Bükra KALAYCI (Turkey)

Bükra researches sustainable textiles and the fashion industry, responsible production and consumption, with a focus on closed-loop textile business models for a circular economy.

PhD Student in Textile Engineering at Istanbul Technical University, Turkey

Research focus: sustainable textile and fashion business, compliance standards, responsible production and consumption

Bükra has been focusing on making the textile and fashion industry more sustainable from various aspects: from eco-cleaning options to sustainable materials for fashion. Assuring social compliances and ethical trade along the supply chain is of forefront importance. She firmly believes in circular business models with the combination of online platforms and the big-date use for the future market of fashion.

2015 Jean Monnet Fellowship by European Union for Environmental Studies
2015 Patent for a laundry dryer comprising a lint filter

CV as submitted for the Green Talents award (2015):

BENECON, Italy and Istanbul Technical University, Turkey

Research focus: developing methods for the EU’s sustainable production and consumption, specifically for a green and competitive textile industry

For over a decade now, Bükra Kalayci has been pursuing her desire to make the textile industry more sustainable. Her work combines a sharp, scientific focus on sustainable development and a sincere fascination with textile production.

After growing up in one of the greenest areas of Turkey, moving to an industrialised city made Bükra Kalayci think more about the impacts of heavy industry and environmentally sustainable business. She began her post-high school studies in textile engineering, both because textile production is a key sector in Turkey and also because she comes from a family where tailoring was common. However, during the first year of her course, Bükra started to notice the environmental impact of textile production. She started to take courses that focussed on environmentally friendly production and then, in 2008, attended an Erasmus scheme at the Polytechnic University of Valencia involved in environmental sciences. Bükra received her first MSc in Textile Technologies where she conducted a project on sustainable cleaning technologies.

Thanks to her Jean Monnet Fellowship, Bükra is currently studying sustainable development in BENECON, Italy. Her research focuses on an examination of the EU’s sustainable frameworks. Alongside this fellowship, Bükra is working towards her PhD at Istanbul Technical University in which she is focussing on a comprehensive approach to greener practices in the textile industry. Bükra was attracted to the Green Talents initiative because of Germany’s proactive, pioneering approach to low-emission industries and because of the country’s strong environmental protection policies. She says, “As a young scientist, I have a desire to pursue sustainable development studies and I believe that Germany, with its science, technology, policy and society, will provide me with a sound basis towards a sustainable future.”

Her work is grounded in science and development; however Bükra’s interests and achievements span a broad range of disciplines. Currently, she is an intern at the Capua’s Museum of Contemporary Art at the UNESCO Centre of Caserta and at the cultural magazine Informare.

The jury appreciated Bükra’s entrepreneurial, enterprising approach to sustainability and her deep-rooted affiliation with her specific field.