Made by women, for women; interview with NOACODE

NOACODE is a sustainable brand driven by a passion for design and love for the planet. Their timeless designs translate the muted elegance and practicality of the modern woman on the go. Have a look at our interview with the brand founder, Gulistan:

Tell us a little about yourself and your background.

I have a background in textile raw materials sourcing, production management and private label supply for more than 10 years. I have worked with top international brands and retail groups. With the rise of sustainable fashion awareness, I have started educating myself in sustainable raw materials and production processes. I believe it’s a continuous process, what is sustainable today may not be sustainable tomorrow. Working with pioneer and champion sustainable brands’s supply operations keeps my and my team’s know-how and network very fresh and up to date.

I’m also an animal rights activist, in fact our office fosters many in need and find them nice homes.

Recently, by using our accumulated know-how and production network, we started our own label NOACODE.

Describe your brand in a few sentences.

NOACODE is a sustainable brand driven by a passion for design and love for the planet. Each piece is designed with certified sustainable and vegan fabrics and produced to cope with the circular economy. Our pieces are made within ethical studios, where employees’ rights are carefully observed. All our accessories, such the as buttons and lining, are recycled, and we only use vegan and certified fabrics.

As a vegan brand, we work hard to ensure the welfare of stray animals in the communities where our supply chain and sellers are located.

What does sustainability mean to you?

Sustainability is a just system, where social rights and animal welfare are secured. It is about making sure that we live in a world and we leave a world that is in peace with earth. We believe that ethical fashion is about the entire ecosystem, and we are all part of it!

Can you tell us a bit more about the manufacturing process of your products?

We conduct our own sourcing and production in Istanbul. We source our raw materials through our network, which allows us to have access to dead stocks or tag along to big brand’s productions. When designing our pieces, we only source materials that have outstanding longevity and that will not generate waste during production and in their end of life. We do not use materials or fabrics that are animal-made; all our pieces are sustainable inside and out. From stitching to lining, zippers and buttons: everything is certified and authenticated.

We’ve developed a deep knowledge of the industry, after experiencing first-hand the sourcing and production of garments in sustainable and fast-fashion. We cultivated strong relationships with our supply chain to ensure the welfare of garment workers and the safety in our studios. During the manufacturing process, we take measures to minimize the fabric waste.

Where do you gain inspiration?

Our inspiration is the timeless needs of Urban Women who are always on the go.

What’s the story behind your brand’s name?

NOACODE represents the dressing code of conscious Urban Women.

What inspired you to create your business? How did it all start?  

We have years of experience in textile raw material sourcing, production management and AQL. We realized that there are a very limited number of brands with sustainable practices that focus on women with size needs above size EU38 – EU40. Therefore, we started NOACODE with a size offering of EU38 to EU48. Soon we will be a more inclusive brand and add EU36 to our sizes as well.

What are some of the products you have created that are closest to your heart? Please share them with us!

Very tough question! We never follow trends and only focus on timeless designs that we fall in love with and love to wear ourselves as a team. Perhaps I can give an example that suits the COVID times the best. Our Eco Loungewear Line, made with pre-consumer recycled cotton, is one of our latest favorites. There is no dying, processing or farming for this type of cotton. It feels good on your skin, and is great for the planet! We also optimize our fabric cutting process, yet there is always waste. We have turned these waste fabrics into little pouch bags and donated them to animal shelters, where they sell these pouches to create income for the medical needs of stray animals. We are very happy and proud of it. Nothing goes to waste! Every piece made and sold is helping one animal in need.

How did you adapt to the current situation? What are the challenges you faced and how did you tackle them?

COVID created an environment where the importance of E-commerce and Sustainability became more known. We already have the digital presence and sustainability in our DNA. We only exist online and sustainable products made with ethical practices are a must for us.

However, during lockdown the consumer needs shifted from chic and office wear, which take up a significant portion of our style offering, to more stay-at-home attire. We’ve adapted to this change with our stylish Eco Lounge Wear Line.

What made you choose Eco Fashion Labels to sell your products?

Eco Fashion Labels truly presents brands with Eco-Friendly products and ethical practices. We try to excel our sustainability journey from top to toe, from fabrics and accessories to labeling, without shouting too much. Eco Fashion Label truly sees the true practices behind this. We are happy and proud to be a part of Eco Fashion Labels.

What do you think the near future looks like for independent/sustainable brands like yours?

Need and demand for sustainable products will increase as the consumer becomes more aware of the effects of their choices on the planet. However, as the supply of sustainable raw materials are limited due to their nature and due to the current production technologies, the access to the sustainable materials may be problematic for a while. Currently, we know that access to the organic cotton is limited. However, we believe that the consumer will be on the side of independent/sustainable brands, hence the future seems to be favoring us.

What are the greatest challenges you think sustainable brands face?

Access to the raw materials and reaching the minimum order quantities are one of the greatest challenges sustainable brands face. This increases the costs of the end product and results in market challenges for many brands.

What can be improved in this sector?

Legislative bodies should be on the side of sustainable practices with less taxation, easier access to finance and support. I also believe that brands should be more transparent about their raw materials, production practices and social practices. Sustainable fashion should not be a buzz marketing word, as it diminishes the importance of it in the eye of the consumer.

Shop NOACODE on Eco Fashion Labels

Thank you Gulistan for taking part in this interview! 🙂

Keep up to date with Eco Fashion Labels:

Written by: Chantal 🙂


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