Published On: Fri, Aug 12th, 2011

Turkish Orta Anadolu Denim Company Saves Lives in Lebanon

DENIMAnadolu has provided denim fabric to a socially conscious, value-added resource that has enabled the Women’s Association in Akkar to build a sustainable manufacturing for providing uniforms for children in need around the world

The company’s creative agency in New York developed a social mission concept for Orta. Its target is to engage people globally on sustainability as well as social missions.Orta Anadolu is a 55-year-old global textile company based in Istanbul whose products are being made into jeans through an intense manufacturing process in Lebanon.

At Orta, they have had a sustainability policy and social programs in place for many years. In 2010, they realized they needed an online platform to publicize their social missions and initiate collaborating together with their clients and an online community to improve their programs. An information center was required together with a social hub where they could define their social missions.

Kodezero, the company’s creative agency in New York, developed a social mission concept for Orta. Its target is to engage people globally on sustainability as well as social missions.

Eco-disasters everywhere around the world need attention, and with the aid of today’s social networks – such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. – social awareness spreads quickly with advanced information accessible to everyone. Corporate companies are in a position to be responsible for building a transparent and clean supply chain, since consumers are well-informed and perceptive on what is happening around the world.

Orta Blu, the sustainability division of the Orta Anadolu company, has defined a social mission involving the village of Wadi al Jamus, or WAJ, in Lebanon, UNICEF and African schools in Lamu, Kenya. The denim from Orta provides a value-added resource that enables the Women’s Association in Akkar, Lebanon, to operate a sustainable manufacturing unit for producing uniforms for children in need around the world.

In many small villages of Lebanon, children are kept out of school; instead they help with house chores or work. In the village of Wadi Al Jamus, five women formed an association called “Al uswa el Hasana” (An Excellent Example of Conduct) that runs a literacy program to help local girls remain in or return to school. Sewing machines provided by UNICEF are used in creating the denim clothing, from which the proceeds are financing the initial program.

Orta Blu launched an online competition with SCAD, a New York-based design school, to create the best and most efficient school uniform. This campaign enabled the Women Association in Lebanon to manufacture the uniforms by donating better quality equipment, instructing them by giving them official training and has even connected them to the Internet for more efficient communication.

Along with creating a social online connection between the African and Lebanese children and the design school students, Orta has shipped some of its most advanced fabrics to be manufactured in WAJ Lebanon as uniforms for kids both in schools in the Akkar region and Africa.

Great accomplishments

More than 80 girls have participated in the school project. WAJ has become able to run a denim textile manufacturing center, accommodating 20 women from the village. Uniform sales are financing the tutorial classroom. As a result, 250 uniforms have been manufactured and will be distributed during the new school season in the Akkar region.

Danger zone

In June, clashes erupted in Tripoli, Lebanon, between opposing factions during a demonstration against the Syrian government. Six people were killed and many wounded. Tripoli is only 20 minutes away from where Orta runs the social mission in Wadi al Jamus. The area surrounding Tripoli has always been a hotbed of trouble, but the latest clashes were the most violent to occur in quite some time.


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