The 2023 ready-to-wear and garment exports of the Turkish textile industry, the world’s fifth largest textile exporter, amounted to 19 billion 253 million dollars. In the textile sector, where a decline in exports was observed due to the economic decline caused by the Kahramanmaraş earthquake, 2023 is called the ‘lost year’. Depending on the relaxation in the European Union (EU) market, a revival is expected in the sector in the second half of 2024.
In the sector, it is aimed to make the necessary legislative changes quickly in order to comply with the European Green Consensus. It is envisaged to comply with the EU Sustainable and Circular Textile Strategy with the projects to be produced. The strategy includes increasing industrial competitiveness and innovation in the sector, strengthening the EU market for sustainable and circular textiles, including the reuse market, and promoting new business models.
Gültepe: “We will Take Our Country to a Higher Position in the Champions League of Textile and Ready-to-Wear”
Looking positively for 2024, Mustafa Gültepe, Chairman of the Board of Directors of TİM: “This year, some sectors are experiencing a decline due to the contraction in global demand. There is a decline in the exports of 12 sectors, including textiles. However, I believe that the picture will turn around in 2024. With our design capacity getting stronger every year, we will carry our country to higher ranks in the champions league of textile and ready-to-wear. Design has a clear multiplier effect on value. When we add innovation to it and brand it, its price increases even more.”
Ahmet Öksüz, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Istanbul Textile and Raw Materials Exporters’ Association (İTHİB) evaluated the textile sector and said: “As the Turkish textile industry, we were aiming to complete exports at the end of 2023 with 13 billion dollars as in the previous year, but global trade passes through a narrow corridor. Our textile sector was affected by the earthquake disaster, which we can call the biggest disaster of the century that we experienced in February. We consider 2023 as a lost year due to the great destruction caused by the earthquake centered in Kahramanmaraş, the distinguished city of our textile sector. The decline in our textile sector exports is around 10%. However, the rate of decline in textile imports from the EU and the USA, our largest export markets, is much higher. Although the European Union countries and the USA experienced a 20% decline in textile imports, we are happy to be able to maintain our shares in these markets.”
Noted that sustainability and value-added production are among the most important agenda items in the sector in 2024 Ahmet Öksüz: “Our export unit prices show us that Turkish fabric is now a brand. While our Turkey-wide export unit price is around 1.5 dollars per kilogram, our woven fabric export unit price per kilogram is 8.9 dollars. As the Turkish textile industry, we continue our efforts in the field of sustainability at full speed and aim for a high level of compliance with the European Green Deal norms. We will always prioritize sustainability in our future competitions.”
Ertuğrul: “The number of Companies Oriented Towards Value-Added Production will Increase in 2024 “
Hayati Ertuğrul, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Aegean Clothing Manufacturers Association (EGSD), shared his predictions about 2024 and stated that it will be a challenging year for the ready-to-wear and garment industry, which is a labor-intensive sector. Reminding that they closed the year 2023 with a loss in exports in the ready-to-wear sector, Hayati Ertuğrul noted that if there is a relaxation in the EU market, there may be a revival in the sector in the second half of 2024, and that they are hopeful about the second half of the year and expect a recovery.
Ertuğrul: “We also observe that our members, who focus on production and exports in niche products, are increasing their capacity. As we have always stated, turning to value-added production is the only way to new markets and high profitability. In 2024, I think the number of companies turning to value-added production will also increase. If there is a relaxation in our main market, our sector may move a little in a positive direction in the second half of 2024.”
12th Development Plan Targets Emphasize Technical Textile Production Methods
While artificial intelligence, climate change and digital transformation processes are accelerating in the world, the Turkish textile industry continues to develop projects in every field from design to production. With the new year, the textile, leather and clothing sectors aim to produce high value-added products, increase competitiveness and spread social responsibility awareness with innovative business models. Within the scope of the government’s 12th Development Plan Targets covering the period 2024-2028, the steps of increasing the technology level of technical textile production methods that emphasize high performance products and establishing standards stand out.
In addition to increasing investments in next-generation production technologies and machinery, priorities include ensuring that products placed on the market are long-lasting and recyclable, made largely from recycled fibers, free of hazardous substances, respectful of social rights and the environment, and have widespread reuse and repair services. It also aims to make products placed on the EU market more sustainable by extending the EU’s “Ecodesign Directive”.