While some companies have had to pause sustainability efforts in the face of the pandemic, Isko isn’t one of them. From a product standpoint, innovations have been ongoing. From a social standpoint, the denim producer has been able to evade layoffs and has even doled out additional financial contributions to team members at a time of need.
With sustainability woven into the core of what it does, it would be difficult for Isko to detach itself from efforts to improve its eco-impact—pandemic or not.
In June, the company launched its first Sustainability Impact Report outlining ambitious targets to continuously develop and improve its environmental footprint and its end-to-end responsible production process.
It’s the company’s “commitment almanac” Ebru Ozkucuk Guler, senior CSR and sustainability executive at Isko, says. In Sourcing Journal’s latest “On the Ground” video, Guler said there’s one key reason the industry keeps making missteps with sustainability.
“People in the value chain that are sharing data still think that it’s about ‘know-how sharing,’ but it’s not. It’s not the only case to inform the brands or the retailers that you serve, you have to inform your supply chain that’s it’s not about ‘know-how sharing,’ it’s about success-story sharing,” Guler said. “We’ve gotten positive results because all our old vendors across all tiers—working with us for a minimum of 11 years—they trust us.”
One of the company’s recent success stories in sustainability-driven innovations is its R-TWO technology, which is designed to produce responsible performance fabrics. R-TWO includes textile concepts made with a mix or blend of reused cotton, obtained from production loss with Content Claim Standard Certification (CCS), and recycled polyester certified to Recycled Claim Standard (RCS) or Global Recycle Standard (GRS), depending on the percentage used.
“Our brother company, Sanko Group, gives us a big advantage, because as a vertical structure, we can start the innovation in the fiber level, in the yarn level,” Guler said. “In that process, we can limit what we are using. From the yarn-to-fiber process, you have to spin. When you spin, you have a loss, but this is not waste. At the cut and fit level, we can track and monitor what loss we have. Around every 100 kg, you have 10 percent loss. This is a huge number, so we put it back in the spinning process.”
It’s the kind of thinking and action that will separate sustainable companies from those that can’t innovate to keep up with the times. But Isko, as Guler outlines in On the Ground, may have discovered even more ways to widen that gap.
Check out more in Sourcing Journal’s new ‘On the Ground’ video series, which brings new and needed voices in the supply chain to the fore.