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ORTA’s VR Experience Launch Aids Ambitions to Cut Carbon Footprint

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Earlier in 2021, ORTA unveiled an online virtual reality (VR) journey where partners could embark on a virtual hot air balloon ride and view new denim fabrics. But beyond the goal to deliver feelings of relaxation and “zenfulness,” the VR experience’s true purpose is to extend the denim manufacturer’s sustainability mission to reduce waste.

Developed in collaboration with virtual reality studio Muse VR, the feature is one of the latest from ORTA’s “New Denim Route,” a supplier and resource platform designed to improve transparency in the denim production process.

“Personal, one-on-one visits always make a difference. However, digitalization has offered a way to seamlessly change everything from real-world to online very fast,” said Dr. Sedef Uncu Aki, who leads ORTA’s denim sales and marketing, product development, R&D, planning and operations. “The pandemic has made us realize how unsustainable it is to travel to another country for just for an hour-long meeting, often back and forth on the same day. With the carbon footprint and time lost—it is not the way we can sustain our actions in a world that is digital and eco-modern.”

The “surreal-meets-the-real” virtual journey combines the awe of hot air balloon travel with gamification capabilities, enabling viewers to explore ORTA’s denim fabrics in 3D and further reducing the need for in-person visits and cross-border physical sampling.

Before guests “take flight,” they must select one of five hot-air balloons for their tour, with each one featuring different collections, materials and offerings.
Before guests “take flight,” they must select one of five hot-air balloons for their tour, with each one featuring different collections, materials and offerings. ORTA

“Our offline-online collection presentation supports our aim to reduce waste in the selling and sample process, where the samples go to waste after a customer selects the fabrics they want to work with,” said Zennure Danisman, ORTA’s marketing and washing manager. “We realized that the [carbon] footprint caused during the production of samples only to have them becoming waste afterwards is unacceptable. This VR Denim experience we created is our solution. Now it is time for our customers to live and embrace this innovative presentation as a next step.”

3D samples of ORTA's various dyes, such as Bio Indigo and Earth Sand
3D samples of ORTA’s various dyes, such as Bio Indigo and Earth Sand ORTA

VR benefits outweigh traditional virtual events

The ORTA VR journey is designed not only to be interactive, but multiplayer, so either an individual or a team can join ORTA on the voyage.

“While virtual presentations were a fast solution for connecting, we learned that they weren’t engaging enough for presenting our collections and experiencing the fabrics and textures we develop,” Aki said. “We needed another medium to make our customers live this experience, and VR offers a whole-body experience. It is relaxing play that lets you explore, instead of passively watching.”

As part of the presentation, participants can view by “fly,” walk” and “orbit” modes. Within the journey, ORTA enables viewers to view Turkey’s famous destinations side-by-side with realistic 3D representations of the fabrics.

“Users can roam around in destinations like the original Silk Route marketplace of Sultanhan Caravanserai, stand immersed in its ancient architectural stone arches, walk through floating jeans and fabrics, ‘touch’ the garments to see the textures up close, and approach an ORTA beacon that transforms into the virtual showroom, where you can engage more intimately with the materials in a 3D setting,” said Deniz Mutlu, marketing specialist at ORTA. “The scenic route also includes the enchanted terrains of Cappadocia; the snow-capped majestic Mount Erciyes; Tuzla Lake and the lush fields surrounding Kayseri, the home of ORTA’s world-class factory and ORTA Lab.”

Muse VR calls the setup a “Six degrees of freedom” experience, referring to the specific number of motions that a rigid body is able to freely move in three-dimensional space. Viewers can virtually “walk” into the space, move around and touch fabrics in a hyper-real, lifelike engagement.

“We were excited to collaborate with ORTA on developing this unique VR denim experience. The challenge for us was to bring the fabrics to life working in a new genre of storytelling via VR,” said Talat Alkan, founder of Muse VR. “Trying to tell engaging information of ORTA’s quality products among beautiful destinations, while meeting physically in a virtual world, getting in touch, collaborating, communicating with avatars, feeling the beauty of architecture, landing and immersing in another world was a thrill and a challenge. Exploring opportunities of interactive storytelling with ORTA in a new idea and felt like a total adrenaline rush for me and my team.”

ORTA plans to expand its digital offerings in different ways in the future in its aim to create the most eco-conscious fabrics with 100 percent transparency, according to Aki.

Learn more about ORTA’s New Denim Route, a supplier and resource platform for everyone who loves denim. Learn more about the VR experience on YouTube, and discover more about ORTA BLU at Ortablu.org/transparency.