The lifestyle of Atma Kullan* is about taking initial steps to move away from a throw away culture and become producers as well as consumers. It is a practice for innovative design thinking towards a circular economy.

Atma Kullan’s lifestyle starts by:

  • observing our habits on how much waste we leave behind,
  • making conscious decisions as consumers,
  • rethinking innovative ways for reusing discarded materials; by seeing waste as resource,
  • converting useless products into new products of better quality and higher environmental value; upcycling,
  • sharing the mentality, the knowledge, the skills and ideas; inspiring and being inspired,
  • experimenting and prototyping,
  • DIY (Do-it-yourself) culture,
  • empowering ourselves, our community and the next generation by involving everyone,
  • using creativity for a positive change.

*“Kullan at” in Turkish means “use & throw”, “Atma Kullan” means “don’t throw & use”.


Banu Uğural was born in Ankara. She went to primary school in Helsinki, Finland, middle school in Ankara and finished high school in Dublin, Ireland. Completed her BA in Textile Design in the National College of Art and Design Ireland with a First Class Honours Degree. Banu worked as a fashion designer for ten years, her final job was the senior menswear designer of Turkey’s biggest jeanswear company. She quit her career in the ready-to-wear industry due to the harm the industry creates upon nature. Banu wanted to set an example for future generations by creating a positive impact with the use of her abilities. She completed her MA project ‘Atma Kullan’ in Culture Management at Bilgi University Istanbul via her upcycling workshops with school children around villages in Turkey.

‘My mission is to be a bridge to create awareness and find solutions to the waste problem of human beings.’

‘My vision is to see a shift in the mentality towards a circular economy; in which human beings use their mind, skills and creativity to live in tune with nature.’

Today, Banu continues creating artwork and upcycling workshops. She is based in her studio in ‘Burgazada’, one of the Prince’s Islands in Istanbul, Turkey.