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Orta Commits to 100 Percent Sustainable Cotton by 2050

You’ve heard of a company’s footprint, but have you seen one with a handprint?

Orta Anadolu’s sustainability division, Orta Blu, celebrated its ongoing commitment toward its sustainable sourcing and the circular economy during an event in New York’s Meatpacking District on Wednesday.

The message of the evening was to go beyond traditional sustainability and to place a “handprint” on the future of denim sourcing—the idea being that while a footprint represents what is taken away, a handprint represents what was given. In order to achieve this goal, Orta Blu announced their aim to use 100 percent sustainable cotton for their denim by the year 2050.

To satisfy the conditions of Orta’s pledge, all cotton used to produce their denim must come from BCI, recycled or organic sources. Additionally, the mill pledged that 95 percent of its raw materials would be sustainable with regenerated fibers.

Orta Blu has been on a tour of major industry centers recently to promote its new initiative, landing in Amsterdam, Los Angeles, New York, Istanbul and Hong Kong. Each event is represented by a certain theme and for New York, Orta chose “Raw.” A theme exemplified by Orta’s own insistence on improving its production of raw materials like cotton.

Banners around the dining area celebrated Orta’s accomplishments in that field and others, such as their Zero-Max denim line which they say includes no cotton and cuts down on water usage by 98 percent and reduces carbon emissions by 60 percent compared to traditional denim.

To send their point home, Orta Blu employed famed Danish Chef Mads Refslund to create a “raw” experience that included dinner options like an entree made entirely of raw beef, sunchokes and sauerkraut.

A small crowd of under 100 also enjoyed an open bar and a DJ playing contemporary hits under an Orta Blu banner. Afterward, groups of friends posed for photographers in front of a ripped denim canvas, presumably made with Orta Anadolu denim.

At the end of the dinner was a toast to sustainability and the circular economy. For Orta, it’s off to Hong Kong and Istanbul to ply its trade with a different audience.