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Image / Fashion

5 homegrown Irish designers you can support during the pandemic

by Erin Lindsay
23rd Oct 2020

If you want to support Irish design during the Covid-19 crisis, these five designers are a good place to start

We are all feeling the economic effects of Covid-19. Whether you’ve lost your job completely, are on reduced hours, or are just worried in general about money, we can all relate to the economic anxiety that is becoming more and more commonplace these days.

Irish creatives are among the hardest hit by the economic effects of Covid-19. Designers and artists who rely on freelance gigs or income from their own businesses are at risk of losing huge amounts of income, as they struggle with the effects of people reducing their spending. Creatives are the ones that make Irish culture so rich and exciting to be a part of, and supporting them at a time like this is hugely important.

If you want to update your wardrobe with unique and beautiful pieces, steer clear of fast fashion outlets and spend your money where it’s needed. Irish design is full of amazing talent, and ensuring your money is put to good use will make the outfit look so much better.

Pearl Reddington

Dublin-based knitwear designer Pearl Reddington specialises in stunning Aran knits with beautiful points of difference, like neon cuffs, and unique colourways. Each garment is handmade to order, down to the pompoms and clay buttons, from her base in Raheny, and the majority of Pearl’s wool is sourced in Ireland, making it sustainable too.

Aoife McNamara

Aoife’s eponymous designs have earned her a litany of celebrity fans, with many of the country’s top presenters and influencers wearing her distinctive partywear to their best occasions. Aoife’s pieces are designed and made in Ireland, with many using Irish-made wool and tweed to give them their unique aesthetic. Aoife’s label has only been up and running since 2019, and has already seen tremendous success, for good reason.

Kiki Na Art

Dublin designer Ciarna Pham creates beautiful, one-of-a-kind jewellery pieces designed to let your personality shine. Iconography of the non-religious kind abounds in Ciarna’s work, with modern day legends like Dolly Parton, Cher and Iris Apfel (or whoever takes your fancy) adorned on colourful, tribal-like backgrounds. Ciarna is currently in Vietnam, her husband’s home country, where she has been for the duration of the virus, but is still selling her existing wares and working on sourcing new materials.

The Tweed Project

The Tweed Project, headed by Aoibheann MacNamara and Triona Lillis, create handmade, one-of-a-kind pieces that are made entirely from Irish fabrics, including premium Donegal tweed and Irish linen, and made in a small Atelier in Galway. Each piece is made to order, and while at a higher price point, they are truly pieces to cherish for life.

Four Threads

Created by Alanagh Clegg during her graduate year at NCAD, Four Threads uses ethically sourced fabrics from Ireland and India to create beautiful, ethereal pieces. The ethos behind the brand is creating timeless garments to be loved for a long time, and between wool coats, linen dresses, and satin tunics, you are sure to find an occasion to wear each for many years to come.

Read more: Fabrics to avoid and embrace if you want to make more sustainable fashion choices

Read more: Vestiaire Collective are hosting a charity sale to fight Covid-19 (and there are some big names involved)

Read more: How one Irish woman became the creative director for one of the biggest DJs in LA