Calik Denim, CEO
Serhat Karaduman
Calik Denim, CEO

Deep Dive

Despite Calik Denim’s role as a manufacturer of quality denim fabrics, the mill wants itself to be seen as something much more—a true thought leader in the space. Following a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Calik brought back the Ever Evolving Talks event that it launched in 2018, hosting the show in Amsterdam. Topics throughout the event cover important industry issues, such as how brands should adapt and respond to the pandemic, sustainability and even more digital-focused areas including the metaverse and Web 3.0.

Serhat Karaduman, CEO of Calik Denim, identified Ever Evolving Talks as need to bring the industry back to normalcy, while at the same time determining its future path. “The fashion business landscape is ever evolving. The only constant is change,” Karaduman said. “On this fast-tracked commercial superhighway, we need a moment of space and calm—a moment to reconnect, rethink and reboot. Ever Evolving Talks by Calik Denim is one such moment.”

It certainly is good timing to have these discussions, especially given the constant dialogue about sustainability, circularity and in 2022, many macroeconomic issues that could impact consumer spending. In that vein, Ever Evolving Talks serves as a platform to guide and inspire positive transformation of the industry and “help us to think outside of the box, to take a break from the chaos and hustle of daily life, to understand what is going on and to determine how we can [be] better.”

What denim buzzword do you think is overused? And what would you replace it with?

Circularity is overused, just like the word sustainability. I prefer "transparency" instead. Both our industry stakeholders and the end consumer now prefer transparency in every field. 

What do you wish more consumers knew about the jeans they buy?

I wish they knew that there is a great labor and workforce behind it. Denim is a product that goes through many processes from the moment that its raw material cotton enters the factory and is woven with the labor of dozens of different people. It can take much longer than expected for a product to go to the shelf.

In the background of value-added denim production lies great technology and engineering consisting of large teams. Factories must be aware of responsible production from the design of the product to its shipment, while teams of thousands of people must work hard to produce quality products.

If you had one request for denim brands, what would that be?

They must realize we need to be more open to cooperation in all fields in order to move the industry forward, raise awareness of the end consumer and evolve into a more sustainable denim world in every sense.

What can other apparel categories learn from the denim industry?

Denim is a constantly developing and evolving category that can be fed from different disciplines such as art. In this context, it has a structure that is inspired by innovations and at the same time can be inspiring. I also think that denim is a pioneer in the clothing industry due to its focus on responsible production.

What was your most recent denim purchase?

Recently, I bought myself a pair of raw jeans with comfort elasticity.

What is your first denim memory?

When I first saw the indigo dyeing stage in the factory, I was very impressed by the change from green to blue during the formation of denim’s unique color. I always knew that denim was different, but I'll never forget my excitement when I first saw it turn from green to blue in the coloration process.

Denim is truly an art! I liken denim to canvas—denim can turn into any form a designer imagines. According to the vision of the artist, you can create a work of art beyond your dreams with denim. It is a truly original and free space.