Turkey has succeeded in creating a blooming underwear industry, overcoming the handicaps of a small domestic customer base, distant export markets and high costs. Much of the credit goes to the lingerie industry itself, which has adopted high tech manufacturing methods to create quality and cost-competitive underwear products, made strategic achievements in overseas companies and focused on key markets where medium-sized and small companies can be major players.
Turkish lingerie companies have invested greatly in the best machinery which technology can offer, have set up active research and development (R&D) units to be at the cutting edge of innovation, and have altered themselves from a purely manufacturing-oriented underwear sector into a more diverse, multinational industry, offering customers complete solutions including development of materials, design and full collections.
Some Turkish underwear companies have established independent brand names, but they are frequently the manufacturers behind the prestige label. Research by the Export Promotion Center of Turkey shows that in the lingerie sector, more than 80% of exports are sold using the private label method, meaning that their underwear products are sold under a different company’s lingerie brand name.
Anil lingerie, located in Istanbul, which makes high-quality ladies’ intimate apparel, men’s underwear, bras, babydolls, bra sets, panties, strings, sells its lingerie products to leading brands in UK, France and Netherlands. One other well known company, Lady Eleni lingerie, also located in Istanbul, which creates bra sets and bras, counts as its customers high-fashion designers.
Many Turkish subcontractors to bigger companies like Anil lingerie and Lady Eleni lingerie are already eager to become private-label exporters in their own right.