New Cotton Project: Introducing Kipas Textiles

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The EU 2020 Horizon funded New Cotton Project, brings together twelve pioneering players to demonstrate a circular model for commercial garment production.

This month we meet Halit GÜMÜŞER, Managing Director of Kipas Textiles to discuss his part in the project.

Please give an overview of your company and job role.

Kipas Textiles, established in Kahramanmaraş in 1984 is one of the leading companies in Turkey, it employees over 6500 and has an annual production capacity of 80 million meters of fabric, a daily production of 330 tonnes of yarn and develops over 5 million garments annually. As one of the preferred suppliers of the world’s leading brands, Kipas Textiles works on the sustainable production of yarns, fabrics and denim with minimum usage of resources such as water, energy and hazardous discharge. We are also tackling waste and pollution through environmentally friendly production methods and the latest recycling technologies. 

Due to our vertically integrated textile mill, we are one of the largest sustainable yarn, fabric and denim manufacturers. We offer a wide product range such as upholstery, deco, shirting, sport & casual clothes fabrics, denim and technical textiles.

I’m the Managing Director of Kipas Textile group, the company is always pleased to be involved in projects that focus on sustainability and the circular economy, which is why we were happy to join the EU New Cotton Project. Our R&D manager Ali IBRIKÇI works directly on the project and reports key insights and progress to me. 

What is your participation in the New Cotton Project?

Kipaş Textile already had a previous working relationship with Infinited Fiber Company as a manufacturer of their InnfinaTM denim fabric, so we were invited to participate in the New Cotton Project due to our successful cooperation and passion for chemically recycled fiber. We are happy to contribute to the development of the project by ensuring that the new Infinna fiber yarn is produced according to H&M’s requirements. During the project, we will also experiment with mixing InfinnaTM with fibers such as virgin and post consumer cotton. We also want to see the behavior of Infinna fibers against key dyes and develop the best fabric by trialing different processes and reporting our insights with the rest of the consortium. 

What challenges and pitfalls do you think will arise in the New Cotton Project?

When considering a completely circular model, the collection of raw materials and their continuity is a really challenging factor. Obtaining the same quality efficiency from the fibers obtained from the collected textile materials requires a high amount of coordination and analysis. Even just a small change in input may require redesigning production processes.

Where do you see the greatest opportunities in collaboration?

As Kipaş, we are currently carrying out our sustainability activities with our motto ‘’Innocence working with nature’’. We focus on the concept of sustainability in all our processes. Being in such a sustainable circular project and being with  our stakeholders under the same roof really excited us. With the New Cotton project on different platforms, we promote that sustainable work should be more circular.

Where do you see the future of circularity in the fashion and textiles industry?

For the future of circular and more sustainable textiles, a different system structure should be established across all stakeholders from the consumer to the producer, from the lawmaker to the wider ecosystem. Although circular textile seems to be a technical transformation issue, it is also an important social transformation issue as the living conditions of the sector employees and consumer behaviour play a critical role in the solution. Therefore, as in all sustainability issues, we can create the effect we expect with the system thinking that takes care of the entire ecosystem.

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