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BABIES’ CLOTHING INDUSTRY IN TURKEY
HS No: 6111 and 6209
Textiles and clothing is one of the most important sectors of the Turkish economy since it
is the major force behind Turkey’s exports and employment. Today, the Turkish clothing
industry is the 7th largest supplier in the world and the 2nd largest supplier of the EU.
Therefore, Turkish textile and clothing industry now has a significant role in world trade
and the capability to meet high standards and sophisticated preferences.
As a young sub-sector of the large Turkish clothing industry, the babies’ and children’s
clothing industry started to develop in the nineties and now has a dominant role in the
world. Many companies specialize in babies’ and children’s clothing, while some of them
produce both adults and infants clothing. Today, almost all kinds of clothing for babies and
children including niche markets are produced in Turkey.
Since Turkey is a leading cotton producer and cotton is the best and most preferred fiber
for babies’ and children’s clothing, cotton clothing has a large share in production. As a
result of the availability of high quality and organic cotton in Turkey, high technology in
production, wide use of CAD (Computer Aided Design) and CAM (Computer Aided
Manufacturing), design capability and the increase in the number of qualified personnel,
the products of the Turkish clothing sector have a good reputation in world markets. In
addition, with its flexible production structure, the sector can adapt itself to consumers’
changing needs. Today, most of the exporters produce their own creations and almost all
of the materials used for export products are obtained from the domestic market.
Istanbul is not only a leading production center, but also a worldwide fashion center. Most
of the companies have established their production facilities around Istanbul due to its
good transportation, workforce and technology opportunities. As a global sourcing hub
both in Asia and Europe, it attracts a number of international buying offices, trading houses
and major retailers and department stores.
Bursa, which has a traditional background in weaving art, is still one of the major
manufacturing centers in textile field. According to BEKSİAD1, 80% of the babies’ and
children’s clothing is produced in Bursa. Since many of these companies are in Duaçınarı
district of Bursa, they form a natural cluster which creates a synergy for the sector to focus
on world markets. Other manufacturers of babies’ and children’s clothing are mainly
located in Denizli and Izmir. In total, around 60.000 employees are employed at more than
4.000 small and medium sized companies nationwide.
Today, parents are showing increasing concern for health and environmental issues and
demanding products that do not affect their children’s health or the environment. Due to its
direct contact with the skin, the reliability of clothing is much more important for babies’
and children’s health. Being aware of these trends, Turkish babies’ and children’s clothing
producers are much more sensitive to health and the environment. They have already
adapted themselves to developments in international markets towards healthier and more
environmentally-friendly products by adopting environmental management systems and
obtaining eco-labels. Most companies are certified with private eco-labels such as Oeko-
Baby Child Wear Manufacturers’ and Businessmen’s Association www.beksiad.org
Tex Standard 100, etc. Moreover, since Turkey is the largest organic cotton grower in the
world, more than 200 companies in both the textile and clothing sectors manufacture
organic cotton products ranging from fibers, yarns and fabrics to garments and home
textiles which are certified with organic cotton standards such as Global Organic Textile
Standard and Organic Exchange Standard 100.
The value of clothing exports increased by 9.4% and amounted to US$ 13.5 billion in
2011. Approximately 80% of the clothing exported is cotton clothing. Knitted clothing and
accessories, with an export value of US$ 8.4 billion, had a share of 62,1% in total clothing
exports, and woven clothing had a share of 37,9% with a value of US$ 5.1 billion in 2011.
The EU is the most important market for Turkey’s clothing exports.
Regarding the babies’ clothing sector, in the year 2011 the total exports increased by
20,2% with an export value of US$ 142.5 million catching the peak level in 2007 which had
dropped majorly as a result of the global economical crises. Knitted or crocheted babies’
garments constitutes 72,9% of babies’ clothing exports of Turkey. Germany (20,1%), the
UK (11,1%), Spain (11%), France (8,9%) and Italy (6,4%) are the major export markets.
Babies’ Clothing Export of Turkey
(Millions of US$)
Source: Ministry of Economy
Many Turkish clothing companies have expanded their marketing and distribution
channels in global markets by opening stores and chain stores all over the world. To
promote Turkish fashion products in international markets, they participate in many fashion
shows and international fairs abroad.
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