six sustainable Irish fashion brands
Sustainability has dominated the fashion conversation in recent years thanks to well-paid factory and garment workers, ethical supply chains and a Made in Ireland design philosophy.
By 2022, consumers demand more from the brands that serve them. Not only creatively, but in terms of environmental impact. Fortunately, a number of Irish womenswear, menswear, footwear and accessories companies are leading the way in championing eco-responsible principles and ethical consumption.
We’ve compiled a list of the top 6 brands to keep on your radar this year.
“I love fashion, but there’s something really wrong about telling people they need stuff to feel better, and pushing shit and new stuff. What sustainability really means is that there are no seasons, you just create beautiful, timeless, long-lasting things that people want to buy, ”said Duke.
With a contemporary approach that changes the paradigm of knitting – too often stuffy or overworked – Duke takes Loro Piana’s supple Italian yarn and gently manipulates it to create his iconic relief patterns, before sculpting it into understated shapes. It’s easy to think of knits in terms of sweaters and cardigans (you’d be right – there are some darling options like a generously cut cocoon cardigan and baggy sweaters) but Duke’s timeless offering includes oversized tank tops, an oversized dress. long sleeves, a shape – fitted skirts, cashmere leggings and thick and soft socks.
In an earthy palette of brown and graphite gray, counterpointed by lavender, blues and forest green, she intends to offer “a layer of nourishing comfort, a warm and loving embrace, a balm of the outside world at a time when we are in it. we need. “
Almost half of the production takes place in Ireland and the rest in small factories in Portugal and Nepal, with the finishing touches taking place in Duke’s studio in Dublin, meaning the product runs are concise and limited. When they left, they left.
- Available at rosduke.com, Design Ireland (Dublin Airport). Prices start at € 100.
In a world of imitations, one can witness a fine example of originality and authenticity in Anna Guerin’s The Landskein. The brand’s 15-piece range of coats and blazers are inspired by clean, modern lines and are spun and woven using the finest Irish textiles.
“I think I bring a modern narrative with the brand. This is something I wanted myself: a contemporary tweed coat, ”she said.
From Irish fleece spun yarns in Ireland’s only carbon neutral Kerry Woolen Mills to sixth generation weavers fabrics at Molloy & Sons of Donegal, Guerin produces the line in Italy at a family owned factory used by Burberry and Acne Studios.
The latest collection revel in the quiet simplicity of fine classics like the ‘Avery’ lambswool blazer in a charming gray-blue check (woven in Donegal) to the oversized gray ‘Aerin’ belted oversized twill trench coat. Irish (spun and woven in Kerry) and the oatmeal herringbone “Blake” silk and cashmere-blend trench coat (woven in Donegal). Every detail, from design to production, is carefully considered.
Guerin admits that becoming a brand with minimal environmental impact is very expensive but rewarding. “I truly believe that if you describe your brand as sustainable, you promise your customers that you, as a brand, have factored sustainability into every decision you make, from design to sourcing to production. and logistics. ”
The Landskein covers all the bases.
- Available in Havana (Co. Dublin), Emporium Kalu (Co. Kildare), JuJu (Co. Wicklow). Prices start at € 645.
Not only has the Dundalk brand transformed Ireland’s underdeveloped menswear scene, it largely defines it as one of the few modern brands to offer to fashion-inclined men who appreciate basics. high quality at an affordable price.
From the classic logo-embroidered t-shirt in organic cotton to the iconic ‘Jocelyn’ jacket (inspired by men’s workwear) in soft cotton drill with contrasting buttons made from renewable plant materials, style and ethics range from peer at the mark.
“We wanted to make sure that everything we produced had a reason behind it, because not everyone needs another brand of clothing. We’re definitely not in Patagonia, but we know our clothes are built to last because of the way they are made and the way they are produced, ”said Killian Walsh, Creative Director and General Manager.
The brand works with a plant in Portugal that runs on renewable energies and a family plant in Japan.
In 2022, everything will be made from recycled fabrics or animal corpses and the brand will continue to collect plastic waste which will be turned into accessories the following year, in addition to launching numerous collaborations with other Irish companies.
- Available on ilk.ie. Prices start at 25 €.
Named after the Irish word for “example”, Sampla has raised over € 40,000 on the Kickstarter fundraising site to bring its vision to bring casual elegance to the footwear market.
Waterford founder Finbarr Power, who describes himself as a shoe freak, launched the brand when he couldn’t find an ethical alternative to his favorite sneakers.
The unisex design, based on the classic ’80s tennis shoe, is made in part from apple leather (made from recycled apple waste from the Italian juice industry; a 100% vegan material alternative called appleskin ™) and recycled or organic materials (organic cotton laces; responsibly hand-carved European automotive industry super crepe and PU scraps for the insoles). Whether worn with a floral dress or athletic wear and jeans, the shoe is adaptable and desirable without a high environmental cost.
“We could have rushed to market, but we wanted to have a sustainable product that we could support. Sustainable shoes should be shoes that are not mass produced and that are customer-specific with the most efficient materials available on demand, ”said Power.
The shoes, made in a small family-run traditional artisan shoe workshop based in the suburbs of Braga, Portugal, take a holistic approach to sustainability from a logistics partner who seeks the most optimal route for each delivery to reduce costs. carbon emissions, plastic-free packaging and the reforestation project that sees one tree planted for every pair produced.
“We were blown away by the response. “
From the studio at her home in Wexford, Helena Malone creates timeless and beautiful objects without compromising the environment. Initially a project passionate about her creativity, as she progressed she realized the moral implications of the design.
From dwindling global resources to the task of finding recyclable or zero-waste packaging, to the merits and loot of lab-grown diamonds, Malone has become as much an environmentalist as he is a goldsmith.
“It’s definitely beyond selling products,” she said. “I realized that the important part of my business is engaging my customers, talking to them and really figuring out what they want. “
When Malone consults with customers, she offers to melt, reuse, and recycle or repair existing items before purchasing new materials, and when sourcing materials, she offers second-hand materials. (Malone uses recycled gold; the Madagascar sapphires in his latest collection come from a Danish company that prides itself on its close relationships with local miners.)
The new collection “All the colors that I love to dream” is based on precious stones such as diamond, sapphire, emerald, citrine, ruby and amethyst, by setting them in rings or chains fine recycled 18k gold.
- Available at helenamalone.ie, Stonechat Jewelers (Co. Dublin), Kilkenny Design (Co. Dublin). Prices start at 80 €.
Leonora Ferguson is pushing the boundaries of hat making even at a time when events are canceled or postponed.
Commonly adorning wax figures at Madame Tussauds or at Cara Delevingne, we are passionate about daring construction and the inventive and exploratory approach to zero waste materials and attitudes.
Ready-to-order and bespoke designs, her metallic lace headdresses replace nylon with biodegradable materials like hemp, leather with a pineapple-based alternative Piñatex®, and a collaboration with wood turner and sculptor Imelda Connolly, saw Ferguson transform the wood of a fallen beech tree into a curved fascinator.
She said: “In the past, I mostly thought about the origin of materials, but now I’m looking at materials and how they might break down afterwards, or how they might be taken apart for recycling.”