The Consultants is Rivet’s regular check-in with denim industry business and creative consultants to get their take on topics ranging from the status of sustainability to future trends. In this Q&A, Turkey-based denim consultant Sinem Celik, founder of Bluprojects, shares her honest and informed opinion on the denim world.
Name: Sinem Celik
What was your first gig in the denim industry?
I worked at Orta Anadolu for 17 years in different roles—from product to sales.
Describe your design point of view.
I define design as a tool for betterment; to use creativity and engineering skills to achieve a more beneficial or desirable outcome. In my professional practice, I define my role as sustainability change agent. I handle design as a change agent to create a positive impact on the environment and humanity. The waste-conscious design term should be recognized by every designer and product person, and it should be considered in every single creative or buying decision.
What is the most common challenge that denim brands encounter in their design?
Denim is originally a seasonless and long-lasting fashion item. Among all fashion items, denim is the one with the most significant conflict with commercial pressures. It is a huge challenge for brands and the whole industry to create new denim collections every season (or ‘drop’) and to sell more, which opposes the originality of denim.
Furthermore, I love denim as a symbol of freedom and equality through the history of revolutions. Conflictingly, the majority of denim design and production globally is ignorant about humanity and nature, which I find so very upsetting.
What makes you optimistic about the denim industry?
I am a real optimist and I work towards creating and spreading a positive change. However, I feel very far from reaching a transformational level. [When I see consumers respond positively to] challenger brands like Mud Jeans, it makes me hopeful about the future of the denim industry. Even though it is a tiny part of the whole, such examples showing us a possibility.
Name a denim trend you hope to never see again.
Considering the massive waste of unused and unsold jeans, still insisting on increasing the use of denim in different [categories of fashion] is really disturbing me. There are some commercially created, compulsory denim trends, like the athleisure trend, that I really don’t want to see at all. We can leave it to the sportswear industry.
Do you have a favorite industry event to attend?
It was the Kingpins show for many years. Not because it was commercially useful, but more because it had the energy of combining the industry in a casual, friendly environment with positive vibes. I really miss the good old days.
What advice would you give to someone at the beginning of their denim career?
Care for the people and planet in all of your actions and be part of positive change from the beginning—whatever you do.
What is your favorite jean to wear, and why?
My Acne Studios denim jacket, because it was with me all over the world for many years. We have so many memories and travel stories together. I also love its Japanese fabric, beautifully aging.
What are you most proud of in your career?
The community I’ve developed over the years, and the trust I’ve managed to build with them. (I hope they agree when reading this.) And I am also proud of myself having chosen to work on my own platform, Bluprojects, which totally reflects my personality and values.
What’s your vision for denim in 2025?
Denim being a symbol of change in sustainable fashion area; a driving force for decreasing this massive textile waste and an inspiration for setting new systems like seasonless, conscious design.