Just recently Bossa opened a showroom at Amsterdam’s Denim City. That was the place for the Turkish denim mill’s workshop titled “A new world” addressing the topic of sustainable production.
In an intimate, cozy atmosphere moderator Mariette Hoitink, co-founder House of Denim, and Bossa’s general manager Tayfun Akbay welcomed a handful of representatives from brands such as Kuyichi and G-Star as well as students, designers and press. Right after they listened to speeches by Bluproject’s Sinem Çelik, Bossa’s Besim Özek, denim designer Piero Turk and Ecochain’s Henk van Dop.
Here are some of the most memorable quotes:
Sinem Çelik, founder, Bluprojects
(Bluprojects is a consultancy platform based in Istanbul, which connects companies and people who aim to produce cleaner denim and realize mindful sourcing)
“Starting last year the FridaysForFuture movement and campaigns such as ‘Who made my clothes’ make it evident that there is a growing awareness for environmental matters and activism among consumers. 2018 shall be remembered as the year of fashion awareness.”
“Denim was originally made for durability and counted as symbol of activism. It should become again a symbol for that.”
“Surveys shows that number 4 on the list of consumer trend shifts are transparency and sustainability. The question is now: How can sustainability become a driver of the fashion industry, not an add-on?”
“The fashion business model has completely changed: it is about short-term drops instead of seasons, collaborations, rental business models, online platforms for preloved fashion such as grailed.com, or even look at Carlings who created the first digital clothing collection only worn in digital space.”
“We need to ‘design for purpose’: We have a design problem, but we only focus on sourcing. Instead we should also focus on wasteless design.”
“Using post consumer waste could become the ‘new green gold.’”
Besim Özek, strategy and business development director, Bossa
“We have several ways to use recycled materials:
- our customer sends us secondhand garments (this implies that the garments are cut into pieces before they are sent, because in Turkey it’s not allowed to import secondhand garments)
- we buy waste garments for the customer (example H&M and ICollect initiative)
- our customer asks us to collect used garments from the local Turkish market.”
“There is one problem with post consumer waste: that is the polyester contamination which affects the indigo dyeing. Therefore, it is better to receive items made of 100% to 98% cotton.”
“The aims are: save the soul, go for environmental friendly cotton production, save water and less use of chemicals.”
“What can the industry do right away?
- More recycled fibers need to be used.
- Sustainable denim needs to be sellable and wearable.
- The material needs to be traceable and based on calculated facts.”
Piero Turk, denim designer
“I have this dream: it is about having the freedom to make decisions that affect the world. And it is so simple for every company to start making it happen: What if all brands would say ‘I want to buy only denims with at least 10% recycled fibers’? It does not even affect the price. That would already change the world.”
“When you go to Kingpins or other trade shows you see thousands of different qualities. But what for? Why can’t we use less qualities? Ask your mill to produce something with a more flexible look.”
“Workers need to work in safe conditions. One simple example: why is it not possible to provide safety shoes and work gear for them–in every country?”
Henk van Dop, sales director, Ecochain
(Ecochain is an Amsterdam-based agency that wants to help companies to install a framework that quantifies the business value of sustainability)
“We apply purpose marketing. What is purpose marketing? It’s sharing a bigger cause, achieving what’s beyond your company. Why are we doing purpose marketing? Because more and more (young) consumers are interested or would switch to a company that acts in an ethical and sustainable manner. How are we doing this? We ask our clients to have consumers participate in their mission because consumers are part of the supply chain.”
“Be transparent–name it, claim it, fix it–with the help of consumers.”
“You need numbers, also to show your progress: What gets measured gets managed, and what gets managed gets done.
In order to get numbers you need tools.”
“What data needs to be presented? It’s about the full life circle of production; visualize it, put it in a context, so consumers can grasp it, engage story telling, also to talk about innovation and improvement.”