I’m currently in Turkey eating pitta, kebabs and drinking far too much black tea. Other than the brilliant food, we come here to source our brilliant clothes. Turkey is a great route, especially for organic cotton, advancement of less water washing technology and their brilliant organic dyes.
“It’s positioned at an important connection between Europe and Asia, overlapping economic, geographic and political lines.”
Turkey is a great setting for the clothing and fabric manufacturing arena. It’s positioned at an important connection between Europe and Asia, overlapping economic, geographic and political lines. Turkey’s closeness to the European Union, and membership in the EU customs union, acts as one of its most attractive features. (Let’s hope these benefits don’t change after our sad EU exit)
On a more positive note, one of the things which drew us to Turkey was its government’s support of its workforce. The minimum wage is managed closely and the growing focus on living wages is spreading like wild fire. We calculated that labour can account for up to 30% of our costs. This fact makes us very happy.
“We calculated that labour can account for up to 30% of our costs. This fact makes us very happy”
As well as our commitment to paying living wages, as part of our TOBEFRANK Foundation, women’s empowerment is a key focus for us. This mission is made easier in Turkey, due to its recent incentive plans. These include many programs to support female employees in the garment industry.
As well as labour support, the government has laid out a series of incentives and subsidies targeted at strengthening and expanding the manufacturing industry. One of the key target areas is improving infrastructure. They plan to add 13,000km worth of roads and 12,000km of new railways to allow for easier (and more sustainable) shipping. This is an amazing option to help us in our mission to keep our carbon footprint down.
There are pros and cons for any manufacturing hub, one of the good things about Turkey, is as a country it’s pretty vertical, from farm to dying to stitching then packing, we’re able to keep the whole supply chain within the same country which really keeps down our carbon footprint. However, no matter how great our suppliers can be, a supply chain is a complicated machine to manage and at the end of each day, we are human and humans make mistakes.
“It’s important to know that people make your clothes, the supply chain is not a robot , its emotional and highly dependent on unseen issues such as currency, traffic, politics, labour well ware and climate change”
It’s important to know that people make your clothes, the supply chain is not a robot , its emotional and highly dependent on unseen issues such as currency, traffic, politics, labour well ware and climate change. These issues mean we need someone on the ground in Turkey to manage our EPIC supply chain, SO, lastly but certainly not least…..we are super excited and super pleased to welcome our newest member of our team, a genius in his sustainability sourcing field….Our new Sourcing Manager…..Welcome Mehmet.