Gamze Ates founded My Beachy Side in 2015 to bring sustainable, fair trade practices to her creative vision; sparked by a love of the traditional crochet made in her native Turkey. The company’s strategy focuses on responsible business practices across all functions: from enriching individual artisans to reducing industrial waste.
My Beachy Side's model provides financial stability, independence, community-building and leadership skills to the artisans it employs.
Our mission is to drive the financial empowerment of disadvantaged women by providing them with a sustainable income, hand-crafting our fashion goods. Applying values of free trade, we aim to be an example that leads the luxury fashion industry towards a higher standard of ethics, sustainability & craftsmanship.
Our ultimate mission is to provide jobs to women in her home country of Turkey, whose potential and talent she could see, however their situations would not permit them to work otherwise - only 30% of the female population is employed outside the home. We have a location in Istanbul as well as in Diyarbakir, an area in Southern Turkey close to the Syrian border, which suffers from policial strife and has a large refugee population. Between our two offices we are currently able to employ a rich and diverse group of over 500 women with otherwise limited job access. More than just providing employment, we offer opportunities for growth in the form of leadership workshops to teach managerial acumen, building up from within as our company grows. We provide sustainable employment that allows women to support themselves financially, as well as provide valuable skills so that they may enrich the community beyond. Applying fair trade principles, we never negotiate our makers’ wages to ensure a sincere and ethical relationship, operating on the belief that financial independence is a crucial first step to women’s empowerment.
We are also very conscious of sourcing, carefully choosing vendors and materials. The region of Buldan in Turkey has a rich heritage of textile production, dating back to the 1300s, and is still largely independently owned. We strive to keep this legacy alive by sourcing from these producers, not only because of the fine craftsmanship, but to sustain the local economy and preserve a valuable, centuries-old tradition.
In recent years, greenhouse gas emissions from textiles production totaled more than those of all international flights and maritime shipping combined. By the nature of the crochet process, those resources are vastly decreased, as the majority of our production is done by hand. We are able to produce with a minimum amount of waste, and repurpose any excess materials. These practices further our goals of conservation, as the equivalent of one garbage truck full of clothing is burned or put in a landfill every single second.
Part of why we love what we do is the ability to celebrate, share and keep alive the traditions of these Turkish artisans. Rather than fall back on popular motifs, Gamze infused these time- honored techniques with fresh, modern luxury styles that can take you from a brunch in Miami to beachside on the Cote d’Azur. We energize the traditions and encourage our strong female makers to take ownership of their own ideas, and also provide valuable business mentorship and community - a culture they can take pride in.