Ebru Ozaydin, senior vice president of sales and marketing of Artistic Milliners, brings a global perspective to the denim supply chain.
Ebru Ozaydin, senior vice president of sales and marketing of Artistic Milliners, speaks a global language in denim.
Based in New York City, where she helped establish the company’s new showroom-meets-creative space in 2019, the Turkey-native is responsible for developing strategic denim fabric and garment sales in the U.S. and Canada for the Pakistan company, as well as implementing worldwide integrated marketing strategies.
Unofficially, Ozaydin brings a sense of community and collaboration to the denim supply chain through her participation in projects like the development of the world’s first Gold Certified C2C denim fabric, and by sharing Artistic Milliners’ message of female empowerment.
“It is so valuable for me to spread the word in our industry; sharing the projects dedicated to improving women’s lives through education and training, and advancement opportunities,” she said.
Why are you drawn to denim?
After I graduated as a chemical engineer, I was offered job in three different sectors: consumer goods, tire manufacturing and denim. I was pretty sure about starting my career in the consumer goods industry as I did not have any single idea about denim. Nevertheless, I went to the job interview, then asked for a quick mill tour…and boom! That tour changed all my life. I was amazed with the creative process. Then I spent the next six months literally on the floors of the factory, pacing every single inch to learn how denim is made.
How can the supply chain improve the way it communicates sustainable technology to brands?
First and foremost, we have to educate ourselves and the teams we work with. Sustainability must not be considered as a corporate department—it should be a part of everyone’s job. It should be taken seriously by C-suite, boards and investors.
Narrating the story of how sustainability links to business growth using benchmark data is essential. Wherever possible, targets should be science-based and in line with global objectives. By setting clear standards and getting robust data, suppliers should be encouraged to clarify the progress they're making on specific sustainability challenges, but the expectations must be realistic. Brands are sharing the same supply chains so they can set common standards and best practices for sustainability performance and allow suppliers to be evaluated on the same metrics.
Finally, credibility is everything. Brands must be careful about being easily sold on fake statements. They should ask for solid evidence through independent and reliable assessment and accreditation institutions. Brands and suppliers need to try to understand each other on business challenges, offer support and develop long-term relationships.
How do you predict the denim supply chain will change in the next 10 years?
We will be seeing less centralized manufacturing and more on-demand production thanks to new manufacturing technologies. That will avoid overproduction and would save massive amounts of raw materials and natural resources.
Consumers will become increasingly savvy about learning the product they are purchasing, the material-safety and its impact on the environment. That will make the brands push the sustainability into the supply chain by changing the design process as well as manufacturing methods. More companies will adopt supply chain transparency and it will become a powerful tool for promoting corporate accountability for workers’ rights in global supply chains.
And companies will start to see significant growth and do cost saving by managing resources, optimizing processes, increasing productivity by improving environmental, social and economic performance throughout their supply chains. That will become the competitive advantage.
What makes the denim supply chain unique from other apparel sectors?
Denim supply chain is complex but closely connected from the very beginning to the end. Due to heavy wet processing in fabric making and garment manufacturing, water consumption and waste water management are two major issues that our industry focuses on and makes efforts to decrease the impact on environment. From the farm level in growing natural fibers, to manufacturing of synthetic ones that mainly come from oil, the denim supply chain uses huge amount of energy as well.
What’s exciting you about denim in 2019?
Zero-waste design is gaining importance. More brands are embracing and promoting the transparency and consumers are responding to such efforts. Collaborative initiatives are starting to work on setting industry standards that will make life easy for everybody in the supply chain for decreasing the impact on environment. We’re seeing heavy R&D investment in sustainable innovation, companies setting long-term goals and sharing their strategies along with tangible results with their customers. And gender equality, women empowerment and youth development are becoming major development areas that companies make valuable efforts.