Aymod claims that after Covid the global attention towards the Turkish footwear sector has grown

23 September 2022

The news site of Aymod, the six-monthly footwear fair held in Istanbul, discussed the current situation and future challenges of the footwear industry in Turkey and on the world stage with Berke İÇTEN, who was recently appointed President of the Turkish Footwear Manufacturers' Association (TASD). [Pandemi, Türk ayakkabı endüstrisinin dünya çapında daha fazla ilgi görmesine neden oldu – aymod.com]

 

 

Berke İÇTEN, who started to work as a substitute Board Member at TASD in 2008, was recently elected as the President of the Association. He is clear about the priorities of his mission: “As a newly elected association management, our most important priority is to introduce the Turkish Footwear Industry to the world more and to increase its integration with global supply chains”. In order to move the industry in this direction, TASD's new management established committees working in various fields such as foreign trade, international relations and fair committees. The 29th Istanbul-based Shoe and Fashion Fair AYMOD, which is held twice a year and started on September 65, was one of the first visible actions: in terms of contributing to our international integration; Therefore, we produce projects for the development of the fair. We are taking steps to carry our brands, which have achieved great volume and success in the domestic market, to global dimensions.”

Regarding this issue, TASD President believes that Turkey is “a candidate to become one of the most important suppliers of the global footwear industry in the future” and that the pandemic has contributed to attracting more global attention to the Turkish footwear industry.

Turkish Shoe Industry

“There is a sector in Turkey that works with world brands and has an annual production capacity of 550 million pairs. With this industrialization, Turkish shoemaking did not lose its memory of traditional handicrafts production," said İÇTEN. continues. The fact that the industry can create two seasons in one season is another advantage of a country whose geographical location is close to 3 continents. A “rare advantage for global companies for risk management in the supply chain” to which the Customs Union Agreement with the European Union, allowing Turkish shoes to freely enter the European duty-free zone, can be added. “All these advantages reflect positively on Turkey's exports, and an increase of 18-20 percent is recorded every year compared to the previous year. Exports in the January-August period of 2021 broke the export record of all times, even surpassing the 2019 period.

COVID-19 Impact

The Turkish shoe industry was also affected by the pandemic, as it was everywhere else in the world. And although the initial estimate was for severe damage, the reality turned out to be less severe. “Online sales kept the cash flowing and the retail chain afloat. This enabled the producers to get through the process with little damage and without major adverse events” and “the epidemic started to provide positive returns for Turkey” in mid-2020. Considering the current long-term purchasing structure of the Far East-based supply chain, some purchasing groups that want to minimize risks started to look for the Turkish Footwear industry.

The Role of Digitization

Digitalization gained momentum in many parts of the world during the pandemic, and Turkey was no exception: “The Turkish footwear industry organized regional and national digital fairs together with the Export Associations. By establishing B2B platforms and infrastructures both in their own organizations and in the sector, companies have started to present their products in virtual showrooms, meeting with their customers and potential customers, without the need for physical visits. Although this situation is unusual for both buyers and sellers, we have seen that we can continue our business in this way. This has saved time and resources,” he said.

Future Challenges

Besides the discussion, there is a growing expectation of the market for cheap products, not taking into account the rising costs of the industry's raw materials: "R&D research and new production methods will be needed to ensure an economical price." Definitely a challenge for the industry. Another is due to the "rapid depletion of raw material resources on a global scale and the rapid pollution of the world". This leads to the need to replace traditional raw materials with recyclable and biodegradable products”.

Sustainability

Sustainability is a topic that has been on the agenda of the industry for a long time, therefore the following theme had to be added to our conversation: “We see this not as a trend, but as a permanent condition and reality of the supply chain, and at TASD, sustainability is one of the most important issues we focus on in order to protect our future generations” said. Establishing a commission to deal with the issue, the Association also provides trainings to all stakeholders of the sector. While raising awareness in the sector, they have already started to develop products that will produce earth-friendly shoes together with their R&D centers. Apart from these, we started to use green energy in industrial areas in order to minimize our carbon footprint," said İÇTEN and concluded his words.

 


Paese: Turkey
pandemia| Mercato globale| sostenibilità| digitale| covid 19| Calzaturifici| aymod| fiera| calzature

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