Sustainable Fashion Dublin is back with a new look, website and name. We sat down with co-founder Geraldine Carton to find out what's next for The Useless Project
When Sustainable Fashion Dublin hit the scene in November 2018, it was a breath of fresh air.
The world was getting ahead of itself. The majority were wilfully ignoring the climate crisis at hand. And the volumes of waste being created were increasing by the day.
Its founders Geraldine Carton and Taz Kelleher burst onto the scene with personality, pizzazz and a determination to start a conversation. Through positive dialogue on the topic of sustainability, they created an online community that brought together like-minded individuals and highlighted the positive and accessible side of shopping and consuming fashion sustainably.
Through flea-markets, swap shops and workshops, Geraldine and Taz brought sustainable style to the main arena. However, like all businesses, the blueprint must evolve and change. And now Sustainable Fashion Dublin is back with a new name, a new look and a new website.
The Useless Project
The Useless Project still holds all the same characteristics and ideals as before but it's bigger and brighter. The website is now a space for everything from DIY upcycling videos and sewing tutorials to batch-cooking recipes and climate justice deep-dives. Its creators don't want you to rehaul your life with drastic adjustments – they want for you to start small and make positive changes along the way.
So what was the reason for the shift? Co-founder Geraldine Carton says the main reason is that the venture became much bigger than fashion and expanded into lifestyle, food, education, advocacy and online content generation.
"When we started off Sustainable Fashion Dublin it was just a fun side gig," she says. "Myself and Taz didn't even really know each other. It just completely gathered momentum and grew into this huge thing, so we had only intended to start off in the sustainable fashion realm but it got so far that it felt like the name wasn't relevant anymore and it felt kind of ridiculous to be giving talks on food waste and composting when our name was fashion related."
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Like many other businesses, the pandemic and subsequent lockdown proved challenging. Live events were a major part of the initiative and these had to stop. However, it came as a hidden blessing and gave Geraldine and Taz the opportunity to pivot.
"It has been so exciting but we have been trying to plan it all out during lockdown. It meant we couldn't do our live events but this was a benefit because it meant all our time wasn't taken up doing events which is what we had been doing over the last two years. I think in total we had done over 200 events in that period but it meant it didn't give us the time to do the rebrand that we needed. With the lockdown, we had no excuse to not build the website and go where we wanted to."
The Useless Project will remain online for now while restrictions remain but the website is there to fill the gap.
"Hopefully we will be bringing our IRL events back soon but for the meantime, we are going to be doing more online stuff, more webinars, and tutorials and getting new voices who are making an effort where they can," Geraldine explains. "We want to be inclusive and create a space where people can pipe up and share their experiences or their tips and tricks when it comes to sustainability."
Geraldine says there are big plans in place for the Useless Project over the coming months but for now, it's all about creating community and partnership.
"Community and connection are so important to us. So whether it's connecting to the way in which your food is being made or grown, or your clothes or even to each other – it's about connecting the dots. And that is where positive change happens."
Visit www.theuselessproject.com for more
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