Textile and apparel are among leading sectors adding value to Turkey’s economy. Turkey’s competitiveness in international markets is increased by high-quality products, proximity to large markets, flexibility and speed of production organization, and factors such as human resources. Despite all these advantages, lack of adequate digitalization of design in the sector makes it difficult to compete with developed countries and large companies in the foreign market.
The beneficiary of the project, Istanbul Apparel Exporters’ Association (IHKIB), aims to create an infrastructure in line with the requirements of the era, as well as to increase the digital skills of SMEs and innovative entrepreneurs operating in the ready-to-wear and textile sectors.
Within the scope of the project, a digital qualification needs analysis will be conducted in order to ensure European standard production. Regarding digitalisation, trainings focused in digital fashion design will be provided to at least 125 SMEs while at least 100 SMEs will receive digital transformation trainings in order to develop digital skills. Managers, designers and blue-collar employees will be able to benefit from the services provided. Istanbul Fashion Academy (IMA) which was established in 2017 within the project “Fashion and Textile Cluster in Turkey” managed by the General Secretariat of Istanbul Textile and Clothing Exporters’ Association (ITKIB), will play crucial role in order to keep these trainings sustainable.
Integration of digital supply chains and global platforms is another goal of the project. The strategy for adaptation to the digital market will be determined with networks to be established at local and international levels. Special trainings on the subject will be designed and service provider handbooks will be prepared.
Currently, the presence of substances harmful to nature and human health in textile materials prevents Turkish ready-to-wear industry actors from entering EU markets. In order to eliminate this problem and to strengthen the position of local actors in the international market by providing health and environmental standards, the test and analysis infrastructure of the EKOTEKS Laboratory established by İHKİB in 1998, will be strengthened by the use of technological products and the development of new analysis methods in more eco-friendly environment.
It is expected that new methods will be developed and implemented to detect harmful particles that pose a threat to both human and the environment in the content of textile products. In addition, within the scope of the project, research and development studies will be carried out on methods that will test Organic Turkish Cotton.
The project, in the long run aims to adopt "is produced entirely in Turkey" expression within the foreign market and to contribute to becoming the "fastest manufacturer and supplier" in Turkey.
Beside establishing a new digital oriented center, the project also aims to strengthen the infrastructure of İMA and EKOTEKS and in addition to trainings to SMEs, the project targets providing consultancy services to at least 25 SMEs for digital transformation while at least 100 SMEs will benefit from new tests and analysis.