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[IM]perfectionists: The Genderless Lifestyle Brand

Hi, thanks so much for taking the time to talk about all things [IM]perfectionists today! First of all, we'd love to hear all about the business, who you are, and what you do?

Thank you so much for having us here :) I am Dilayla the Creative Director of IMperfectionists which is a genderless and timeless lifestyle brand. We have natural and vegan clothing as well as candles (which melt into a hand cream) and further sustainable lifestyle products.

Our vision has evolved around the fact that the Fashion industry creates 92 million tonnes of waste annually. I always saw fashion as a way of self-expression but why did my self-expression need to cost a lot to our home (our world)? So I wanted to create something that is natural, functional, and trendless so that people can use it in the long term without being limited to trends and when washed it doesn’t shed microplastics.

One of the most crucial parts at IMperfectionists is that we do ethical production. All designs of mine are handmade with love and fair pay. The QR codes on each design will show you step by step how that design was made and by whom. We work with local vendors (mainly female entrepreneurs) in Turkey throughout our supply chain and I am active to supervise the whole production. Our supply chain is one of the things I am so proud of (even if it took me 3 years to build it effectively).

What’s your story and what sparked the concept behind the brand?

I started designing when I was 7, I participated in a T-shirt design competition and lost. After that, I stopped designing :D Then when I turned 15 I had a life-changing surgery on my spine and realised that life is too short not to do something you don’t enjoy so much. For me, that was designing and supporting a community of people. I wanted to make people feel comfortable in their skins through my vision and natural textiles. The tiger on the designs are my hand drawing and a representative of our inner strength to make things happen.

The work that you’re doing is fantastic and we’re super excited to see more! What’s your biggest goal with [IM]perfectionists?

To grow into a community would be my biggest goal for the brand because I am a believer that if we want to make a change a single person can of course help but we are stronger together.

I’d also like IMperfectionists to be a roadmaker for other sustainable brands and entrepreneurs disregarding which industry the firm is. We are currently working towards this with an Organisation in İstanbul to start the first-ever Turkish sustainable brands association.

Further, my aim is to make sure we use the most innovative textiles and technologies to provide authentic designs.

Your most recent collection has strong connections to our campaign topic of mental health, could you speak more on this?

My recent collection minimal living was inspired by the waste problem of the fashion industry therefore I’ve only used deadstock textiles that I found through factory visits.. I am usually known for my Tiger and earthy tones however this time I wanted to add some more colours to spark more joy and also we’ve added some candles which are great pieces to meditate and relax (They also melt into a hand cream).

We'd love to know, what advice would you give to anyone wanting to delve into the world of slow fashion?

Always do your own research on textiles and production methods if you don’t have the time which is fine. Make sure you ask questions like who made my clothes (Fashion Revolution’s questions) to the brands.

Also, you don’t need to keep buying according to the trends because style and trend are completely two different words. Whatever you are buying you are voting for that so if you purchase from local and sustainable brands you’ll not only support responsibility but you’ll also support someone’s dream.

What's something that we perhaps wouldn’t know about how fashion can impact our mental health?

The way we look has a crucial impact on our mental health and with all the campaigns on how someone needs to look, it is easier to get upset trying to fit into one look. At this point I think we are all in a great phase of change where we see plus size models and more real people. We still have a long way to go in the industry.

Where can our readers go to get involved in all the fantastic work you do?

We are most active on our instagram and if you’d like to see the hemp-based or any responsible designs we are currently available in several stores across İstanbul and hoping to expand into EU’s physical stores very soon.

I’d like to conclude our lovely interview with the quote of Noam Shpancer:Mental Health .. is not a destination, but a process. It’s about how you drive, not where you are going.


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