Orta Anadolu: Finding value in flawed fabrics

Creating new revenue streams from the fashion industry’s ‘seconds’

case study

The Challenge

Orta Anadolu, is one of the biggest denim manufacturers in the world and currently produces over 60 million meters of denim in its Turkish and Bahraini factories. Transparency, commitment and trustworthiness are key elements of Orta’s philosophy. These elements are clear in their promise to be a leading denim brand that continues to pursue sustainable production.


They have discovered that they are losing millions of metres of denim per year to small flaws from fast paced innovation, otherwise defined by the industry as ‘seconds’. Sadly, this problem isn’t unique to Orta Anadolu. In fact, an estimated 750 million metres in the denim industry alone, are considered ‘seconds’. This tremendous amount of wasted denim is being sold at a fraction of its actual value, undermining the entire industry. Orta Anadolu has set out to find out what they can we do differently to reduce this ‘waste’.

The Approach

During the signature event of our Circle Textiles Programme, Beyond Green, organised by Circle Economy and the Amsterdam Fashion Institute, Orta Anadolu was brave enough to put their real-life zero waste challenge on the table. Together with experts and ambitious AMFI students, they knuckled down and combined their brainpower in an intense 2.5 hour circular fashion hackathon.

“As Orta,  we are proud  to have taken part in the Circle  Economy’s zero waste economy workshop…Everyone was so engaged and ready to take action no matter how big the problem. Even though, we deal with complicated issues, the people in the room were enthusiastic and that reflected on the energy of the whole day. We  aim for a greater, sustainable and  stimulating future and we believe that like-minded  people can lead the way for a brighter future.”  

– Orta Anadolu, Lead Sponsor Beyond Green

The group dedicated to Orta Anadolu’s challenge came up with a multi-faceted approach to dealing with the ‘seconds’ of the fashion industry. A suggested solution was the development of a detection device, that can map defects on a fabric. Using this digital blueprint CMT could cut around the defects and maximise the use of ‘seconds’. However this technology would only solve a portion of the problem. Most importantly the industry needs to work together and create a demand for ‘seconds’ in the market, which would ultimate bolster the value of this otherwise lost resource.  


This visual was created by Circle Economy’s visual designer Kay van ‘t Hof. Click the case studies below to see the visuals and read the results from the other three Beyond Green hackathon challenges.

Orta Anadolu shares in our ambition to make the circular economy a reality.
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