ipeker, E.miroglio EAD, New Mill Spa, The Sustainable Angle, H & M Turkey, Stella McCartney, Garanti Bank.

News: Dilek Hayırlı