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Interview with Tolga Ozkurt

Industry Speak
Tolga Ozkurt
Tolga Ozkurt
DGM – Sales & Marketing
Calik Denim
Calik Denim

We predict denim's market positioning to shift from streetwear to vintage

Çalik Denim is among the world's top 10 premium denim manufacturers catering to leading apparel firms that include H&M, Zara, Topshop, River Island, etc. In an interview with Fibre2Fashion, Tolga Ozkurt, Deputy General Manager - Sales & Marketing, Calik Denim, converses about how Turkey has become a globally preferred denim market on present day and the market trends to watch out for in the next few years.

Describe the denim market of Turkey. How has it grown through the years?

Turkish textile market is an ever-expanding one with numerous export garment makers serving overseas demand. And denim is a vital and ever-expanding part of this market. 

Over time, Turkish denim producers have acquired a substantial know-how, and young talents have cropped up in the fashion sector. The sector grew and matured with young talents knowledgeable on all aspects of denim, from design to fabrics, from production to the final wash. Some has become world-famous names. 

For these reasons, Turkey has become a globally preferred market. As Calik Denim, we are working to ensure the continuity of this culture, and we are one of the leading denim producers that help young talents emerge.

Please tell us more on Çalik Denim's inception as a brand and your growth story.

Calik Denim occupies a special place in the Çalik Group as the its first major industrial investment. In 1987, our company was established with an investment of $111 million. It has since grown up to a production capacity of 55 million meters per year, in a covered area of 407 thousand square meters, employing over 2,700 people; touching so many lives. Within the first decade of our foundation, we have covered many essential milestones, conscious that the smallest and the biggest steps we took were of equal significance. Because all steps lead us to our vision, of fulfilling denim dreams and creating change through growth and innovation. 

Our company began operating ring spinning in 1997 and by 2003 became an integrated production plant after adding gabardine/velvet fabrics to its range of products. Today, Calik Denim contributes greatly to the industry with its wide range of value-added fabrics.

How does your supply chain network operate? What regions of the world does it cover?

We look at our supply-chain management in terms of sustainability instead of a regional emphasis. Our goal now is to be responsible for our products for their entire life cycle, from seed to denim. We are also working hard to maintain good relations with our external suppliers. We diligently inspect products and production methods.

Which are the major companies from where the cotton is sourced from for your denim products?

Calik Denim follows all its supplier processes from the seed to the final product, with an emphasis on sustainability and transparency. We get most of our cotton from Turkey, but we also get raw materials from the United States. Within the Turkish context, it is important that our cotton is sourced from sites close to our production facilities. Sanliurfa is one such example. At Sanliurfa, we have launched "from seed-to-product" initiative with our cotton supplier Enrich Cotton, which covers the entire process from the seed until the final product which is an important "first" in Turkey.

Which brands & retailers are you currently associated with?

We have been in working with the world's leading brands from America to Europe and the Far East for many years. As Calik Denim, we see ourselves not only as denim fabric suppliers, but also the solution partners of our clients. We are working with global brands such as Citizens of Humanity, Diesel, Armani, Acne, H&M, Zara, Calvin Klein, 7 for All Mankind, Mother, G-Star, GAP, Tommy Hilfiger, Banana Republic and so on.
Published on: 12/03/2020

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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