Source: Instagram / @mah_roc

Hello! Can we get to know you? How was Máh-Roc born and how did his story progress?

I'm Roksan. I spent part of my life in Italy and part of my life in Turkey. I have been living between Sri Lanka, Ordu and Istanbul for the last 3 years. I grew up in a household of foreign origin and where more than one language was spoken. Some of my family lives in Mexico. I grew up and live in a somewhat nomadic and multicultural environment. At the same time, my family's business is textiles, which has enabled me to spend almost my entire life in a textile environment. After studying fashion design, I worked with my family for a while, and then, due to the textile crises of that period, I left my family and worked for Turkey's leading fast fashion brands. Working in a very fast-paced system, constantly traveling, and seeing closely the damage the fast fashion industry does to the environment and humanity gave birth to Máh-Roc. In 2016, while continuing to work in the sector, we established a workshop in Balat with the machines inherited from my family. Máh-Roc began to grow there. Máh-Roc, which started with the waste fabrics I collected during my travels, has evolved into me working with local women in Sri Lanka and Turkey, and continues with my work to modernize the lost handicrafts of those regions. With the belief that I should add more to sustainability than upcycling, I became the Turkey ambassador of Remake our World in 2021. Today, I write and provide training on sustainability. I continue to produce from wherever I go.

Source: mahroc.com

Why is it important to raise social awareness about slow fashion? Can we hear from you as a brand that sets out for this purpose?

Life is very fast, especially if you live in the city. We need to remember to slow down before slow fashion. Everything we consume is a fashion and trend. If we continue to live according to the trends created by fast fashion, we will continue to consume constantly. The fast fashion system causes excessive production and consumption by offering fast, low-quality clothes and goods with environmentally harmful content. Under what conditions and how cheap labor does our behavior without thinking about the history behind everything we buy lead to? Moreover, if we include the fact that it goes to waste after production and the journeys of that garbage, there is a serious process from the point where a product is designed to the point where it ends. If we, as a society, cannot gain this awareness, we will continue to consume constantly.

Source: Instagram / @mah_roc

What was it like to exist in the fast fashion industry for 7 years before creating Máh-Roc? What were the main factors that pushed you to follow a different path?

It was a difficult but incredible experience. I founded Máh-Roc in my 3rd year in the industry, but despite that, I continued to work in the industry. This was very important because if you really want to pursue something you need to know exactly what you are talking about. To establish a brand and to pursue my ideals with this brand, I went through a period in which I learned a lot, was surprised and grew a lot for 7 years. You don't have to be a textile worker to get tired while keeping up with the pace of the industry; even as a designer, the difficulty of this job was one of the most important factors.

Source: Instagram / @mah_roc

You work with local people in different countries around the world, collecting and upcycling discarded fabrics. Can you tell us about your inspiring travels / projects from Sri Lanka to Ordu? How does the whole process proceed?

I live in different locations thanks to what life throws at me. It was in my power to do something where I was. Sri Lanka and Ordu are places where we live more slowly and completely in nature, with less belongings. Places where we really learned to slow down, where we wanted to stay out of metropolitan life. We started making collections in these locations by collecting fabric from 2020 and using local production. I set up my life to visit Sri Lanka in the winter and the villages of Ordu in the summer. We also have a pop up shop in Sri Lanka, where we exhibit Turkish brands. We have plans to open a shop in Ordu this summer. We have started the production of collections with which we have different collaborations for this summer. The upcoming projects involve some more collaborations.

Source: Instagram / @mah_roc

What is upcycling in the fashion industry and why is it important? Can we hear from you?

The reuse and evaluation of an already existing material without recycling is called upcycling. We can summarize it as collecting, evaluating and using discarded fabrics in our collections before they are destroyed.

When we take into consideration the rapidly changing trends, the consumption frenzy reaching increasingly unimaginable levels, and the 'use-and-throw' cycle that consumers are increasingly drawn into day by day; How possible do you think is the transition from the fast fashion industry to slow fashion?

It's a very difficult truth. This job is very difficult as long as lives continue to be based on the encouragement that exists on social media. Education is not enough. Even upcycling and sustainability are currently a trend, and how well they are done is debatable.

What do you think is our responsibility to be a conscious consumer, and what can we pay attention to in order to make our consumption choices in cooperation with nature?

Avoid unnecessary shopping. Learning to read a product's label. Researching where and under what conditions it was made and reading more. These are very important...

Thank you very much!