TGSD President Ramazan Kaya: “The Ready-to-Wear Industry Will Continue to Evolve”
The Istanbul Ready-to-Wear Conference, the largest gathering of the ready-to-wear industry organized by the Turkey Clothing Manufacturers’ Association (TGSD), opened its doors for the sixteenth time. Held under the theme “Transformative Journey,” the event’s first day featured a total of 31 speakers from Turkey and abroad in 14 sessions, discussing topics such as the impact of artificial intelligence, innovation in design, and the circular economy on the industry.
Speaking at the opening of the conference, TGSD President Ramazan Kaya emphasized that in the new era, nothing will be the same due to the influence of the pandemic, wars, climate change, and the habits of the new generations. He said, “We are aware that ‘continuing through transformation’ is inevitable for the Turkish ready-to-wear industry. We are fully prepared and determined to embark on this transformation journey.” TGSD President Sanem Dikmen also stated that the Turkish ready-to-wear industry will continue to be a player in determining and changing the rules at every stage, from cotton to the final product.
The 16th Istanbul Ready-to-Wear Conference, organized by the Turkey Clothing Manufacturers’ Association (TGSD), the most inclusive non-governmental organization in the ready-to-wear industry, brought together leading global brands, purchasing offices, local manufacturers, and industry representatives in Istanbul. The event, held under the theme “Transformative Journey,” was opened by TGSD President Ramazan Kaya, International Apparel Federation President & TGSD Conference Committee Leader Cem Altan, ITKIB Board Chairman Ahmet Öksüz, and TIM & IHKIB President Mustafa Gültepe.
Ramazan Kaya: “Our Business Practices Will Change”
TGSD President Ramazan Kaya, emphasizing that nothing will be the same in the new era due to the influence of the pandemic, wars, climate change, and the habits of the new generations, stated, “This process creates a strategic dilemma for industries and sectors: Will we continue as before, or will we continue through transformation? We are aware that ‘continuing through transformation’ is inevitable for the Turkish ready-to-wear industry. We also know that this transformation will be long and challenging. Our companies, our habits, and our business practices will change because we have no other choice for success. Therefore, we are fully prepared and determined to embark on this journey.”
“If we foresee a decrease in the quantity of our exports, we will shift towards adding value.”
Kaya further explained that the most important factor that will bring success during the transformation process is the sector’s flexible structure. He continued, “In the past, when we talked about flexibility, we only focused on production. However, today, we need to have a flexible structure in all areas, from our management processes to organizational structures, human resources, and supply networks. On the other hand, if we anticipate a decrease in production and exports, we will shift towards higher value-added products. In our businesses, we will make future investments not to increase quantities but to increase value. We will increase our speed, logistics capabilities, market presence, and product diversity.”
During the period of change and transformation, Kaya emphasized that their expectations from the public sector go beyond financial support, including research and development, design, and marketing, given the changing business models. He also emphasized the importance of this support being not only short-term but also medium and long-term.
Sanem Dikmen: “We Have No Intention of Abandoning This Sector”
Sanem Dikmen, President of TGSD, emphasized that in the early years of the Republic, factories were one of the most important elements for Turkey’s development and increasing the welfare of society. She said, “Factories, which are not only about production but also change the face of the regions in which they are established, serve as strongholds, as Atatürk stated, continue to lead transformation today. Without a doubt, our producers and our sector are going through difficult times due to the conditions in the world. However, we can say this with certainty: we have no intention of giving up on this sector. The ready-to-wear sector has always been important with the employment, production, and added value it generates, and it will continue to be so. In addition to our export, which provides a net foreign exchange inflow, we are also able to meet our country’s consumption, which has a large population of 85 million, through domestic production. The fact that we can meet one of our most basic needs, such as clothing, with domestic production, once again demonstrates the strength of the Turkish ready-to-wear sector. The Turkish ready-to-wear industry will continue to exist as a player that determines and changes the rules at every stage, from cotton to the final product.”
Dikmen also noted that the ready-to-wear and textile industries are considered strategic sectors in developed countries, especially in EU countries and the USA, and that this approach should serve as an example for Turkey.
31 Speakers Discussed the Industry’s Transformative Journey in 14 Sessions
On the first day of the Istanbul Ready-to-Wear Conference, a total of 31 speakers from Turkey and abroad came together in 14 sessions to discuss the topics on the industry’s agenda. The prominent topics at the conference included traceability, transparency, the impact of artificial intelligence on the ready-to-wear sector, innovation in design, transformation technologies, recycling, and the circular economy. The second and final day of the conference, October 13th, will feature ‘B2B Bilateral Business Meetings,’ where procurement groups representing hundreds of global brands will meet with local manufacturers.
Strong Industry Support for the Conference
The 16th Istanbul Ready-to-Wear Conference, organized by TGSD in cooperation with IHKIB and ITHIB, was sponsored by Sanko Textile. The event also received support from Aksa Acrylic, Cotton Council International, Polytropon, Browzwear, Myth.Ai, Astas Juki, Control Union, Lenzing AG – Tencel ™, Avery Dennison, Business Finland, Durak Textile, Galata Transportation, Ozbilim Machinery, Serkon Machinery, Investment Finance, YKK, Kornit Digital – MatTex, Knitted Fabric, and Power Group.
Founded in 1976, the Turkey Clothing Manufacturers’ Association (TGSD) is one of Turkey’s oldest sectoral associations, and in 2003, it gained the status of a public-interest association through a Cabinet decision dated 2003. With more than 450 members responsible for 60% of Turkey’s ready-to-wear exports, TGSD represents the entire value chain of the industry, making it the most inclusive non-governmental organization in the sector. The Association aims to enhance the sector’s competitiveness by leading its transformation in digital and green directions, renewing all its processes, and making large-scale investments. TGSD also continuously monitors the sector by organizing the Istanbul Ready-to-Wear Conference every year since 2008, which has become an international event. For detailed information, visit www.tgsd.org.tr.