The lady on the right is Merve, a woman who stands firm and has a lot of experience in the clothing industry. Her assistant on the left is Ebru, Ebru has been working for Merve for three years now. Ebru is a talented young girl who is involved in both production and design. Two days before my arrival, Ebru received an offer from a competitor, something I didn’t know until I see the two women hugging each other in tears. Merve tells me about the offer but that after my interviews and shoot Ebru realizes that she works in a very special company and would like to stay. In my opinion, this photo is typical of the atmosphere that prevails in this special workshop. They work hard but there is extreme respect for each other.
Merve tells me very proudly during the tour that in the six years that the company has been in existence, there has been no staff turnover. Something that is very special in the clothing industry, a world where there is a continuous shortage of staff. She herself is responsible for managing the accounts, something Ebru supports her in. Merve started this company with two partners who both work in the workshop themselves.
Mikail and Fesih both work as pattern drafters at Aln Tekstil. They have been working together for a number of years now and have a clear division of roles. Mikail has been doing this work for years and has a lot of experience, he is the senior of the two gentlemen. Mikail makes the more complicated patterns such as our Myrna dress. Fesih focuses on simpler styles.
It takes an average of two hours to make one pattern. As soon as the pattern has been drawn in the computer, it is printed on a two meter wide printer. This is a cartridge cutter tool. If the sample is not right the first time, the pattern is adjusted or recreated. Mikail and Fesih tell me everything about their work, they are proud of the work they do because as they say themselves; “The heart of the production must be healthy and we are the heart”.
Gündüz is an experienced cartridge cutter who has been doing this job for 7 years. I was very inspired by this kind but serious man. Cutting out the patterns is an important but also error-prone process. It is important that this is done exactly to ensure a good fit.
Gunduz’s specialty is cutting shirts and blouses. But besides cutting clothes, designing clothes is his great passion. He doesn’t do this on a professional level but just for fun.
His motto; You can’t be successful at your job if you don’t enjoy it. When I ask him what his big dream for the future is, he says that he would like to become even more successful in carrying out his work.
Cutting out 1 style takes at least 1 hour. Once the designs are more complicated, this can take up to 8 hours. It is important that safety gloves are worn when performing the work. This is to prevent accidents.
Hayrely is a proud father of three children, 2 daughters and a son. When I asked him about his children, his serious look gave way to a broad smile. Two daughters in their twenties and a younger son.
He has been working in the sewing studio for 4 months now. Here the clothes are put together by hand. This process takes half an hour to sometimes three hours, depending on the degree of complexity. While telling this, he points to the brown jumpsuit from C by Stories and says: For example, such a jumpsuit takes two hours to fully assemble.
Hayrelu has been doing this job for 30 years and works 6 days a week. When I ask him what his least favorite day of the week is, he doesn’t have to think twice about it: Monday! This is followed by a loud laugh. My next question is, of course, whether he enjoys his work. He likes his job very much, but the weekend is also nice Hayrely agrees.
I met Hatice when she was busy with the quality control of our blouses. She has been working at Aln Tekstil for 4 years now and does this with great pleasure. She has an amazing eye for detail and is very critical. Something that is really a must if you want to do this profession, she adds. As soon as she sees an error in the fabric or other problems, she puts a blue sticker on the “problem”. This item will be set aside and it will be checked later whether this can be solved. If this is not the case, the product will be destroyed.
Hatice moved to Turkey a few years ago with her son and daughter, she is actually from Bulgaria. She is now a proud grandmother of 4 grandchildren and she is happy to tell you about this. Hatice already knew the boss of the factory from her time in Bulgaria. When she moved to Turkey, they reconnected and she started working in the factory. She tells me how nice the mutual atmosphere is and that she is very happy with her colleagues.