BABIES’ CLOTHING INDUSTRY PRODUCTION
Textiles and clothing are 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 8th largest supplier in the world and the 3rd 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.
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-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 decreased by 0,5% and amounted to USD 14,77 billion in 2016. Approximately 80% of the clothing exported is cotton clothing. Knitted clothing and accessories, with an export value of USD 8,85 billion, had a share of 60% in total clothing exports, and woven clothing had a share of 40% with a value of US$ 5.93 billion in 2016. The EU is the most important market for Turkey’s clothing exports.
Regarding the babies’ clothing sector, in the year 2016, the total exports increased by
16,6% with an export value of USD 269,5 million despite the decreasing trend in total clothing exports. Knitted or crocheted babies’ garments constitute 65,1% of babies’ clothing exports of Turkey. Spain (12,17%), Germany (11,32%), Iraq (10,72%), the UK (7,66%) and Iran (6,97%) are the major export markets.