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Image / Style / Irish Design

Irish Design Spotlight: greens are good for you


Melanie Mullan for IMAGE Magazine

Irish Design Spotlight: greens are good for you

greens are good for you was born out of a shared mission to reduce waste and encourage others to have fun with their fashion choices (without the guilt!). Here, founders Johanna Dooley and Kara O’Sullivan, tell us more about their business.

Tell us about you and your shop
greens are good for you is a fashion rental service based in Dublin. We specialise in dopamine dressing and adore having fun with what we wear. We truly have feelings for our clothes, and every piece is standout and special to us! We saw a gap to move away from traditional clothing rental for weddings and graduations, and move towards taking more risks with fashion without the commitment.

As covid restrictions started to lift we saw this excitement to go out and get dressed up again. People really wanted to “show up” for their social events but they weren’t exactly looking for a ball gown either. We curated a collection of colourful and enjoyable clothes for any occasion that really resonates with the customer, no matter the reason they’re doing it for – be that sustainability, cost efficiency or fashion. Whether it’s a concert, date, boozy brunch or city break you need an outfit for, we have you covered!

Johanna Dooley and Kara O’Sullivan in their curated by greens concept store

Our colourful concept store can be found at 6 Royal Hibernian Way. It’s home to 15 amazing small Irish brands. It was always super important for us to have a store so that our customers could see our pieces in person and try them on. They have so much fun experimenting with the pieces and often find that one size fits a large variety of different body shapes, so they hugely value this service. But of course, as a small business that’s less than a year old, we wouldn’t have been able to have our own store in town. So we brought together a gorgeous group of Irish brands with similar vibes and values to fill the space with us. We first did this with our pop-up store gifted by greens are good for you on Exchequer St last December and it was a huge success! So, we were counting down the days until we could open our current more permanent home, curated by greens are good for you.

What is your mission?
We always have fun with our clothes, having fun and enjoying what we do is so important to us. There is no better feeling than seeing our customers in our pieces, giving each piece its own little outing and story to tell. All this whilst making a difference towards a more sustainable future in fashion is why we do what we do! We like to live a colourful life and our clothes need to match so it’s all about the dopamine dressing!

Did you always know you wanted to work in fashion?
I don’t think either of us knew what we wanted to do! Johanna has always had an interest in fashion and an entrepreneurial spirit, whilst Kara had a business head but was also quite creative. It definitely was a case of trial and error and learning along the way!

What kind of items do you stock?
In terms of rental, we have your look covered for date nights, dinner with the girls, city trips and festi-fun! In the store, we have something for everyone, from fashion rental, jewellery, knitwear, athleisure, accessories and skateboards to phone charms.

What new brands or items are on your radar?
We are always hunting down colourful, stand-out pieces. Some pieces on our wishlist include: AREA jeans, The Attico Feather Trim Dress and the Saks Potts Pink Dress!

Was money/funding a concern when starting out?
Of course! We are still self-funded at the moment and as we grow it is increasingly difficult to keep up/ We are currently working on getting investment ready so we can take the company to the next level.

Best business advice you’ve gotten
Don’t wait until you are 100% happy to launch, go ahead once you’re at 80% and make the necessary improvements as you go. Perfectionism is a problem for us, but once we decided we would never be 100% happy with the website, Instagram, packaging etc. before launching, that lifted such a weight off. Now, we are making little improvements every day and it’s a much more enjoyable and productive journey.

Favourite fashion/design accounts you follow
In terms of Irish style influences, some of our favourites include Gabby Luksaite who sells her jewellery in our store and is one of our fabulous peers renting pieces through greens!

Stylists Aideen Feely and Oyindamola Animashaun along with Tara Kumar are always killing it! And we adore Niamh Connaughton and Isabel Gleeson’s style too, two more of our amazing peers.

Outside of Ireland, we love Verona Farrell (@secondhandhuns), an Irish girl based in Stockholm. The queen of sustainability and pre-loved fashion, we love seeing the pieces she thrifts and how she styles them again and again.

Emili Sindlev is probably our ultimate style crush as she never fails to surprise us. She’s definitely the queen of all things colour and every day is a totally new look. We love how she experiments with her style and it always just seems to work!

Sophie Suchan and her crew from That’s So Sabotage never fail to get it right. We are obsessed with everything they wear.

Best fashion purchase

Rainbow cardigan from h20 fagerholt

Our rainbow cardigan from h20 fagerholt. We tracked this one down for months and finally found someone selling it from NYC on Depop! We are also obsessed with one of our first greens purchases the Saks Potts green lissi pants. Not only are they the most fun pants ever, but they are also ridiculously comfy and are a customer fave… oh and they’re green!

Most useful learning since setting up a business
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, you can’t always do everything on your own. Community is so important to us. We are so lucky with the store to be surrounded by an amazing group of brands that started out at a similar time to us. We are able to bounce ideas off each other, share contacts, concerns and questions, and help each other grow.

Other Irish brands you love

There are so many – some of which we are lucky enough to have in our store. Gabsluk jewellery, Sorcha O’Raghaliagh, Rashhiiid, Hope Macaulay, Aisling Kavanagh, and of course Simone Rocha are amongst our favourites.

Proudest moment so far
Opening our new store and now our permanent home! We both took a moment together on the day of our launch party to just reflect on the almost (year) we have had, the amount we have accomplished and all that is to come – we are just so excited!

Header image by Melanie Mullan for IMAGE Magazine