Finding the right factory to produce our clothes took more than 6 months of hard work. We weren't just looking for expert craftsmanship, but a partner that understood our exacting ethical requirements.
We chose Turkey for it’s established apparel industry, reputation for quality manufacturing, and its position as a world leader in organic textile production.
After several negotiations, and a dozen cups of Turkish tea, we finally found the perfect fit. Here's a summary about the awesome people behind our clothing.
The First Meeting
Mr. Gunay is an unassuming figure, a person who cares little for gossip and small talk. We met with him and his partner, Semra – a master patternmaker and skilled businesswoman – on one of our first trips to Istanbul. They spent nearly three hours quizzing us on our business, our idea, and our team. They aren’t tough nuts; they’re just picky with the projects they take on.
“You are the last company we will manufacture for this year,” Mr. Gunay said after our three-hour expedition. Ever since, both Mr. Gunay and Semra have treated us like family – always greeting us with a warm hug and, of course, more Turkish tea than our stomachs can handle.
What's so Special?
After working in Paris with brands like Chanel, Isabel Marant and Alexander McQueen, Mr. Gunay approached Semra (legendary in Istanbul for her patterns) to open a factory together in 2012. It wasn’t long until clients started flocking to them, in the hopes of being accepted onto their growing waiting list.
But what makes Mr. Gunay and Semra so special is not their impressive list of clients, but their willingness to take on new challenges. No design is ever too complicated, no design ever too hard. It’s their resilience, craftsmanship and determination that convinced us they could re-imagine modest fashion.
Their customers now include Kanye West, Karl Lagerfeld, Zadig & Voltaire, Rag & Bone, and now RŪH.
More Than Just Ethics. Employment.
A few miles away from Istanbul’s city center, our factory occupies 800m2 of space. Spanning over 4 floors, our partners provide well paid and happy employment to 450 local people. Their other location near the Black Sea is not only in Mr. Gunay’s hometown, but one of the only ethical factories in the region and the second largest providers of employment.
We didn’t just ask for the highest ethical standards when looking for a factory. We wanted a partner who gave back, who supported the local community, and cared for its workers.