The coronavirus outbreak also adversely affected the textile, garment and fashion sectors. The sector, which turned to the domestic market due to employment and foreign market problems, was breathed with e-commerce. Textile businessman Fahri Şahin made some evaluations on the state of the textile and fashion sector after the coronavirus pandemic.
Fahri Şahin, Executive Vice President at Bordo Group, one of the most important names in the Turkish textile industry, made evaluations about the latest situation of the Turkish textile industry, which was facing problems due to Covid-19. Stating that e-commerce is the lifeline for the industry, Şahin said, “It would be very difficult to sustain the sector if it was not e-commerce.”
Reminding that the coronavirus epidemic spreading from China to the world caused changes in international markets and the commercial balances were shaken, Şahin said, “It is not possible to affect the textile and fashion sector. Employment and production problems have emerged in the sector. Currently, almost all of the physical stores are closed except online retail sales.”
Şahin said, “It would be very difficult to sustain the industry without e-commerce.” He added, “Textile and fashion products are among the most sold products through e-commerce. Therefore, the coronavirus once again revealed the importance of online retail sales. After the coronavirus, textile and ready-to-wear companies have added to e-commerce. It is obvious that they will attach great importance because companies without online sales have started to experience great difficulties in coronavirus days.”
“The importance of natural antibacterial textile products will increase”
Reminding that the coronavirus can easily penetrate the clothes and remain on the textile products for a long time, Şahin said that this will transform the textile industry.
Şahin said, “Covid-19 once again demonstrated the importance of natural antibacterial products. Textile raw materials such as bamboo, wool, linen and cotton with natural antibacterial properties gained more importance. These products with natural antibacterial properties after coronavirus will further increase their importance. Our textile industrialists and Our consumers should consider this issue with an environmentally friendly approach. Products such as bamboo, wool, linen and cotton, which are healthy and natural textile fibers, will be preferred to textile products made by chemical processes.”
Şahin also said, “The fashion industry will start to think more environmentally and sensitively by taking lessons from this epidemic. Consumers will also prefer antibacterial products. Therefore, companies will have to focus on organic and recyclable, sustainable products.”
“Turkey is in an advantageous position compared to China”
He pointed out that Turkey’s garment, textile and leather products exports was around 30 billion dollars. Declaring that when this amount is compared with Chinese textile exports which is 10 times more than size of our country, Turkey in an advantageous position, Şahin said,
Fahri Şahin, pointed out that Turkey’s garment, textile and leather products exports was around 30 billion dollars. Stating that according to China, which has 10 times much more export in the size, Turkey’s textile exports is in an advantageous position, Şahin said, “Turkey is in an advantageous position against textile giant China for its closeness to Europe, potential for production and product preparation in a short time. Markets of coronavirus countries which China lost, where the coronavirus began to spread, are turning to Turkey. Our products of the textile brands in the apparel and fashion industry have started to be preferred more in the European market with the effect of coronavirus. This generates a great advantage for our textile industrialists.”
“Europe must be convinced that Turkey would be the alternative partner to China”
Stating that product demand from the market, which takes a dim view of Chinese products, will continue to increase the positive impact on Turkey’s textile exports, Şahin said, “The demand for Turkish textile and ready-to-wear products is increasing. The market shrinkage experienced in Chinese textile products generated an opportunity for us. The countries are moving away from Chinese products coming to Turkey. Production and demand of our textile raw materials and products such as Turkish cotton are increasing.”
Fahri Şahin said that they expected new orders of 2 billion dollars in textile field, and he underlined that they have sufficient capacity to meet existing and new orders coming from Europe. Recording that many textile companies from European countries search partner in Turkey for the time after the outbreak, he said, “Turkey will be very popular after the pandemic. Turkey needs this opportunity to good reviews. Price, quality and time formula should be resolved correctly. Thus, European countries should be convinced that Turkey is the best alternative to China.”
Şahin pointed out that the Turkish Clothing Manufacturers’ Association (TGSD) performs a proactive behavior on the measures taken in the textile sector due to the coronavirus epidemic and the problems of the sector. The textile business person stated that the effects of the epidemic could continue for another 6 months; he added that normalization steps can be taken after May.