Turkey: textile manufacturers want to show Europe “green paw”

The Turkish Association of Textiles and Raw Materials Exporters (Ithib) announced in early August the establishment of a sustainability program aimed at reducing the environmental impact of local productions, and aligning with the requirements of the European Green Deal, and Western contractors as a whole.

The leaders of the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM) – ITHIB

This “Textile Industry Sustainability Action Plan” aims to address industrial issues through twelve strategic points. These range from chemical dyes to water reprocessing, through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through the local sector, without forgetting the issues of traceability and transparency. A “Sustainability Platform” will be created in order to establish and monitor the objectives set by the action plan, the presentation of which brought together Turkish manufacturers, manufacturers, suppliers and exporters.

“Our goals can only be achieved through a common vision of a public-private partnership,” said ITHIB director Ahmet Oksuz to members of the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM). “This Sustainability Action Plan that we are preparing is important to protect our competitiveness and create new added value in the long term”.

Textile is a strategic sector for Turkish exports. The country even offered itself in the first quarter a new record for its textile shipments, at nearly 5.3 billion euros. The country is benefiting in particular from the soaring logistics costs caused between Asia and the West by the health crisis, the ports of producing countries struggling to find containers and ships to ship their products. A situation which has prompted many European players to turn more than ever to Turkish textile production capacities.

It must be said that the country, unlike the textile productions of the Maghreb, benefits from customs clearance at the gates of the European Community market. Turkey is thus firmly established in third place among the EU’s clothing supplier countries, the 7% decline in 2020 bringing only 9.4 billion euros in products shipped to the Old Continent. Turkey is also a key supplier to European manufacturers themselves, being the second largest textile supplier to Europe after China, with 4.7 billion euros of materials supplied last year.

The sustainable ambitions of the Turkish textile industry, for their part, are part of a global movement of the major producing countries towards greater responsibility. With the particular aim of responding to the growing demand for green fashion in Western markets, and sometimes in their own markets. Chinese manufacturers, who had opted for a move upmarket in response to wage increases decided at the end of the 2000s, are now investing heavily in eco-responsibility. An area in which other countries such as Bangladesh, India or Vietnam are trying to improve. An effort slowed down on the one hand by the level of range of their productions, and on the other hand put on hold due to fluctuations in activities induced for a year by the health crisis.

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