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Around 4.8 percent of the total GDP of Turkey comprises the textiles and garments sector. The country is heavily dependent on this industry. Sevket Cankoy, partner at Filadora Textiles talks about the textiles and garmenting industry in Turkey at large and specifics of the company in an interview with fibre2fashion.com
How many fabric traders does Turkey have? How do you deal with the competition?
Due to our country's culture, trade has always been at the forefront as compared to production. Turkey is known for having numerous fabric traders. Nonetheless, in recent years due to the political situation, local production has gained advantage in pricing, while fabric importers have decreased in numbers, got smaller or chosen to associate with Turkish fabric manufacturers. Until 2010, there were dozens of largescale traders in each product category. Today, only the ones who perform the best are left. Under these circumstances, Filadora works hard to make a difference with the services and the products that offer advantages in the market.
How big is the size of the garmenting industry in Turkey?
Thanks to its geo-political position, Turkey is an important element in the global textiles production and supply chain. According to the Turkish Statistical Institute, the textiles and garment industry produces a combined value of 64.8 billion TRY (approximately US$ 24 billion) which corresponds to 4.8 per cent of the GDP.
What, according to you, are the challenges that Turkey's garmenting industry is facing? As an outsider-insider, what steps need to be taken to address those?
The major challenges are:
1) Costs: Turkish manufacturers try to cope with high energy costs, high labour wages, high taxation vis-a-vis competing countries. The government has to take steps to solve each and every high cost factor in manufacturing, if we are keen to make this industry survive.
2) Political and/or economic instability in nearby countries: Turkey has a long and strong trade relationship with neighbouring countries; but today, we are suffering because of ongoing wars or unstable states. Syria, Iraq, Iran, Ukraine, Russia, Greece...How can we survive if we cannot secure our exports to these countries? I can also mention the economic crisis in Europe at this point.
3) Economic instability in Turkey: We seem to be very fragile to external factors in the economy. People lose money due to currency fluctuation, and are unable to project properly. We need wiser economic policies that would minimise our dependency on hot money-flow.
How has the crisis in the EU impacted business?
As previously mentioned, the crisis in the EU was one of the factors that affected the Turkish textiles industry. European brands that placed large orders in Turkey slowed down the business; and at some point, things came to a standstill - from dyeing houses to garment manufacturers. It is a huge concern for such an export-oriented country. However, Turkey is able to overcome crisis with minimum loss by making use of its features and reaching different markets and new customers.
Where do you source your fabrics from?
Filadora currently sources from China, Pakistan, Indonesia and Thailand depending on the product. Although we have long-established relationships with Pakistan, China has been top in recent years.
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