Naveena Denim Mills, executive director of global sales and marketing
Aydan Tuzun
Naveena Denim Mills, executive director of global sales and marketing

Deep Dive

An economics major at Istanbul University, Aydan Tuzun didn’t envision a career in denim back in her teenage years. But after 19 years at Turkish textile mill Orta Anadolu and now serving as the executive director of sales and marketing at Pakistan-based Naveena Denim Mills, she’s become a fixture in the industry.

At Naveena, she’s focused on elevating the profile of Pakistan’s denim sector, serving as the point person for conversations related to the mill’s latest sustainable projects. She’s an outspoken champion of the mill’s advancements such as its Hollistic Denim collection, which combines the latest innovations from partners throughout the industry, including organic and recycled fibers and low-impact dye processes. She’s also known to speak candidly about the mill’s hardships—specifically regarding its experience navigating Covid-19, which she said required a long recovery period for the business.

With a sharp focus on sustainability, the marketing maven does her part to educate those in the denim supply chain and beyond on the shared responsibility to create and invest in garments that are responsibly made. “Just because some clothes are very cheap, it doesn’t mean that someone is not paying a high price, whether it is our planet, the animals exploited or the many workers who don’t get what they deserve,” she said.

What is the biggest misconception that consumers have about sustainable denim?

Some people still believe that ethical and more sustainable clothes fail to reflect trend-worthy design. Thanks to advances in technology, we can produce high-performance, functional and smart denim with sustainable materials and processes.

What can the denim industry do to ensure a positive post-pandemic rebound?

The pandemic shed light on sustainability concerns, increasing consumer activism. This is an opportunity for the denim industry to join forces for industry-wide action. But first we need a consensus on what it means to be sustainable. Today, many companies spend time, energy and money on safety and sustainability certifications, but there’s still no high-level awareness or data collection on the industry. To build a more sustainable supply chain, the denim industry needs an overarching standard.

Skinny jeans: Over or a new staple?

Skinny jeans may be taking a backseat to straighter styles in popularity, but they can still look current. The key is in the styling. Although much has been said about the end of skinny jeans as we know them, they just refuse to quit that easily.

How can denim retail improve?

Denim retail should place an emphasis on education and empowering consumers to make environmentally conscious decisions. I certainly hope—and I think it is already happening—that retail will multiply initiatives in this regard from producing more eco-conscious denim to promoting it and acquiring a loyal customer base.

How many pairs of jeans do you own?

I own around 50 pairs of jeans that I have purchased over the years, and still wear most of them.

Which jeans do you wear the most, and why?

I tend to wear more timeless silhouettes in quality fabrics that I feel good in.