Turkey is already doing about $300 million in business with the United States related to home textiles, but Pinar Tasdelen Engin, chairperson of the Uludag Textile Exporters’ Association (UTIB), would like to see that figure rise. Engin, who is focused on overseeing the association’s activities, including organising R&D projects and studies and coordinating trade fair activities worldwide, said the United States is currently the fifth largest export market, trailing Germany, the United Kingdom, Bulgaria and Romania.
In 2017, UTIB’s total global exports had reached nearly $1.2 billion and Turkey’s total home textile exports were around $2.7 billion. “In recent years, we have seen very positive developments in terms of our textile exports to the US,” Engin said, noting that towels, bed linens and curtain fabrics are the top exports, although bathrobes are also popular. “Turkey’s textiles speak for themselves…and with our ability to deliver quickly and efficiently, we are excited to continue developing opportunities for mutual trade with the US and countries around the world,” said Engin.
Turkey’s rich history in textiles allows producers to specialise in all the sub-categories related to the home, she said. “We expect to see continual growth as a result of our high-quality designs, high-tech production and nature-friendly sustainable products.” Sustainability and eco-friendliness are at the heart of Turkey’s textile production, said Engin. “Given that most of our exports go to countries that have very strict demands on sustainability, it is hugely important for us that our products are eco-friendly.”
Engin said: “We plan on continuing these R&D activities so that we can ensure that all Turkish products are safe and environmentally friendly.” UTIB, which was founded in 1986 and has 2,200 members, also supports Turkey’s home textile industry by organizing various congresses and workshops, representing the country at international trade fairs and hosting buyers’ delegations, seminars and training sessions.