Sustainable Textiles Seminar Highlights

Posted on Nisan 21, 2011

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Textile Exchange presented a highly successful seminar, Sustainable Textile Seminar, in İzmir, Turkey, April 2011. The main focus was on market  requirements in terms of environmental management and more sustainable fibers and processes, and company practices from Turkey. I was invited as a speaker to explain BOSSA”s view on sustainability. Participation was over my expectations. Around 100 companies were on the list. People were really interested in and asking a lot of questions. However, I think awareness on this issue  still should be improved a lot.

Before my presentation “Rethinking Research & Development”, I would like to share some highlights from my perspective. Full presentations will be available for download soon from here.

Here are some highlights of the talks:

The presentation by Hülya Sevindik, H&M, focused on sustainable sourcing.H&M’s sustainability policy was presented in detail. I think anyone can download the main ideas from their website. There was nothing beyond the written disclosures they have made. I have written down two main points that caught my attention.

  • Communication is the key in sustainability. I agree in this statement since we have to increase awareness in consumers and we can do it by communicating.
  • All cotton will come from sustainable sources by 2020. She mentioned about two types of sustainable cotton. Better cotton & organic cotton. Better cotton production  is unavailable in Turkey as of now. It is argued among participants that retailers are forcing manufacturers import better cotton. Turkey produces organic cotton and it is more sustainable than better cotton.

Işık Tarakçıoğlu, professor at Ege University presented interesting statistics about impacts of different steps in product’s lifecycle.  He shared details of his patented product, a textile based air heater solar collector& a hybrid collector. He then concluded as recycling is the magic word!

Next was a panel regarding successes and challenges the Turkish industry is facing in the production of organic textiles. There companies presented the business from their point of view.

Another company presentation was about Adidas and its perspective on sustainable sourcing. The presenter Ebru Gencoglu, explained Adidas’s environmental strategy 2015. Ms Gencoglu noted that Sustainability is the licence to do business in the future. I liked this sentence a lot. My faith in this business improves as I hear these kind of pledges from global companies.

The first panel in the afternoon commented on responsible processing-dyeing & finishing. Companies including Huntsman, Clariant and Genencor shared their studies about sustainable chemicals and enzymes.

Product Integrity- Certification and Labeling session draw a serious attention. Most of the attendees commented on the number of certificates available for sustainable products. One listener asked for a union of the certificates for the good of both companies and consumers. I think this is really a valid suggestion since different certificates on the same topic creates complexity and it is also costly for textile and apparel companies.

Next was a case study about Orta Anadolu and a new platform they have created to communicate their sustainability efforts. It was really impressive to see the website and its content.

The last panel including Nebahat Kılıç, Targev Member of the Board, Özlem Özkan, Textile Certification Expert, Control Union, a gentleman from GAP Bölge Kalkınma İdaresi and me, as R&D Manager Bossa Fabrics discussed the topic “Where to for Turkish Organic Textile Manufacturing?”. Presentations will be available for download soon on their website. And I will share my presentation in detail on my next post. Stay Tuned!

Posted in: Strategy