Istanbul Designer Cuts It Clean – OZY



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Big vision, luxurious details

A problem solver

Listed by Vogue Italia as one of Turkey’s brightest designers, Tuba Ergin got her start as a consultant for local fashion brands and then moved on to international houses. These experiences gave her a special place in textile production, in which she witnessed the environmental record of an industry that regularly uses heavy chemicals. That’s why Ergin – ahead of the curve in more ways than one – focused on green fashion over 15 years ago. Today, while other designers may talk a big game on sustainable this or green that, Ergin has put its money where it’s at.

Let’s face it: not everyone has time to go green

Ergin’s first brand was called Garden of Denim Design, or GODD That line, which was launched in 2006 and quickly became popular. But while the parts were made in Turkey, Ergin discovered that its biggest markets were Japan, Germany and Canada. “People here didn’t even know what sustainable fashion was back then,” she says — and she doesn’t blame them. People have other concerns in their daily lives than the environment. Interest in and awareness of green fashion, she says, is a function of “the circumstances these people live in”.

Yet Ergin hasn’t let that reality deter her from her own calling, which is to disrupt the fashion industry by providing an alternative to poorly made, in-demand designs.

happy union

Ergin uses natural and recycled fabrics, and is looking for a solar-powered factory to produce future designs. “I felt it was a responsibility on my shoulders to do my part and produce slow fashion that counteracts crazy, harmful fast fashion,” she told OZY in a recent interview.

As she serves this higher purpose, Ergin relishes creativity in designing clothes that people want to buy and wear. From fibers like wool and vegetable-tanned leather, she crafts jumpsuits, evening wear, bags and belts in a palette that’s both earthy and playful.

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Did you know

In last week’s Green Fashion poll, 43% of you said you would definitely rent clothes (or already have some), while 39% said maybe. A whopping 56% said they buy second-hand – although the vast majority (76%) buy some or all new clothes. When asked if fashion can ever be truly green, the answers were all across the board: the jury is out.

She changes
the way business is done

Sell ​​less, waste less

At the start of each season, Ergin produces a small number of pieces to test demand, then produces additional stock of bestsellers. It’s better for her business, because she doesn’t waste money on items her customers don’t want, and it reduces her impact on the environment. It aims to have zero stock at the end of each season. Surprisingly, when Ergin has extra inventory, she doesn’t cut prices.

“Even when we have unsold items, I don’t try to sell them on sale because that could lead consumers to buy clothes they don’t need,” she explains. Instead, Ergin is using unsold pieces from her upcoming collection, altering styles or adding embroidery or other details.

Ergin does not claim to be perfect. For commercial reasons, she sometimes uses fabrics like polyester that are chemically intensive, although she tries to use recycled polyester whenever possible.

“Sustainability is always a matter of choice. Even if you don’t do it 100%,” she says.

Wear it longer

As an entrepreneur who puts the planet before profit, Ergin knows she needs to deliver clothes that her customers will want to wear for years to come and even pass on to loved ones, so fewer clothes end up in landfills.


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She boldly charges forward

Not afraid of numbers

Due to the quality of the materials used, garments from sustainability-focused lines like Ergin’s are usually expensive. But she notes that higher prices just make sense for items that will last much longer. A $25 coin that crumbles in a year or two is ultimately more expensive than a $100 coin that lasts a decade. Of course, many buyers don’t have $100 to spend.

Neither solutions nor clothes come quickly

Ergin says the real challenge she faces is how to normalize the idea that women can wear the same dress over and over again, even as social media stresses the value of having a fashionable new look. This remains an open question.

Ergin did not seek to get rich from his fashion line, but continued to uphold environmental goals, including preserving the planet for generations to come. She says that with the continued work of activists, sustainable fashion will become more popular. “I am delighted to see more designers and fashion lines embracing the philosophy of sustainability. It’s slow but we’re getting there slightly.


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OZY is a diversified, global, forward-looking media and entertainment company focused on “new and next.” OZY creates space for new perspectives and provides fresh perspectives on everything from news and culture to technology, business, learning and entertainment.

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