Can you briefly introduce us to Sanko Textile’s work in organic cotton?
As Sanko Textile, one of the biggest integrated textile producers from yarn to ﬁnished fabric, we grow our own organic cotton in Turkey. Growing our own organic cotton helps us to produce truly reliable, traceable organic cotton and meet our customers’ needs. GMO seeds are forbidden by law in Turkey and this law helps us to grow organic cotton without risk of contamination. As Sanko we take it to the next level by using the latest organic farming methods with the help of our world-class experts.
What is your main focus at the moment?
We have been focused on circular economy, which includes the concept of waste. We are building a production system that is aligned with a circular economy and we plan to merge it with organic cotton’s environmental strengths to minimize the effects of the climate crisis.
We continue to research safe methods to increase productivity in organic cotton production. We also work on digital infrastructure to provide our customers with efﬁcient databases to improve the traceability of cotton.
We aim to increase biodiversity and improve soil health and water quality in this region by using organic farming methods and encouraging farmers to transition to organic.
Can you tell us your vision for the organic cotton sector?
Our vision is to take a big step towards mitigating the effects of the climate crisis. We aim to compound organic cotton’s positive environmental impacts with circular sustainability principles, thus creating a new approach. The linear economy concept of waste and minimizing impact has no credible future. Times are changing rapidly, with the linear economy transforming into a circular economy. We’re aiming to design a future without waste: a Cradle to e – Circular Economy. Therefore, we at Sanko Textile need to transform our ambitions from ‘less bad’ to ‘more good’, and from a negative to a positive deﬁnition of our future and the generations to come.
What are you doing that embraces Textile Exchange’s Climate+ vision and the interconnected issues of climate, water, soil health, and biodiversity?
The climate crisis has already started to affect people’s daily lives, and scientiﬁc research shows us it is getting closer and closer by the day. As Sanko Textile we have the power to create a positive mass impact and we do not want to lose that chance for our future generations. As a family-owned–company for over a hundred years we value this legacy, and we want to leave the world in a better state than when we found it. For this reason, we became the one of the ﬁrst organic cotton yarn producers in 90s and with this pioneering perspective, we want to continue to develop projects that will contribute to our environment.
What is the impact of your work on biodiversity?
Our main strategy is built on the reliability and transparency of organic cotton textile production. As we started to grow our own organic cotton we realized that biodiversity was vital for organic cotton production. As biodiversity increases, so do the yield and quality of the cotton. As we are one of Turkey’s biggest consumers of cotton ﬁber annually, we believe that any step in this direction will create a domino effect. With awareness of the potential impact Sanko Textile could create, our management encouraged the whole team to fully commit to this project.
What is the impact of your work on farming communities?
When we decided to grow organic cotton, we realized farmers were willing but would require some training. We started to educate them with our world-class experts and provided them the ﬁnancial support to grow organic cotton. In the later stages of the project, all stakeholders realized that it was possible to achieve good agricultural results without harming the environment. Due to the fact that organic cotton has to be collected by hand, many people have come to make an income from this job. In Turkey it is extremely important for people to look after their families with honest income. This job has ensured they earn a healthy, honest, and environmentally beneﬁcial income. This has increased support for the project amongst locals.