Women make half of the global population; yet they provide two thirds of the work, but earn only 10% of the income and own 1% of the property.

In Turkey, 4 out of 10 employed women are not registered in the workforce.(Report of Woman Labor in Turkey) While the total women employment rate is 29.4% (2019 TUİK data), it decreases down to 25.7% for highschool graduates and 17% for secondary school graduates. Turkey has been ranked 130th in the World Economic Forum (WEF) gender gap index out of 149 countries. The WEF Gender Gap Index benchmarks countries on the list based on their progress toward gender parity across four thematic dimensions: Economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment.

Sustainable Development Goal Number 5 of United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is stated as ‘Ending all discrimination against women and girls is not only a basic human right, it’s crucial for sustainable future; it’s proven that empowering women and girls helps economic growth and development.’ As it is made clear in this specific goal, women empowerment has a leverage impact in accelerating economic growth as well as improvement in every social area.

We collaborate with women’s cooperatives throughout our manufacturing process. This way, we not only empower women through our circular model but also encourage their participation in the economy and contribute to the preservation of their artisanship.

İlkadım Women’s Cooperative was established in 2004 by artisan women entrepreneurs, under KEDV (Foundation for the Support of Women’s Work). Their founding principles include transparency, sharing economy and independence. While offering a place for solidarity and collaborative production, Ilk Adım Women’s Cooperative provides an onsite free daycare for children. Thus, women can leave their children at the daycare and are able to work at the Cooperative.


Giyi bags are sewn by Yıldız hanım at İlkAdım Women’s Cooperative. Giyi dots are embroidered by Nuray hanım. During the pandemic, which continues to be a challenging time for all of us, we are mostly working from home. Nuray hanım also continues to embroider our Giyi dots from her home. During the making of our upcycled belts, Oya hanım, Gülten hanım and Rahime hanım cut off the waste fabrics into thin strips and weave them on handloom. For our Collection 2, we designed another upcycled product a collar that is thick woven which can be used as a headband or a neckwarmer.