As fashion and sustainability meet in sentences more often, the importance of actions becomes more prominent. Together with three unique souls that take conscious, nature-friendly and long-lasting steps by stripping their own wardrobe from the consumption-oriented side of fashion, we are embarking on a journey that tells you that being stylish is about your perspective on life, join us!

The border that we have drawn between man and nature has begun to expand and open as our society and our lives have modernized. As time went on, we have abandoned the idea that both ourselves and everything we create would eventually become a part of nature. 

The speed of modernization greatly affected our ways of production, while the following post-era entirely changed our consumption habits.  Now we were able to produce at the speed of light and with great quantities; consumption was a kind of therapy, and shopping centres became our new temples.

In this unprotected and paradoxical production and consumption cycle, a new concept has entered our lives as a result of the expansion of our awareness of the damage we cause to nature with the climate crisis: sustainability. This word, which defines products that are recyclable, can be used for a long time and do not cause waste that will harm nature in their production, has now become one of the basic production rules of many sectors, especially the fashion industry.

Given the one-on-one nature of the relationship we have with fashion, its peculiarity and importance for us to express ourselves, the idea of reducing your consumption can be intimidating at first glance.  But in fact, with clothes that are made with this new motto, you don’t need millions of pieces to be able to express yourself. You can have a much more sustainable closet without losing the personal connection you have fashion by spending much longer time with products that will be “good” for both nature and yourself. With Eda Gürkaynak, Cenk Demirgüç and Damlasu İkizoğlu, we talked about fashion, consumption and sustainability to inspire you on this path.

EDA GÜRKAYNAK

Combining her conscious fashion vision with her eclectic style, original spirit and passion for vintage, Eda is one of the representatives of the new generation of sustainable fashion. For her, the sustainability of fashion means respect for nature and humans. 

The textile industry is the second most polluting in the world after aviation due to high energy consumption, environmental pollution and waste. It has 10 percent of carbon emissions. Especially recently, using fast fashion products during this period, when we feel how much damage we have caused to our nature in a visible, palpable way, is driving us to a disaster. There is no need to be black or white about it, I think the gray areas are also worth exploring.

Eda Gürkaynak

How do you define your personal relationship with fashion?

Eda Gürkaynak: My relationship with fashion is very spontaneous. I’m not a planned shopping person.  It’ll be odd to say, but in general, I do not find clothes but clothes find me. When I least expect it, I can come across a piece that I can wear to an important occasion. I can’t say that I follow the trends either. I dress the way I feel and want, and I’m not afraid of how it looks. I have an eclectic sense of fashion, I like to experiment with different styles. Especially vintage and second-hand products excite me a lot. The authentic pieces that have history give me an original feeling.

To what extent did you integrate the “buy better wear longer” approach into your own style and wardrobe?

Eda Gürkaynak: The best example in this case is my mother. Her wardrobe, which she has created over the years, is of such high quality that I can still wear the clothes she bought 20 years ago. I’m following in her footsteps. I generally try to buy high-quality and timeless pieces. Apart from that, I love adding pieces that are considered art and give importance to craftsmanship or products of local brands to my closet. I buy second hand when my budget is not enough for high-quality world brands. Because the life of these products is long enough for more than one person. That’s what I decided to focus on in my career as well. I’m taking over ORIGINALSECONDS, which sells used luxury items my mom founded years ago, and I plan to expand the business.

What do you think about the relationship of the fashion industry with consumption habits?

Eda Gürkaynak: At a time when technology is developing, and we can get what we want much faster, fast consumption has become a habit in every industry. For this reason, the fast fashion market, which can be produced faster, has a lower quality and can keep up with the trends, has grown a lot. This has increased my respect for brands that have remained iconic and timeless over the years. I think the fashion sector has the power to influence people’s consumption habits and lead them to the good, rather than responding to them. At this point, major brands have an important role.

How can you tell us about your relationship with your wardrobe?

Eda Gürkaynak: According to statistics, people wear only 20 percent of their wardrobe. For me, this figure is close to 80 percent. I attribute this to several things. I have an eclectic fashion sense, I really like to play with clothes and make different combinations. I try to buy timeless and high-quality pieces so that I can use them for a long time. My wardrobe has a fast circulation, I love to add back to the economy by selling second-hand items that I do not use. With the income I get from them, I usually buy other second-hand pieces.

What does dressing up mean to you?

Eda Gürkaynak: It is a creative, fun, free space where I can express myself, make a first impression.

Essential pieces in your wardrobe?

Eda Gürkaynak: My Levi’s 501 jeans, vintage and second hand pieces, and Nike Cortez shoes.

What does sustainable fashion mean to you?

Eda Gürkaynak: It means respect for nature and humans.  The textile industry is the second most polluting in the world after aviation due to high energy consumption, environmental pollution and waste. It has 10 percent of carbon emissions. Especially recently, using fast fashion products during this period, when we feel how much damage we have caused to our nature in a visible, palpable way, is driving us to a disaster. There is no need to be black or white about it, I think the gray areas are also worth exploring. Recently, when I have been re-establishing my consumption habits, I have been working on an e-commerce business that focuses on a sustainable area of fashion and sells a new generation of second-hand luxury goods.

Sustainable fashion, for me, also means respecting all employees in the supply chain. Not to employ child workers, to provide an equal working environment with a fair salary, working hours and health conditions… because a company can only be sustainable with happy employees.

CENK DEMİRGÜÇ

Cenk, who sees fashion in a place integrated with his individual stance and personality, is happier in clothes that harmonize with nature. Cenk is dreaming of a world where we get rid of the boringness of our consumption habits and take more conscious and nature-conscious steps.

There is a horrible consumption, and it is now getting uncomfortable, when I look at myself, I see that I am no longer as consuming as I used to be.

Cenk Demirgüç

How do you define your personal relationship with fashion?

Cenk Demirgüç: I’ve been dressing the way I’m most comfortable for years, I don’t care about brands; whatever suits me is fashionable for me.

To what extent did you integrate the “buy better wear longer” approach into your own style and wardrobe?

Cenk Demirgüç: People changes over time, and their tastes change accordingly. I care about having timeless pieces in my wardrobe that can go on this journey with me.

What do you think about the relationship of the fashion industry with consumption habits?

Cenk Demirgüç: There is a horrible consumption, and it is now getting uncomfortable, when I look at myself, I see that I am no longer as consuming as I used to be.” The places I go to is limited, my living space is smaller.  Of course, I’m in favor of using it as much as you need, fashion is a cover you put on for both yourself and your social environment, your way of expressing yourself.

How can you tell us about your relationship with your wardrobe?

Cenk Demirgüç: My wardrobe is simple and consists of pieces that can accompany each other, I can not say that I spend a lot of time choosing something out of the wardrobe.

What does dressing up mean to you?

Cenk Demirgüç: The way you express yourself is the mirror that reflects your current mood.

Essential pieces in your wardrobe?

Cenk Demirgüç: Wide neck long t-shirts and jogger pants.

What does sustainable fashion mean to you?

Cenk Demirgüç: The renewal and continuation of what exists within itself.

DAMLASU İKİZOĞLU

Damlasu, focusing on her relationship with the mod through the lens of emotion, is one of those who prefer to take small but decisive steps in the ever-changing and constantly renewing fashion universe. Her story is about slowing down in consumption and choosing better quality and long-lasting products with her wardrobe.

At the point where we manage to think about fashion as a whole with nature, we will have a cleaner environment and a sustainable way of life. So, the responsibility is all ours.  If we change, if our habits change, the world changes.

Damlasu İkizoğlu

How do you define your personal relationship with fashion?

Damlasu İkizoğlu: My relationship with fashion is actually an emotional relationship. My fashion sense is about exploring myself. Although I don’t usually go out of the styles that make me feel good, sometimes I want to experience it, and when I do, I have the opportunity to create a completely different me. This ‘new me’ makes me feel happy for a while. Then, in the changing and constantly renewing fashion universe, I am also updating my style little by little. When I go back and wear an outfit that left a mark on me but was no longer trendy at that time, I also feel new again.  Current fashion or not, it’s totally a relationship based on how I feel.

To what extent did you integrate the “buy better wear longer” approach into your own style and wardrobe?

Damlasu İkizoğlu: That’s what I’ve always done and that’s what I recommend.  That’s how I chose most of the pieces in my closet. I prefer good and long use instead of too many pieces.  I have often bought good jeans saying it will look better as it gets older.  Now I have a lot of clothes in my closet that I’ve been gladly wearing for years and they look great. 

What do you think about the relationship of the fashion industry with consumption habits?

Damlasu İkizoğlu: Fashion always changes, we already know this, but with the development of technology, this change is faster and has almost become single-use.  This situation has pushed people to consume more. Every day we replace even the products that are still perfectly fine with new ones. I think that slowing down a little in consumption and choosing better quality and long-lasting products will allow us to take a healing step both economically and for nature and our future.

How can you tell us about your relationship with your wardrobe?

Damlasu İkizoğlu: My wardrobe exactly reflects me. Since most of them are in harmony with each other and fit my style, it’s very easy to combine.  I always think about my wardrobe when I’m shopping. I make few and concise choices, thinking about what would be good with what. I have my own style, sometimes a pair of jean and a t-shirt are practical and unexpectedly stylish, sometimes I see a simple dress and make it look completely different with a couple of pieces.  It makes me happy that I am not undecided when I open my wardrobe. Whatever I take, what I wear that day, represents me.

What does dressing up mean to you?

Damlasu İkizoğlu: Imagine that you are portraying a character in a period movie. When you wear that outfit, you start to feel like you belong to that era. This is how the outfit I am wearing in my daily life makes me feel.  It is an important detail that determines my mood that day, my comfort in the environment I am going to go to, my self-confidence, my point of view, and in short, my psychology.

Essential pieces in your wardrobe?

Damlasu İkizoğlu: I guess I can’t give up the oversize shirts and retro dresses in my wardrobe. I really like to put a t-shirt on and complement it with jeans, so my Levi’s jean shorts are also very essential.  I can say the same for my 501 and other crop jeans for the winter.

What does sustainable fashion mean to you?

Damlasu İkizoğlu: Sustainability is very wide-ranging. With the goals of sustainable fashion, it is possible to reduce the damage to nature, our planet, and the earth. The existence of such awareness is a rather healing step. At the point where we manage to think about fashion as a whole with nature, we will have a cleaner environment and a sustainable way of life. So, the responsibility is all ours.  If we change, if our habits change, the world changes. The fact that nature is always on our side despite ourselves means that we should be more naive and attentive to her.

EIC DUYGU BENGİ
Filmed by HAMİ ÖZKAN
Photographed by ZEYNEP ÖZKANCA
Styled by ECE ÖZEL
Hair by MEHMET BAYRAKDAR
MUA AHU AYDEMİR, KLAN
Set Design GÖZDE ULUSOY
Web Editor NAZ BAŞARAN
Production BI CREATIVE
Head of Production BERİL ODABAŞI, ATAKAN KATLANÇ
Production Asst. HİLAL AÇIKGÖZ