Forgotten clothes gathering dust in wardrobes are being transformed with design. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Şölen Kipöz, Lecturer at Fashion and Textile Design, Izmir University of Economics (IUE), is creating new designs with old clothes, and shaping the fashion. In her “Sustainable Fashion” titled book, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kipöz explains about slow fashion movement, and points that even though products can be cheap and insensitive, with boutique manufacturing; they can become more environment-friendly and durable.
Kipöz, who reported that 80 billion garments were manufactured in fashion industry on a yearly basis said, “I was witness to the utilization of all clothes of my family, and I used some of them myself, and kept them without thinking what I would do with them one day. Now, I re-create designs as a manufacturer, designer, and user by unstitching the old clothes. In the old days, family elders did not throw away old clothes; they repaired rips and tears, or completely redesigned them. Nowadays, thanks to the throw away culture, we are able to purchase redundant clothing for less money”.
“End of waste clothes”
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kipöz stated that slow fashion was about conscious buying and thoughtful purchases, about caring for the environment, and about placing quality over quantity, and right now it was going through a stage were old clothes were re-designed and re-used. Kipöz said, “11 million garments at least are being sent to waste collection centers to be burnt or buried each year. Burning those results in carbon dioxide oscillation and burying results in oscillation of hazardous chemicals mixed with sewage system. Today we can easily buy 5 t-shirts when we go shopping. We consume 400% more today compared to 20 years ago. This makes us believe we are flourishing; however, we buy them because they are cheap not because we love them. Also, we do not stop to think what kind of a price the worker on the other hand of the supply chain is paying.”
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kipöz stated that she was motivated by the doctrine of Ahimsa which is referred to as nonviolence, and applied to all living beings—including all animals, and she acted upon fixing the warn out textures of old clothes without harming them in contrast to the unforeseen violence created by the fashion. She said that she held recycling workshops. Kipöz stated that she aimed to get new features and appearances to the clothes with a touch of design by making Turkish women use their mending, stitching, sewing abilities in the workshops she organized. She said that her book “Sustainable Fashion” included articles of Gülsüm Baydar, Mine Ovacık, Otto von Busch, Duygu Atalay, Dilek Himam, Kevin Hilton, who all come from different backgrounds, foreword of designer Bora Aksu and interview of art historian Ayşegül Kurtel.