Now is the time for change. Fresh ideas, “aha!” moments, and new faces will form the fashion world's future for sure. Eda Gürkaynak, on the other hand, is passionate to start this wind of change with her empathetic style and the word “sustainability” is a must-have in her wardrobe.
1- Tell us about yourself
I’m an ambitious, affectionate Turkish woman in a New York state of mind.
I lived in New York City for 7 years, and the city shaped my whole personality. It made me a survivor. It gave me confidence and the courage to dream big. It’s true, ‘if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.’
I played basketball for 10 years and that made me a goal oriented, disciplined person. To this day, I am definitely addicted to sports.
There is always music at the background of my life. I grew up with a disco at the basement of my house.My father was a DJ as a hobby, and I learned to release all my negative energy by dancing. Dancing lifts my soul.
Right now, I am super focused on enhancing and enlarging the luxury secondhand platform my mother and aunt created 15 years ago: OriginalSeconds. With a strong partner, I aim to create an e-commerce company with a sustainable mindset by the name Originals.
2- Your personal style in three words:
Eclectic, vintage, unpredictable
3- Which artists inspire you the most?
Fashion Designers: The classics- Tom Ford for Gucci era, Jean Paul Gautier, Ralph
Lauren (Double RL). Newcomers- Khaite, Dion Lee, Simon Miller.
Photographers: Helmut Newton, Mario Testino
Painters: David Hockney, Hilma Af Klint, Jean Michel Basquiat
Other artists: Alexander Calder, James Turrell, Yayoi Kusama
4- The film speaks the most to your own style
Casino- Sharon Stone
Sex and The City series and movies- Sarah Jessica Parker
Atonement- Keira Knightley
Great Gatsby- Carey Mulligan
5- Who would you like to trade wardrobes with if you could?
Blanca Miro, Zendaya, Cate Blanchett
6- On a normal day we’ll find your wearing:
You’d be surprised:) It depends on my mood. In John Galliano’ words: “Style is wearing an evening dress to McDonald’s, wearing heels to play football. It is personality, confidence and seduction.”
7- Do you have any personal sustainability practices that you perform in your daily life?
Everyday actions such as using a water bottle, being careful with water usage from showering to washing the dishes, carrying a shopping bag to grocery shopping, feeding street animal with leftover food, recycling glass. I also wear second hand and upcycle my old clothes with minimal design touch.
8- Tell us about your interest in second-hand clothes. How does it define your style?
My mother and aunt founded OriginalSeconds (luxury second hand fashion platform) 15 years ago. Since then, I’ve been surrounded with second-hand clothes. Living in NYC, I’ve also enjoyed vintage shopping a lot. What excites me about it is that there’s a story behind each and every piece. I also like that these clothes are generally unique and not trendy.
When I was younger, I wore my sister’s clothes. When I grew up my I discovered my mother’s wardrobe- now %50 of my wardrobe. Plus, I’ve always liked picking items from my grandmothers’ wardrobes. I should also confess I steal a lot from my boyfriend’s closet. So, second hand clothing pretty much shapes my whole style.
9- What does ethical fashion mean to you?
It means that one acknowledges the ‘actual price’ of items and makes the decision of a purchase accordingly. Actual price of a product = tag price + harm to environment + workers who work under unfair conditions + actual price of the item purchased again due to the short life cycle of an item.
10- What are some companies that you look up to and admire in terms of sustainability or ethical fashion?
Let me start acknowledging marketplaces such as The RealReal, ThredUp, Vestiaire Collective. I love that these brands have changed the second-hand perception. Collectively they made it cool and trendy.
One of the first sustainable brands I met was Reformation. The company started by selling vintage pieces and now creates products only from sustainable and upcycled materials in a fair wage environment. I love that each item comes with a description of its environmental footprint.
From growing the cotton to dyeing and finishing, it takes over 2,000 gallons of water just to make one pair of jeans. Thus, it was a very important step for Levi’s to focus on removing water wherever possible. I also love Re/Done which works by upcycling old Levis jeans into unique and modern styles.
Some of the new sustainable brands on my radar are: Veja- a cool sneakers brand with fabric entirely made from recycled plastic bottles. Rave Review- a cool brand with tagline Be Sustainable, But Make It Fashion. House of Sunny- commits to sustainability by making sure they take care of planet, from factories to materials used.
Some of the known brands who started to make sustainability efforts: Acne Studios-launched a sustainable line in 2020 called Repurposed. It includes garment made entirely with fabrics from previous acne collections. Simon Miller- reduces impact and conserves water by using organic mills and ozone technology in its production.
11- Is there anything you are planning to do to help create a better world?
I hope to be successful both in business and personal life, and inspire young women in Turkey with my attitude, style and thoughts.
Author: Zeynep Gür