Turkish fashion manufacturers in earthquake-affected areas resume production

Garment factories in the cities of Malatya, Elazıg and Sanliurfa are up and running again and the impact on textile factories in Kahramanmaras and Adiyaman is now ‘minor’, according to the Turkish Association of Garment Manufacturers.

Infrastructure in industrial zones was generally less affected by this month’s earthquakes than in residential areas and most factories are in relatively good condition, according to a statement released this week by Cem Altan, president of the International Clothing Federation (IAF). and vice president of the Turkish Clothing Manufacturers Association (TGSD).

On February 6, two major earthquakes shook southeast Turkey and northern Syria, resulting in more than 47,000 deaths in both countries, according to Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu.

“We are working with our members and stakeholders to identify and address the real needs of the region,” said Altan. “Short-term production cuts are inevitable, however, all stakeholders are working together to restart factories for social and economic reasons.”

Altan added that Turkey’s textile and apparel industries will use the extra capacity built in 2021 and 2022 in the short term. For example, the country increased yarn and fabric production capacity by 25% last year thanks to new investments. Consequently, lost capacity in earthquake-affected areas is being replaced by capacity in other cities outside the affected zone, such as Bursa, Istanbul, Tekirdag and Denizli.

The Turkish government has started supplying water, electricity and natural gas to some affected cities and airports have resumed operations. Temporary communities made of shipping containers are being built around industrial zones to prevent labor migration.

The epicenter of the first earthquake was near Gaziantep, a Turkish city of more than two million people in southeastern Anatolia. Although the Turkish fashion industry is mainly concentrated in other places, including Istanbul and Ankara, where major apparel and textile companies and manufacturers located in Bursa, Izmir and Denizli provinces are located, Gaziantep and other affected provinces in neighboring regions are also important. for the sector.

According to a report by consultancy firm Ikada, the origin of the majority of Turkish textile exports in 2017 was Istanbul province, but the hard-hit provinces of Gaziantep and Kahramanmaras are secondary hubs for the industry, while the neighboring provinces of Adana and Kayseri also have a significant manufacturing footprint.

As part of their nearshoring efforts, global brands have shifted more of their sourcing and production to countries like Turkey in recent years. The H&M Group and Zara Owner Index were among the many fashion brands that contributed to the country’s humanitarian crisis earlier this month.

Turkey’s textile industry exported USD 16.2 billion in 2021 and was the fifth largest supplier in the world, while the garment industry exported USD 18.3 billion and was the fourth largest in the world, according to a report by Fibre2Fashion.

To know more:

Turkey’s economic crisis hits retailers, boosts apparel exports

The country’s currency, the lira, has lost nearly half its value against the dollar in 2021 amid rising inflation and unorthodox economic policies that analysts say are the root cause of the deepening economic crisis that has hit fashion retail so hard. as the manufacturing sectors.

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