Regenerative Cotton Is Most Pragmatic Way to Stop Climate Change

Founded in 1953, Orta transformed from a spinning & weaving company to a denim manufacturer in 1985. Today, Orta operates in Turkey with its 1000+ employees, creating a platform for leading manufacturers to step up and reclaim a denim industry where more aesthetics leads to more ethics. Orta’s Sustainability Consultant N Sebla Önder dwells at length on a holistic approach into creating eco-positive denim.

Long Story, Cut Short
  • At Orta, it is all about conscious consumption and regenerative production for a better tomorrow.
  • Orta is looking at regenerative futures and creating a world that is going to be liveable and more optimistic
  • Curated specially for the PV Berlin Show, the 5616 now has even more versatility and a broader spectrum of infinite possibilities by adding to it stretch, organic cotton, hemp and new colours.
THE ORTA DNA
THE ORTA DNA Orta combines art, technology and sustainability to create traceable, durable and circular products with positive handprint. Since 2018, Orta has been sharing the intel of your denim’s lifecycle in each garment with the science-based lifecycle assessment methodology through QR codes on product hangtags. With these QR codes, it is also sharing the fibre origin countries of each Orta fabric. Orta

How significant is Denim PV for you? What are you looking forward to? And what new are you offering at Denim PV? What are the challenges and changes that you expect to see in denim sourcing (both as fabrics / finished products)?
After two years of online meetings, we are excited to be back on the road be there to network and show our designs. We have a couple of exciting things to showcase in Berlin. We launched our NFT called ‘The Blueskyer NFT’ together with our new collection ‘iamablueskyer’ during Kingpins Amsterdam last month. We are looking forward to bringing them to Berlin audience as well.

Orta’s ‘iamablueskyer’ collection is an expression of how we like to design the future we want to live in. We are looking at regenerative futures and creating a world that is going to be liveable and more optimistic. And denim is right there and Orta is right there. And ‘iamablueskyer’ is the way of saying ‘’I believe in a regenerative clean, more beautiful future and I’m contributing, I’m part of that change.’’ And part of that change, yes, everybody here at Orta, the person who walks around your denim is part of that change. So, it’s about conscious consumption and regenerative production, so that we can have a better tomorrow.

Engineered with natural materials, the ‘Breath’ family offers Torque, the magical stretch that uses zero elastane and petroleum-based fibres, vegan-certified denim, Gen R with 100% regenerative cotton, Gen H with eco-conscious hemp, and Huxley in trans-seasonal efficiency with pre and post-consumer recycled cotton and limitless aesthetic. ‘Conscious Luxe’ offers adaptable, biodegradable, softly structural, no-compromise denim with a glamorous luxury story. ‘Inner Sense’ serves denim happiness with soft, slouchy, cashmere-like touch and a range of blends and finishes that are the most-advanced eco-tech in the industry. And, ‘Blu Narratives’ offers wildly authentic denim that uses flashbacks of textured twill with a sustainable handprint.

The ORTA Blueskyer NFT features the 100% regenerative denim utilitarian suit rising from a technorganic garden towards the blue skies above. The Blueskyer is the first NFT representing Orta’s commitment to creating and supporting the #iamablueskyer movement that captures the spirit of the new generation of designers, artists, creators, climate advocates and more who aim to cancel climate change, eliminate waste, rewild biodiversity and improve social equity.

True to its climate-positive mission, the Orta Blueskyer NFT is minted by Tezos, an energy-efficient proof of stake blockchain whose carbon footprint after 50 million transactions “was similar to that of only 17 people,” according to the company. To understand this efficiency, most other blockchains’ energy demands today rival those of nation states.

Curated specially for the PV Berlin Show, we are excited to be showcasing our ‘Custodians’ family with denim lovers for the first time—a tribute to our all-time favourite Orta fabric 5616 which also reflects the Orta heritage, ‘Custodians’ fabrics are all inspired by the original 5616 and is a beautiful family group that resonates with everything that we all have always loved about 5616. But now with even more versatility and a broader spectrum of infinite possibilities: through adding stretch, organic cotton, hemp and new colours.

The new EU Textiles Strategy has been announced. How is it going to affect you? What specific steps are you taking to ensure that you adhere to the new regulations that have already come in, and the ones that are likely to take shape in the near future?
Well, Orta is known with its long-lasting good quality authentic denim fabrics. It is in our DNA to combine art, technology and sustainability to create traceable, durable and circular products with positive handprint. In that sense, the EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles supports everything we believe and act on from the first day and aims to create a greener and more modern sector that is more resistant to global instabilities. The Strategy addresses that—textiles should be designed to make them last longer, easier to repair and recycle, as well as contain recycled content. We are a great advocate of long-lasting, good quality denim fabrics that stand the test of time. We incorporate recycled fibres into Orta fabrics as well to tackle textile waste problem and minimise our design footprint.

To tackle greenwashing, the Strategy states that products should be coupled with Digital Product Passports sharing clearer and right information to empower consumers and raise awareness about sustainable fashion and use. Since 2018, Orta has been sharing the intel of your denim’s lifecycle in each garment with the science-based lifecycle assessment (LCA) methodology through QR codes on product hangtags. With these QR codes, we are also sharing the fibre origin countries of each Orta fabric.

With the new look, we are now sharing the actual impact of each Orta fabric on five key environmental parameters: global warming potential indicating climate change impact, water use, land use, eutrophication potential indicating water pollution and abiotic resource depletion indicating non-renewable resource scarcity. The LCA performance is also compared to standard denim explained via daily life examples for easy understanding.

Orta
ECO-POSITIVE Orta takes a holistic approach into creating the most eco-positive denim. Steps are taken at the organisational level to minimise overall footprint, such as projects on energy efficiency and health and safety. It also works on product specific innovations such as using organic cotton, eco-conscious hemp, recycled cotton and biodegradable PLA as an alternative to petroleum-based PET fibre. Orta

As a denim company, what kind of information or knowledge do you seek to help you source/manufacture earth-friendly denim? What is the focus on sustainability in your company? What steps do you take at the B2B level and the retail point to help the consumer make an informed ‘sustainable’ choice?
We take a holistic approach into creating the most eco-positive denim. There are steps we take at the organisational level to minimise our overall footprint, such as projects on energy efficiency and health and safety. We also work on product specific innovations such as using organic cotton, eco-conscious hemp, recycled cotton and biodegradable PLA as an alternative to petroleum-based PET fibre.

One of the last advancements we focus on is regenerative farming. Orta firmly believes that regenerative cotton is the modern and most pragmatic way to help stop climate change before it's too late.  It is a blue-sky solution made viable and accessible through regenerative agriculture, and we are getting behind it to help this movement grow!

Regenerative agriculture is contextual, place-based and nuanced practice, and calls for a holistic systems approach that puts humans and ecosystems at its core. The holistic approach takes soil health, biodiversity, carbon sequestration and social justice into consideration. It is not a new concept, but an acknowledgement that our ancestors, indigenous and native peoples have been employing this mindset to growing food and fibre for centuries. Regenerative agriculture focusses on working with nature, limiting costly artificial inputs and mimicking natural ecosystems within an agricultural setting. However, there are some key principles which are consistent no matter where in the world it is being implemented: crop rotation, cover crops, minimum or no tilling, minimising external inputs, composting, and animal integration.

Regenerative methods improve biodiversity, contribute to water availability and quality, achieve healthy soils, support climate resilience, and improve livelihoods. Healthy soil helps draw carbon back in the ground; hence regenerative agriculture has the potential to change the way we grow cotton fiber and restore the health of our soil and climate.

Orta’S commitment to 100% regenerative cotton starts with regenerative farming. We started working on creating a regenerative cotton ecosystem via our partners from all around the world. We closely work with IPUD, the strategic partner of Better Cotton in Turkey to establish and empower regenerative agriculture systems locally. We will donate the revenues from our NFT sales to IPUD to support their regenerative agriculture initiative in Turkey.

Orta is securing a regenerative cotton certification from the industry-leading Regenagri. Regenagri is an international regenerative agriculture programme for securing the health of the land and the wealth of those who live on it. It supports farms transitioning to holistic farming, increasing soil health, encouraging biodiversity, reducing green-house gas emissions and sequestering CO2. Regenagri Content Standard (RegenagriCS) certification verifies that the regenerative cotton we use is a net-positive—a bluesky fabric certification that can also be used by our brand partners.

One of the last advancements we focus on is regenerative farming. Orta firmly believes that regenerative cotton is the modern and most pragmatic way to help stop climate change before it's too late. It is a blue-sky solution made viable and accessible through regenerative agriculture, and we are getting behind it to help this movement grow.

N Sebla Önder
N Sebla Önder / Sustainability Consultant / Orta
 
 
  • Dated posted: May 20, 2022
  • Last modified: May 20, 2022