An eco-innovator that brushed stardom in his early days, Kutay Saritosun has devoted his career to “making a difference in the sustainability of the textile industry”.
It was early on in his career, while working as the production manager for a fashion enterprise in the USA, that Saritosun’s eco-interest was piqued, but his path very nearly went a different way. He is an excellent example of ‘with passion comes opportunity’.
As the first Rotary Long-Term Youth Exchange Student from Turkey to South Africa, there is not denying that working for a good cause has been part of who he is from young. Kutay speaks of his life-changing experience when spending a year in South Africa after graduating from high school. The country and continent hold close to his heart and he is still in touch with the families he stayed with on a regular basis.
Born with musical talents, Kutay spent his youth singing classical music in several choirs and recording for various radio and television stations. When his “idol”, an outrageously popular singer in Turkey extended the opportunity to audition as a backup singer in a tour, Saritosun was just a hairpin away from a different future.
As a true example of how passion leads to extraordinary things, the environment and fashion industry can be grateful that his career took a slightly different turn and lead him to where he is today.
As Director of Fashion Brands for Swiss-based Bluesign®, a system that provides safer and more sustainable environments for people to work and live in, Saritosun is proud to now focus on “not one brand but the industry at large”.
He works with various manufacturers and brands to adopt responsible production, responsible chemistry and responsible use of resources; a meaningful pursuit when one considers that close to 8000 chemicals are used in the industry where water and CO2 footprints are also significantly high.
Awareness, education and implementation are all part of what Saritosun does at Bluesign®. To bring the passion that Saritosun speaks of to life, consumers need to follow the example of the environmentally conscious Generation Z as they lead the way by following sustainable brands and vote with their wallets to support these.
Although this near famous eco-enthusiast took a turn in his career, there is no regret in what he does. Saritosun says he feels “blessed to be able to contribute to the industry,” which certainly has a dedicated team player who is genuinely willing to work hard at putting the industry on track to being safer and more sustainable.
Get to know more about Kutay and his views on sustainability in the fashion and textile industries.