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Leaders of the Sustainable Fashion Industry Target 2022 Billion Dollars of Export in 1,6

Aegean Ready-to-Wear Clothing and Apparel Exporters' Association, which is a pioneer in sustainability among Exporters' Associations in Turkey, left behind the year 2021 with an export performance of 14 billion 1 million dollars with an increase of 489 percent. EHKİB aims to export 2022 billion dollars in 1,6.

Aegean Apparel and Apparel Exporters' Association President Burak Sertbaş, Aegean Apparel and Apparel Exporters' Association Vice President Seray Seyfeli and Aegean Apparel and Apparel Exporters' Association Vice President Toygar Narbay evaluated the 4-year process and announced their 2022 agenda and targets for the next period at the press conference.

Aegean Ready-to-Wear and Apparel Exporters' Association President Burak Sertbaş stated that while Turkey's overall ready-to-wear exports increased by 2021 percent in 2020 to 18 billion dollars compared to 20,2, it increased by 2019 percent compared to the same period of 14.

“The first 5 countries that came to the fore in sectoral exports across Turkey were Germany, Spain, England, the Netherlands and France. EHKİB exports amounted to 1 billion 489 million dollars. Our exports increased by 2020 percent compared to 14 and 2019 percent compared to 13. The top 5 countries to which we export the most were Spain, Germany, England, the Netherlands and the USA. Our investment in design has a great role in reaching our export target. We are among Turkey's most value-added export sectors. While the overall export unit price of Turkey in 2021 was 13,3 dollars, the export unit price of EHKİB in 2021 was 16,9 dollars. The unit prices of our sector are well above the Turkey average.”

2022 agenda: Sustainability consultancy service to all members, UR-GE project

Sertbaş stated that they will continue to work in order to strengthen the sustainable infrastructure of our companies in 2022. In this direction, we will continue to work on issues such as calculating the carbon footprints of all of our companies, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and waste management. As EHKİB, we will continue the activities of our UR-GE project in the field of sustainability. In 2022, as one of Turkey's sectors with the highest value-added exports and leading the transformation, we will strive to create a national innovation agenda by placing sustainability in our focus.” told in his words.

Joining forces in the German market after Spain with ETHİB-UTİB, Danish Procurement Committee, close contact with Scandinavian countries

Burak Sertbaş added that they have started preparations for the PV Manufacturing Paris fair to be held in July and the Munich Fabric Start fair to be held in September.

“We are planning to organize a joint German Sectoral Trade Delegation with our Association, ETHİB and Uludağ Textile Exporters' Association (UTİB). In March, we will organize our 2nd Danish Procurement Mission in Izmir in cooperation with the Danish Consulate General in Istanbul. We are also in contact with the French retail chain Monoprix. This year, we aim to carry out an activity for our members. We especially want to increase the awareness of our project by participating in all the events we organize with our AHA brand. As the Union, we will continue our contacts with our stakeholders in Sweden, Denmark and Finland, which are among the leading countries of the world when it comes to sustainability.”

Young people announced their names to the world with the EIB Fashion Design Competition

To pave the way for young designers and to enter the sector kazanTalking about the EIB Fashion Design Contest, which they organize every year in order to promote We kept the fashion show promise we made to our finalists with the support of İZFAŞ, even though we held the final of the 14th Fashion Design Contest, whose theme we determined as 'Tech-tility' within the framework of sustainability and digitalization issues, in digital environment due to pandemic conditions. We complete the sewing process of the 15th competition and continue with the final preparations. 16. We determined the theme of the competition as Contact-less. The lack of contact we experienced during the pandemic process was effective in choosing this theme.” said.

Environmental Engineers are employed within EHKİB, UR-GE projects in both sustainability and technical textiles Explaining that they started the UR-GE project "Developing Sustainable Competition in the Ready-to-Wear Sector", Sertbaş said that they aim for companies to become more technically competent in the subject of sustainability.

“Another completed UR-GE project is the 'Development of Export Potential in the Technical Textile Industry Project'. After the needs analysis and trainings, a consultancy activity on “Protective and Medical Technical Textile Product Development” was carried out, taking into account the infrastructure and experience of the participating companies.”

Academia and industry unite with the Circular Ideas project

Stating that with the Circular Ideas project, they aim to support students to create creative projects related to sustainability in the ready-made clothing and textile sector under the guidance of important people from the business world, Sertbaş said, “Within the scope of the project, the Circular Economy, Circularity in Textile, Personal image creation, sustainable textile raw materials, sustainable business models and We organized trainings on communication skills and brought our students together with sector representatives. Our project continues.” he said.

AHA (AegeanHasApparel) Aegean's gateway to the world

Burak Sertbaş said, “We started our project called AHA (AegeanHasApparel) in order to promote the ready-made clothing industry of the Aegean Region on an international scale. We have designed the AHA brand as a platform that centralizes all communication activities to be carried out by our Association worldwide. In this direction, we created a website and collected the contact information of our companies in a single environment. Currently, there are nearly 100 producers registered on our site. The requests coming through the site are forwarded to the e-mail addresses of our companies registered in the system. said.

All activities and projects of EHKİB are focused on sustainability.

Reminding that they declared 2020 as the "Year of Sustainability", Sertbaş listed the activities of EHKİB, which is the leader in sustainability in Turkey, as follows:

“First of all, we joined forces as the Swedish Institute, İzfaş and Aegean Exporters' Associations at If Wedding in January 2020, and we held the Fashion Revolution Exhibition, which was held in many cities around the world, in İzmir. In this context, we hosted Ekoten, Yeşim Tekstil, Orta Anadolu and Unitks in our 'Sustaneibility Talks' series, which we started online in 2020 with the cooperation of H&M and continued in 2021. Finally, with the cooperation of Team Finland and Finnish Textile and Fashion, we aimed to share information between Finnish and Turkish companies, and to listen to Finnish companies' expectations from manufacturers, good practice examples and innovative solutions from the perspective of the Green Deal.”

We organized the national participation of the most prestigious fairs in the world, EHKİB is at the Premiere Vision Paris fair with 17 companies in February.

Seray Seyfeli, Vice President of the Aegean Ready-made Clothing and Apparel Exporters' Association and Chairman of the Foreign Market Strategies Development Committee, said, “We have 300 members. However, only about 50 companies participate in fairs abroad. We will develop projects to increase the participation of our companies that cannot benefit from/participate in the fairs but are our members. We want to improve the capacities of our companies that have just started exporting. We participated in the Premiere Vision Fair, one of the most prestigious fairs of the ready-made clothing industry, which is held twice a year in Paris, France, with nearly 30 companies every year, and we organized a national participation organization. We participated in the Munich Fabric Start Sourcing fair, the Global Apparel Sourcing Expo digital fair, which was held simultaneously with the Munich Fabric Start fair, one of the most well-known fairs in the textile market, in Munich, Germany. We took our place in the Fashion Prime fair organized by İZFAŞ in September. In February 2022, we are participating in the Premiere Vision Paris fair with 17 of our companies. We have completed all our preparations. A total of 16 companies participated in 233 physical and digital fairs.” said.

New collaborations with the Netherlands, Finland, Germany, Spain and Denmark

Seyfeli continued his words by explaining that bilateral business meetings were organized in order to increase the exports of the region and to develop cooperation between the manufacturer and exporter member companies and the representative companies operating in the region:

“We held the first one physically in October 2019, the second one digitally in December 2020, and the third one in September 2021 simultaneously with the Fashion Prime fair. In the same fair, we organized a procurement committee organization with the support of our Ministry of Commerce. In January 2019, we brought our members together with importers from Greece, simultaneously with the If Wedding fair, and with buyers from Bulgaria, Croatia and Morocco, simultaneously with the Fashion Prime fair, one of our first physical activities, in September 2021. We organized both physical and virtual business meetings in the Netherlands in 2018, with companies based in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium in 2019, and with buyers in the Netherlands and surrounding countries in 2020. In 2021, we organized a Spanish Virtual Trade Delegation together with the Aegean Textile and Raw Materials Exporters' Association and Uludağ Textile Exporters' Association.”

It proves that Europe has shifted its attention to Turkey.

Mentioning that they hosted Danish ready-made clothing brands in Izmir in November 2021, Seray Seyfeli said that they organized bilateral meetings with the participation of 35 companies.

“The fact that this procurement committee offer came from Denmark proved that Europe's interest in procurement from the nearby geography was shifted to Turkey. Another proof of supply from the nearby geography came from the Boohoo Group company's request to hold a meeting with the producers in our region. We brought together the Boohoo Group representative and the producers of our region in the digital environment. 4 UR-GE projects were carried out in a 3-year period. In order to increase the competitiveness of our member companies in international markets and to ensure sustainable export growth in the medium and long term, the 'Apparel Export Development Project' for Germany, Netherlands, England and Scandinavia has been successfully completed.”

EHKİB has long been in contact with the Scandinavian countries, which are at the forefront of sustainability.

Seyfeli said, “Within the scope of the series of activities designed for Denmark, one of our target markets within the scope of the project, CIFF and Revolver, which are ready-to-wear brand fairs held in Copenhagen on 7-9 August 2018, were visited with our UR-GE companies. On 26-29 November 2018, within the scope of the UR-GE Project for the Development of Ready-made Clothing Exports, bilateral business meetings were held in Copenhagen and Ikast, Denmark, with the participation of 12 of our companies. In May 2019, bilateral business meetings were held between Scandinavian-based companies and our project participant companies in Stockholm, Sweden.” said.

We aim to be the center of clean fashion production

Aegean Ready-to-Wear and Apparel Exporters' Association Vice President Toygar Narbay explained that they continued their training under the name of 'EIB Sustainability Days' in the first half of 2021, in cooperation with the Sustainability Academy and Sustainable Development Association, in the second half of the year.

“We are in a great transformation in order to make sustainable production in our businesses. We know that we need to start the transformation in our perspective and social responsibility awareness before our businesses and that the share of sector representatives is higher. As Turkey, we make great efforts to lead this transformation and aim to become the center of clean fashion production in the future. During the 4-year period, many training series were organized in physical and digital environments, and famous speakers were hosted. Our companies, which export over 2 million dollars, are awarded in bronze, silver, gold and platinum categories every year. An award ceremony will be held on February 2021, 2 for our companies that exported over 23 million dollars in 2022.”

EHKİB invests in the future: The occupancy rate of textile engineering has increased to 83 percent

Toygar Narbay mentioned that they are carrying out the "Increasing the Perception of Textile Engineering" project of the Aegean Textile and Raw Materials Exporters' Association in order to introduce the Textile Engineering department to high school students in order to meet the qualified textile engineering needs of the companies.

“We are in the third year of the project. We provide scholarships equal to the net minimum wage to the first 20 thousand students, 20 percent of the minimum wage to the students between 50-70 thousand and 50% of the minimum wage to the students between 80-50 thousand. A total of 80 students, who chose the textile engineering department within the scope of the project and ranked in the first 230 thousand, are entitled to receive a scholarship, including this year. kazanwas. In our project, which has at least one semester of applied internship opportunity, 16 percent of the students studying in the textile engineering department start their business life before they graduate. kazanhas the opportunity to While the occupancy rate of the textile engineering department was 42 percent before the project, this rate is now 83 percent.”

Narbay, the sector; He underlined that its exports, including ready-made clothing, textiles and leather wear, are 35 billion dollars and 55 billion dollars with domestic market production.

“The ready-to-wear industry alone creates $17 billion in net added value. In this sense, it is the largest sector that reduces the foreign trade deficit and produces a net foreign exchange surplus. With our solid sustainable infrastructure, our investments in cleaner production and our advantage of being close to Europe, I predict that our ready-made clothing exports will reach the level of 2022 billion dollars in 22, and our exports will be 1,6 billion dollars as EHKİB. As stated by McKinsey, who makes predictions about the fashion sector for 2022, Turkey seems to be the most prominent country among the fashion supplier countries. We believe that there will be significant opportunities when our country increases its investments in the field of sustainable production in the sector. In particular, the establishment of recycling centers and the increase in raw material production with recycled materials will make Turkey a more preferred supplier country.”

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