As part of our founder interview series, we talk with Gözde Taskin about her London studio and slow fashion philosophy.

 

Founder Gözde Taskin

 

What is the style inspiration behind the Rakha collection?

Rakha is inspired by those classic pieces that could be worn for generations. Mainly by manipulating / re-designing the classic everyday pieces.

How does the Rakha design philosophy embody a ‘slow fashion’ mentality?

Unlike other brands Rakha does not focus on seasons, today’s fashion or adding new collections every few weeks, but rather focuses on classic and basic shapes that could be worn throughout seasons and years to come.

How do you embrace sustainability throughout production?

Starting from sourcing, the main idea is to stay away from mixed compositions of materials that cannot be recycled or composted. The idea is to make garments with either biodegradable or re-cycled materials, in order to create a circular economy throughout our supply chain. When it comes to production we are very hands on and only work with manufacturers or mills that meet our certification requirements. Including (GOTS), BSCI, Fair Wear, Global Re-Cycle Standard, Lenzing, etc.

What does ‘ethical fashion’ mean to you?

Ethical fashion is about being thoughtful and considering the impact we create throughout the whole supply chain of fashion, from materials and life cycle to social issues. Long story short, it is about bearing in mind that whatever we buy is a contribution we make towards something either negative or positive.
It’s your choice whether you want to contribute to a better future or not.

What do you think are the biggest obstacles preventing higher ethical standards in the fashion industry today?

Cheap clothing, tight deadlines. Unfortunately that’s where the mass demand is, which results in cheap labour, exploitation or poor health and safety standards and as a result (fires, collapses).
We all know that ethical fashion is not always affordable. Especially when it comes to large retailers who produce millions of garments every year, everything is price driven and of course that is where the mass demand is.

The problem is, when it comes to decision-making while purchasing, it is mainly about the price and therefore demand. The consumers should be informed in order to change the way garments are made.

I believe it is very important to also consider re-using what’s already out there. Detecting the social issues arising in the production stage and making sure the wages are set to a living standard. While also investing in the research and development of more ethical and viable ways to produce fashion.

What advice do you have for people who want to become more conscientious consumers?

Check out the tags and labels of the brands to see how and where they are made. Don’t get fooled by cheap price tags but consider the longevity of the item you buy and especially think, “if you really need it”.

What do you hope women feel while wearing your clothing?

I would want them to feel exactly what I hope to feel when wearing a piece of clothing, “comfortable, fuss, toxic and guilt-free”.

What is one thing you wish everyone knew about Rakha?

%10 of the profit from each garment you purchase will be re-cycled back to Rakha People’s training scheme.

Tell us about the Rakha People Training scheme for Refugees in London and how you got involved in this.

We developed a project, which aims to give training for disadvantaged women in communities in London in order to increase their employability skills, with the ultimate goal of creating sustainable communities. Last year we won an award for our project from the Unltd., an organisation that supports social businesses. We have managed to train 2 refugee ladies in our studio in North London for 3 months. Currently we are launching Rakha People as an independent and separate charitable organisation in order to grow the training scheme with the aim of at least tripling the number of students we train for each of our training schemes.

What do you hope to see for the future of Rakha?

Of course, we want to see Rakha as a high-street retailer that will hopefully give people a more sustainable option than what’s already out there.

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