Fabric is arguably the most import element when starting a fashion brand. Sure, design is a fundamental piece of the puzzle, but if you don't have the right fabric to transform your design from a 2D sketch into a tangible garment, then it’ll be an uphill battle. For young designers and independent brands just starting out, it can be an overwhelming and sometimes an insurmountable hurdle to source great quality fabric at the right price and quantity.
When we first launched OhSevenDays, fabric was certainly our biggest obstacle and our first season was a blur of hustling to negotiate prices whilst buying "sample" quantities with the empty promise we would return to buy in bulk.
We quickly learnt a lot about the textile and woven fabric industry in particular. This forced us to make a decision; if we wanted to move forward building our brand and expand the business, we really felt it necessary to develop a more sustainable model of production. We witnessed a mass excess of fabric being discarded by the large garment factories around Istanbul. It then struck us, these excess fabric rolls could be the key to our sustainable model.
In our pursuit to find a reliable source of reclaimed and off-cut fabrics, we came across a small textile neighbourhood in the western part of the city that specialised in reselling excess rolls. The neighbourhood swarms with well worked salesmen drinking tea and shouting "buyurun" (help yourself in Turkish) from the doorways of their shops. After several intense searches through many stores and mountains of fabrics, we discovered an amazing vendor mainly selling left over cotton and linens from a large woven womenswear factory at the edge of the city. We also found a small basement vendor specialising in Viscose and Tencel run-offs. To this day, these two stores are where we source most of our fabrics.
Second to oil, the clothing industry is the largest industry polluter in the world. It’s highly debated as to who should be leading the change within the sector. We at OhSevenDays believe it should be a collaborative effort between brands and consumers to spread the message and take action towards a more sustainable future. Instead of adding new product to an immensely saturated fashion industry, we want to aim for a circular economy and make use of the wealth of resources that already exist. Using the left-overs is our little way of contributing to the fight to repair our damaged planet and avoid contributing to mass consumerism and perpetual waste!