BY HANDAN SEMA CEYLAN
Sun Tekstil, which designs, manufactures, and sells women’s clothing collections for global brands, has is set to launch two design offices in Germany, the U.S., or Italy, according to Elvan Unluturk, Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of Sun Tekstil. The company, which already has overseas design centers in the UK and Spain, aims to accelerate its exports with these new offices. “We have manufactured products for the U.S., Germany, and Italy for many years. We decided to work with larger retailers to grow our business in women’s clothing in 2009. That’s when we started to set up design offices,” Unluturk noted.
Founded in 1987, Sun Tekstil employs 16 people in total at its design centers in London and Leicester, which were set up through its subsidiary Sun Textile LTD UK. The firm then opened another design office in La Coruna, Spain, where it employs 12 people. “Now we have another office in Izmir. We offer all innovations in fabric, accessories, and product techniques at these offices. Monthly we develop over 1,500 new designs. Our R&D power in fabric is the most important one. We have a separate team for this,” Unluturk said.
Another subsidiary for the fabric business
Sun Tekstil manufactures 3 million units of clothing monthly at its production plants in Torbali Izmir and Manisa. Moreover, the firm’s fabric subsidiary Ekoten Tekstil Sanayi ve Ticaret AS produces knitted fabrics and sells fabric collections. “Our companies are separate profit centers. Sun Tekstil can purchase 25% of Ekoten’s production. Ekoten sells products to both Sun Tekstil and its rivals. 40% of Ekoten’s production consists of activewear fabrics,” Unluturk noted.
96% of sales are exported
Sun Tekstil, which completed its first export in 1989, currently exports 96% of its sales. The firm aims to further increase exports with the new design offices. “We directly export to at least 10 countries. Our export countries reach nearly 100 with the global network of the brands to which we provide service,” Unluturk added. The company exports 60% of the 3 million units it produces per month to Spain. “The UK and France are our second and third markets. We are working to develop the U.S. market now. Our average export price per kilogram is USD 2-3 higher than Turkey’s average. It hovers around USD 21-22 for clothing,” Unluturk added.
The company, which has a turnover of TRY 2.2bn, has 170 suppliers approved by Turkey for 90% of its sales, while 10% of sales come from the firm’s capacity. “We are responsible for our suppliers due to our customers abroad. We examine their corporate approaches and ethical values. We employ 11 people to audit this. Another team, consisting of four people prepares our sustainability roadmap,” Unluturk highlighted.
60% of IPO revenues to be invested
Although Sun Tekstil applied to the Capital Market Boards of Turkey (SPK) for an initial public offering (IPO) on March 25, the company has set up its organizational structure as a public company for the last 10 years. The firm plans to allocate 50-60% of revenue obtained from the IPO to investment expenditures, including major investments in sustainability. “As a group, we are talking about an ‘army’ consisting of 2,300 people. Such a company, all five firms, must be sustainable,” Unluturk said.
The company will use 15-20% of the IPO revenue for operation capital, 25-30% for reducing financing costs, and 3-5% for R&D and P&D. The firm also plans to distribute at least 30% of distributable profit as cash profit share distribution. While Sun Tekstil plans to offer 17.26% of its capital to the public, this rate is likely to reach 20.71% with additional sales.
Sun Tekstil invested TRY 61m in 2021
Sustainability investments come to the forefront of Sun Tekstil’s planned investments that will be made with 50-60% of the revenues to be earned from IPO. The firm, for instance, is working with a startup to recycle 95% of the water used at its dyeing plant. The company’s R&D center, which received ministerial approval in 2017, has completed 335 projects to date and is currently working on 41 projects. “Our R&D center, where 18 researchers work, supports our technical operations. We carry out projects with universities and associations,” said Elvan Unluturk, Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of Sun Tekstil. “Moreover, we’ll invest in better machinery. We are making continual investments. Our investments reached TRY 61.1m in 2021. Now, we want to make another investment in Torbali, in Izmir,” Unluturk added.