Özenç's initiative towards sustainability and women empowerment

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2021-02-12 17:17:21 – Turkey

In the initial months of Covid-19, there has been a remarkable increase in domestic violence which aggravated sexual violence against women,  with incidents of rapes, killings and abuse spiking to new heights, which has been observed in many nations. The statistics of domestic violence has always been prominent at an alarming rate. ''The Kadin Cinayetlerini Durduracagiz Platform''(we will stop femicides platform) alone reported that 21 women were killed on March 11-31 during the first nationwide lockdown in Turkey. A new Istanbul-based brand focuses on its principled stance on gender-based violence, women's empowerment and ethical trade. 

One of the missions of the brand is to prevent violence. They also came up with a DIY rainbow kit that people could use to beautify their homes and turn into a fun project to do with the kids. They have been appreciated and immensely supported throughout its agenda. Özenç comes from a background in international trade. She used to spend a lot of time traveling alone and searching for inspiration. In time, she realized important women in her life: her mother,  grandmother and neighborhood women in Turkey. All of them knew sewing, knitting and needlework. The pieces the older woman created were made with perfection and intricacy but Özenç knew not many modern women, especially in the younger generation, would willingly want to wear such pieces.  Through the brand "Mana'' she is promoting recycling and reusing which has always been a part of their Turkish culture. According to Özenç, the theme was inspired by the confined feeling of the whole globe that has been experienced in the pandemic, that wanderlust, going on road trips and roaming around at fun places. For inspiration, they drew a connection between women and forests, as they call it 'mother nature'. Women have been defined as vibrant, colorful and creative just like forests. Mana will provide a conscious point of escape, space where they can go from all the responsibilities and duties at home to let go. Özneç concludes that real sustainability can only be attained through collective efforts and partnerships around the world.

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