ANKARA: Schijvens Corporation Fashion and Gama Iplik Recycling have extended their contract in the presence of Minister Kaag (NL) and Minister Pekcan (TR), in order to raise the recycling of used (corporate) workwear up to a higher level. The existing trade barriers which slow down the circular economy were raised and extensive attention devoted to female entrepreneurship.
Minister Kaag and Minister Pekcan discussed the trade perspective between the two countries, specifically looking at technology, innovation and circularity in various different industries. A number of representatives from large Dutch companies, which have an interest in trading with Turkey, were present too, such as ING, Philips, Booking.com, Havenbedrijf Rotterdam and Royal IHC. Schijvens was also represented, from its role as owner of a Turkish textile factory, which has won the Fair Wear Foundation’s best practice award with the introduction of a fair Living Wage, but certainly also from its role as a Dutch trading partner with the Turkish company Gama Iplik Recycling. Schijvens and Gama decided to join forces in 2017 and started retrieving old workwear from customers and subsequently recycled these into fibres, which were eventually spun into yarn again and used by Schijvens to produce “new” recycled workwear. This process saves 99% water, 40% energy and 40% CO2 emissions compared to the virgin conventional variant.
However, in practical terms Schijvens is having to face existing trading barriers: importing clothes into Turkey isn’t all that simple, not without first having to damage the clothing or pay high import duties. Schijvens is constantly working on reducing every single cost item, including the cost-increasing legislation on the Turkish side, as it’s the company’s mission to introduce recycled clothing to the market for the same, or hopefully even lower, price, making sure sustainable alternatives are supported whenever possible. Schijvens was given the opportunity to submit its request and hopes it can now bypass the current costs by means of an import permit for recycling. This can also clear the way for other companies which would be hampered by the existing legislation sooner or later, which hasn’t yet been adjusted in line with a circular model. It has previously already been reported within the Sustainable Clothing and Textiles Covenant that other companies are endeavouring to go one step further in the recycling of clothing, so the easier the government can make it, the better it will ultimately be for the environment.
Schijvens and Gama have signed their contract extension for a three year term in the presence of two ministers, as the demand for recycled workwear has increased explosively at Schijvens, which means the relationship between Schijvens and Gama needs to be further strengthened in order to be able to continue to meet these demands.