Collaboration between Turkish and Dutch textiles industries: “giving value to waste” through “finding new problems”  

Webinar on Sustainability and Circularity in the Apparel and Textile Sector, June 9. On 9 June 2022, hosted by Istanbul Apparel Exporters Association (İHKİB) and in cooperation with the Turkish Ministry of Commerce, the Dutch Consulate General and the Dutch sectoral organization MODINT “Webinar on Sustainability and Circularity in the Apparel and Textile Sector” was realized under the moderation of International Apparel Federation (IAF) Secretary General Matthijs Crietee and Istanbul Technical University (ITU) Textile Technologies and Design Engineering Department professor Bülent Özipek.

The webinar, in which İHKİB Chairman of the Board of Directors Mustafa Gültepe gave the opening speech, started after the video messages of Turkish Deputy Minister of Trade Mustafa Tuzcu and Dutch Deputy Minister of Environment Roald Laperre. During the webinar, which was followed by nearly 450 people, sectoral development areas and potential risks were evaluated, especially on the axis of sustainability, circular economy, waste management and the European Green Deal. In the webinar, attended by important sectoral stakeholders from Türkiye and the Netherlands, the perspective of the public, private sector and academia was reflected. In addition, the existing collaborations between Dutch and Turkish companies were shared as an example of good practice.

The Dutch government and the Turkish governments have plans to build a joint support program, the industry associations IHKIB and MODINT are on their way to sign an MoU and Turkish and Dutch companies are already heavily engaged in joint projects. The webinar showed how much complementary the Dutch and Turkish companies are, combining across borders knowledge, research capacity, finance, production capacity and manpower and market demand to create very competitive solutions and products. 

Already existing Turkish – Dutch collaborations and projects were presented by representatives of SaXcell BV, Modeko in Denizli/Turkey, Schijvens Textiel, Gama Recycle  AS, Textiles2Textiles, Ereks, Kipas, TYH and PVH. Turkish companies are developing plans to visit the Dutch Circular Textiles Days as a next step in broadening projects. At the end of the webinar, which is seen as an important first step for future cooperation opportunities between Türkiye and the Netherlands, İHKİB Vice Chairwoman Jale Tuncel and MODINT Innovation and Sustainability Manager Peter Koppert, representing all parties, ended the webinar by mentioning the importance of maintaining cooperation for a more cyclical and sustainable global supply chain. (IAF/Modint)