Interview: Sinem Celik & Sue Barrett About Their New Platform

Sinem Celik and Sue Barrett are two leading women in the denim industry as it comes to designing, trend forecasting, and consultancy. They joined forces together and giving workshops, lectures and sharing their knowledge and future ideas through their new project: ADdress-the-Future. I sat down with them to talk about their new project which ended up in this interview here below.

Sinem Celik is founder of BluProjects, a sustainability consultancy focusing on sourcing, strategy and business development, as well as lecturer and sustainability programm designer at the Istanbul Fashion Academy.

Sue Barrett is founder of Denim Forum, a London based future trends consultancy, with a bias towards denim and casualwear, as well as co-founder of Worn Publications, an independent publication featuring timeless vintage archive pieces reflected in contemporary streetstyle.

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Sinem Celik and Sue Barrett giving a lecture at the Bluezone denim show in Munich, Germany.

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LJ: Who are you and what are you doing at the moment?

We work collectively on a new sustainability platform, called ADdress-the-Future as well as independent projects.

LJ: Can you tell a bit about your new platform? What is it exactly?

ADdress-the-Future is an inspirational and informative platform. Our aim is to share trended sustainability mindsets and recent sourcing and technological information to inspire new alternative thinking to address the future of textile industry.

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LJ: What can people expect when they join the platform and workshops? What do they learn, see?

Our workshops are structured to offer inspiration and new strategic thinking for all segments of the development process. From sourcing and design through to marketing. ADdress-the-Future offers a fresh perspective to traditional processes and facilitate dynamic dialogue between teams that may not occur in traditional structures. Which is where the magic happens….! Takeaways from the workshop are fresh ideas on consumer trends through to product trends, supported by sourcing and processing information on sustainability. With the option to create bespoke business strategies / sourcing / trends tailored for the client.

LJ: Can people and companies also hire you as a couple? And if so, why should they do?

Yes, they can. We want to bring a wealth of textile industry experience and blend our experience sets from trend forecasting and design through to marketing and sales. So we have designed this project together, combining our specialist areas.

There are so many scary facts about climate change and our environment. What we want to focus on and share with you, are inspiring visions of a stimulating future being re-imagined through emerging sustainable trends and re-thinking of our processes.

So we offer an unique commercial platform to anchor product innovation and inspire new business models for the future. We can create bespoke research and strategies based on each company’s unique business needs.

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LJ: Can you highlight 2 upcoming trends which we can expect in the near future?

One of the emerging market trends, or shifts, I’m most excited about, is the growth in the vintage market. Denim is traditionally anchored in vintage as it’s where all the authentic fabric character and functional detail narratives come alive.

At the moment, there’s an emerging shift away from traditional ownership to newer retail ways to access product. Re-commerce reflects the new business model of buying products purely for their re-sell value. Something that is big in streetwear- an industry anchored on the hype of collaborations, limited edition product and new, new, new. Re-sale is increasing also within the vintage market and we’re seeing price points sky rocket within the a growing market for curated vintage items.

Even Kim Kardashian and Megan Markle have been seen wearing and promoting vintage items recently. So that’s clearly a key tipping point! Haha!

But being a specialist in vintage is key now. As vintage sales rise, it’s not enough just to sell random vintage. There’s a real focus on becoming almost a cultural reference for a particular era or product category.

Alternatively, ‘dystopia’ is something we hear describing a vast array of cultural anchors at the moment. Protest on local and global political issues is creating a new sense of unity. This tangible darker energy is generating energetic yet reactive solutions to sustainability. With 91% of the population breathing in polluted air, its no surprise that there’s a steep growth in anti-pollution products which can visualise everyday environmental contaminants which are invisible to the naked eye. Adaptive fabrics creating a new realm of urban performance layers.

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LJ: Do you have a favourite upcoming trend?

We suspect none of us expected that we might be negotiating marketing budgets for cyber it girls or their CGI wardrobes. But with the emergence of digital influencers becomes a new portal through which we are envisioning new solutions to consumption, through avatars.

Visions of the future are being re-interpreted through digital solutions to overconsumption. Non product stores and gallery stores are the new pop-up stores.

LJ: What is the biggest challenge in your opinion for the denim industry at the moment?

The biggest challenge is to change perceptions over consumption, through looking at what actually makes us happy. From a bigger scale, consumption and excess stockpiles are a huge issue. Our current business model is based on the thrill of newness, driving huge over saturation of both production.

Sustainability has become a confusing area in which unauthorised self-certification and mis-information can make it feel impenetrable.

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LJ: How can people be part of the sustainable denim movement? What can people do easily to join?

Starting by being inspired and then asking questions. Make it relevant for you, even in a small way. Each tier of the whole sourcing chain, starting from the consumer, should be aware of new cleaner possibilities and try to adopt them into their purchasing habits or processes. Either in yarn process dye or finishing areas, there are lots of new sustainable innovations. Also new platforms to collaborate and get guidance from.

LJ: Where do you get your inspiration from?

Nature is a huge inspiration. Biomimetics, or the imitation of nature provides solutions and new approaches to design and engineering systems. If you look properly…

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LJ: What can we expect from you in the future?

Anything is possible!

LJ: How can people can in contact with you?

They can check out our Instagram account @addressthefuture or send us an email: sinem@bluprojects.com & sue@denim-forum.com.

Written by Wouter
I'm the founder of Long John. Next to running this daily magazine I'm working as a freelance marketing specialist for brands and retail. Specialized in denim.