Sustainability

Sustainability is our key objective at Ekpen. We aim to carry out our production processes in a way that sustains and protects the environment for every living being on the planet. For this reason, we closely monitor and analyse all aspects of production, from raw materials to garment delivery.

We strongly believe in the efficient use of energy, water, and natural resources. Our goal is to reduce waste and to re-use and re-cycle. Ekpen and all our manufacturing partners follow the HIGG Index.

We ensure that the products we use and the ways we dispose of waste do not harm the environment or human health. Our workers are trained to increase their awareness about their rights, responsibilities, health and safety rules, areas of responsibility and management systems. We encourage colleagues to be aware of their individual responsibilities and to support Ekpen in our sustainability goals.

The HIGG Index is the self-assessment standard that enables brands and manufacturers to measure the performance of a business or product at every stage of sustainability in the textile industry. It provides a holistic perspective to companies, to allow them to make meaningful improvements that protect employee welfare and the environment. The scoring system ensures transparency among brands and manufacturers. Ekpen is part of the HIGG Index scoring system in both the environmental FEM and social FSLM. These assessments are upheld annually by third party verifiers and the scores are available upon request.

SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEM

At Ekpen, our goal is to minimise the impact caused by our production, for a clean, sustainable environment.

We have started harvesting solar energy with our newly installed 505 kWp to DC power system. This will allow us to produce 713.2 MW of energy per year, meeting our entire electricity consumption, and cut 279.57 tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) emissions.

RAIN HARVESTING SYSTEM

The textile industry uses more water than many other sectors, due to huge quantities of water used in the washing and dyeing processes.

Our Rainwater Project will be instrumental in reducing our water consumption. We opened a new building in March 2021, complete with a rainwater harvesting roof system. The rainwater gathered here is stored in a reservoir and passes through a filtration system before being used in production.

CONSERVING THE BUYUK MENDERES AREA

We love our home region. The Büyük Menderes Basin in Turkey has five wetlands and the Büyük Menderes River delta is an internationally recognised Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) for breeding and wintering water birds.

The cities Denizli and Usak in the area, are home to 60% of Turkey’s textile and leather exports.

The region is under threat, as the river delta has reached critical pollution levels.

From the food we eat to the fibres we wear, every living thing relies on water. Climate change, population growth and changing consumption patterns have put fresh water systems at greater risk.

For this reason, the World Wildlife Fund has developed a joint project with government, businesses and communities to ensure a sustainable future for the beautiful Büyük Menderes region.

“Through the implementation of Water Stewardship this programme aims to serve as a model in the conservation and sustainable use of water resources that can be scaled up to other basins in Turkey.” – WWF

REFUGEE WOMEN IN TEXTILE

According to our Diversity and Inclusion Policy, all workers should feel valued regardless of age, gender, disability, religion, ethnic origin, and social background. Our Women in Textiles project promotes the inclusion of refugee people in business life by training and employing women of different ethnic and social backgrounds. We work with Denizli Public Education Centre and the International Labour Organization to train ten refugee women, with no prior experience, in the field of textiles. At the end of the courses, some trainees are employed by our company and others find work in different areas of our production network. For this project Ekpen was awarded the National Sustainable Business Award in 2020.

OPEN DIALOGUE IN THE WORKPLACE

We aim to create a peaceful and happy working environment through open communication with our employees. The Suggestion and Complaints Committee is formed by democratically elected worker representatives and we hold regular discussions with them to tackle issues raised by employees.

We welcome these meetings as they are a safe space to discuss problems and create an inclusive workplace for everyone to enjoy. We strongly believe that customer satisfaction depends on employee happiness.

WOMEN'S EMPOWERMENT PRINCIPLES (WEPS)​

The aim of this important global initiative is to empower women to participate in all sectors and levels of economic life.

The WEPs platform was created in partnership with the United Nations Global Compact and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women). It provides the private sector with important points to consider to ensure gender equality in the workplace, the markets and society at large.

Ekpen are proud signatories to the Women’s Empowerment Principles.

THE WAGE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

The Wage Management System aims to ensure that colleagues receive a fair wage that protects their employment and guarantees their rights. To provide a living wage in compliance with national wage regulations.

With Ekpen Textile Fair Living Wage Project we:

EARLY DETECTION OF CANCER PROJECT

We established this project to inform our female employees about the importance of early diagnosis of uterine, cervical and breast cancers, since women make up 88% of our total workforce.

All our employees receive free early diagnosis examinations at private hospitals. This is how we protect our workers from these common preventable cancers.

EDUCATION SUPPORT PROGRAMME

  • Scholarship Programme for Ekpen Textile Colleagues
  • Ekpen Textile Supporting Schools in Need Programme
  • Ekpen Self Improvement Education Seminars
  • Ekpen Vocational Training Programme

With Ekpen Textile Education Support Programme we strive to increase the education levels of our colleagues. We want to give everyone the opportunity to learn and grow which helps to transform lives and contributes to the well-being of our communities. We create a positive working environment that we hope sets an example for future generations.