Yesim Tekstil, one of Turkey's largest clothing and textile manufacturers, has signed a strategic partnership with cotton supplier Kipas to supply it with Better Cotton Initiative cotton.

As part of the move, Yesim Tekstil says it is committed to using fabric containing a larger proportion of Better Cotton.

Cotton certified under the Better Cotton Initiative and produced in pilot areas in the city of Kahramanmaras, will come onto the market in the next six months.

"Not harming the environment, ensuring production is environmentally friendly and making sure that these activities are sustainable are the priorities of our company and our customers," said Yesim Tekstil CEO Senol Sankaya. "With this strategic agreement we are committing to use yarn produced from cotton with BCI certificate and direct our customers to use the same."

Kipas Holding chairman Hanefi Öksüz said that the company had been monitoring Yesim's impact on the environment and said the company is happy to enter into a strategic partnership for Better Cotton certified products.

"Recently we started to receive demand for Better Cotton (BCI) certified products from many customers but primarily from Yesim Tekstil. We have started this to meet this demand and to make environmentally friendly production without depending on India, Brazil and Pakistan. At the first stage we started cotton production according to BCI criteria in the pilot regions that were selected in Kahramanmaras," he said.

As part of establishing a BCI operations unit in Turkey, the cotton will recieve BCI certification. BCI's operations will continue under the leadership of the National Cotton Council, which is bringing improvements such as better working conditions and eradicating child labour. BCI producers are also working to produce cotton using less chemicals and water, which also decreases costs.

"Farmers are expected to join yearly evaluation meetings and every country to produce its own methods in accordance with special conditions of every country," said Öksü.