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  • Cynthia Blasberg

Towards a brighter blue with Bossa

Turkish textile company Bossa Denim offers a high-quality product range that really sets it apart from other denim manufacturers. We spoke to its Deputy General Manager, Tayfun Akbay, about circularity, recycling and zero waste.

First of all, congratulations on the company’s 70th anniversary. Of course, the obvious question is what has changed in those 70 years. But as there are probably too many things to mention, I will ask you something else instead: is there anything that is still as valid today as it was in the 1950s and 60s?

Bossa continues to maintain its leadership position in the industry. What sets us apart are our high quality, innovative, unique product range, customer-oriented products and services tailored to our clients’ specific needs, coupled with fast delivery, widespread market network structures and high customer satisfaction. Established in 1951, Bossa is one of the largest integrated textile corporations in Turkey. From our production facilities in Adana, we offer a wide range of high-quality denim fabrics, with a high production capacity for dyeing and finishing. We are now producing denim and sportswear (non-denim) fabrics and have in-depth expertise in textiles. We have also produced many other types of fabrics for products like casualwear, shirts and so on.

We are proud to present trends and outstanding products to all our customers. 70 years of know-how, an innovative and flexible production system, our colour range, young and dynamic team players, a global and efficient sales network, product quality, collection diversity, advanced production and information system technologies are what set Bossa apart.

"By complying with the requirements of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s project, The Jeans Redesign, we have now reduced our water consumption to 30 litres per fabric metre."

Circularity, and therefore recycling, are key facilitators for a sustainable fashion and textile industry. That’s why you are part of the Denim Deal project. What exactly is it about? And what role do pre- and post-consumer recycling play?

Textile recycling material is classified as either pre-consumer, post-consumer or post-industrial waste. Pre-consumer waste is obtained from leftover raw materials generated in the textile and garment production process. Fibre, silver and fabric remnants are all pre-consumer waste. Post-consumer waste is defined as any type of product that can no longer be used or where the owner no longer needs it and decides to throw it away. These articles are discarded either because they are worn out, damaged, have gone out of fashion or no longer fit. Post-industrial waste is our own company waste, i.e. fibre waste, waste from the rope dyeing process, yarn wastes from production or fabric edging remnants from the weaving department.

Recycling process at Bossa.

It’s no secret that we buy more clothes than we can actually use. Many of the items that we throw away end up in landfill. More often than not, these items are not biodegradable and take centuries to break down. As a response to this environmental pollution, we created the ‘Denim is Reborn in Bossa’ post-consumer denim recycling concept. We collect old jeans and they are sent to our partner company, which shreds the old jeans into fibres. They then send the shredded fibres to us and we make recycled fabrics from them. Out of 1,000 old pairs of denim jeans we can produce approximately 2,000 metres of 20% PCRD (post-consumer recycled denim) blended fabric. We have completed many projects with brands like Nudie, Kuyichi and Mango. And together with more than 30 international partners, we signed the Denim Deal to make post-consumer recycling textile the new norm within the industry. All Denim Deal signatories have committed themselves to meeting certain sustainable standards as part of their operations. This includes agreeing to work as quickly as possible towards a standard of using at least 5% recycled textile in all denim garments. Towards a brighter blue.

Fact: Around 2,000 metres of 20% PCRD blended fabric can be made from 1,000 old pairs of denim jeans.

Your recycling programmes are very important for sustainability initiative Towards Zero Waste. What are the three most important elements toward achieving this?

Bossa have been actively involved in the protection and preservation of the environment since it was established. We have adopted the following procedures aimed at reducing our environmental impact: re-usage, sustainable materials, energy efficiency, water saving, process engineering, collaboration, co-creation, certification and ecological dyeing. Recycling, reducing and saving are critical to the environment. This is a stable and sustainable system in which natural resources are renewed and waste never accumulates. We are developing a zero-waste life cycle to close the loop.

Your Sustainability Report also includes a chapter on water management. Can you briefly summarise how your water management works?

By complying with the requirements of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s project, The Jeans Redesign, we have now reduced our water consumption to 30 litres per fabric metre. We have carried out several projects related to that. Bossa is located in an organised industrial zone, a kind of special economic zone in Turkey that provides a central water treatment system. We filter and clean our wastewater and send it to this centre to be used in nature. We have an ongoing project to use remaining water in the loop.

"One of the core strengths of our company is the powerful and long-lasting relationship established globally with prominent brands and designers."

The consequences of the climate crisis were felt strongly once again in 2021 – including in Turkey, where there have been countless forest fires and also flooding due to heavy rainfall. How are you doing personally and as a company?

We are also devastated about the fires and other disasters experienced both in our country and throughout the world. Sustainability has become a reality rather than an innovation. With the increase in climate change and environmental pollution, studies in the field of sustainability have become the focus of everything we do.

(Interview: Green Knowledge Magazine, No. 01/2021)

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