Surrogacy: ‘As soon as I lay a foot on Irish soil I become a legal stranger to my son’
Surrogacy: ‘As soon as I lay a foot on Irish soil I become a legal...

Amanda Cassidy

Cuffing season is upon and singletons need to know what to look out for
Cuffing season is upon and singletons need to know what to look out for

Christina McLoughlin

Children are becoming less resilient and it is because of our parenting style
Children are becoming less resilient and it is because of our parenting style

Amanda Cassidy

These 4 Sofia Coppola films are the dreamy escapism we need right now
These 4 Sofia Coppola films are the dreamy escapism we need right now

Jennifer McShane

Am I supposed to feel joy over a PowerPoint presentation?
Am I supposed to feel joy over a PowerPoint presentation?

Esther O'Moore Donohoe

Nowstalgia: beauty’s most forward-thinking trend? Looking back
Nowstalgia: beauty’s most forward-thinking trend? Looking back

Holly O'Neill

Here’s how to maximise your annual leave in 2022
Here’s how to maximise your annual leave in 2022

Megan Burns

What’s coming to Netflix this November
What’s coming to Netflix this November

Lauren Heskin

The reality of being a single mother by choice: ‘I conceived my son with a sperm donor’
The reality of being a single mother by choice: ‘I conceived my son with a...

Amanda Cassidy

What you watch on TV says a LOT about your personality
What you watch on TV says a LOT about your personality

Amanda Cassidy

Make like Chris Evans and Taylor Swift and invest in an Aran jumper this season
Image / Style / Fashion

Knives Out

Make like Chris Evans and Taylor Swift and invest in an Aran jumper this season


by Sarah Finnan
02nd Oct 2021

Siobhan McKenna is a Donegal designer who has been upping the Aran jumper game with her sustainably-made creations.

Aran jumpers have been around since the dawn of time. Well, perhaps a little after, but it’s been a long time nonetheless. First worn on the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland, the garment has come to be synonymous with Irish heritage and it’s usually top of the wishlist for those visiting our humble shores. 

Several notable people have sported an Aran jumper over the years – Steve McQueen, Elvis Presley, Grace Kelly. Even Marilyn Monroe was a fan. More recently, the Irish craft market has Taylor Swift and Chris Evans to thank for a sudden surge in demand; the duo started a commercial jumper frenzy after photos of them wearing the classic went viral online. Just think of the silver chain hysteria Normal People caused and you have a pretty good benchmark of how the whole thing went down…

What many people may not know, is that the Aran jumper goes beyond just being a fashion statement though. Every stitch in Aran knitting is significant. Originally made as a protective layer for fishermen to wear while out at sea, Aran jumpers are designed to withstand the elements. Not only that, but the stitches are often representative of age-old family patterns that have been passed down from generation to generation. 

There’s history in the very threads of each geansaí, so if you’re going to invest, you want to know you’re purchasing from the best. Donegal designer Siobhan McKenna makes her case as to why her brand Moss + Cable deserves consideration. 

Aran jumper

Still a new enough addition to the Irish Aran scene, Siobhan only set up Moss + Cable during lockdown last year. “Up until the end of last year I was working in the buying office of Liberty London,” she told me. “I had been placed on furlough during the early days of lockdown and during this time went back home to Donegal. I spent a few months at home and began to dream up the idea for this brand. 

Why Aran jumpers specifically? Citing a love for tradition and a frustration that she could never quite find what it was she was looking for, she ultimately decided to just make her own. “I have always loved Aran jumpers but could never find one that felt quite right in terms of style, shape and colour. As I carried out further research into the industry, I also discovered that many Irish manufacturers were having the garments produced overseas. I was quite surprised by this and felt disappointed that an item so rich in history and craftsmanship was being sourced elsewhere”, she admitted. 

Already foreseeing an increase in demand for sustainably-made Irish products, Siobhan preempted that the market would swing in favour of locally-produced garments and she’s already proven to be a big hit with Irish shoppers. Particularly as we come into the colder autumn/winter months and people are looking for new knitwear options.

blank Ensuring that all production takes place in Co Donegal, she puts a huge emphasis on being as sustainable as possible and all her creations are made using locally-sourced yarn (100% pure new wool, Merino wool and luxurious Merino lambswool which is new for AW21). “Sustainability is at the core of what we do. We  focus on reducing waste and creating forever pieces that will last a lifetime.”

Moss + Cable knitwear is the antithesis of what can be found on the high street. Every single stitch is considered and all items are made by craftspeople in Donegal who have decades of experience with this product. Yarn is sourced locally and all production takes place within Co. Donegal, keeping one of the county’s most renowned industries alive and well. “It was important to me that all manufacturing takes place here and that the majority of our yarn is supplied locally so that we are truly a Donegal business”, Siobhan continued. 

Hoping to “reinvigorate Aran knitwear” by blending both the old with the new, garments achieve this by relying on classic stitching, a varied colour palette and a more contemporary aesthetic. The line also strays from gender-specific pieces, with Siobhan noting that she wanted to stick to a gender-neutral approach instead. “The consumer has moved away from traditional attitudes and preferences in terms of how they shop for their clothes today, no longer subscribing to staying within womenswear or menswear.”

According to recent statistics, 56% of Gen Z consumers already shop outside of their gender, ignoring clothing labels and gendered sections. So, this approach made sense in order for Siobhan to create a truly modern Irish brand of her dreams. 

For AW21, Moss + Cable is launching a premium collection of two new styles made from 100% Merino Lambswool. These pieces further elevate the Aran knit and feel extra luxurious on the skin. The Turtleneck Lambswool Aran and The Relaxed Lambswool Aran will be available from September 2021, prices start from €295.

Aran jumper Aran jumper Aran jumper Aran jumper Aran jumper

Recently launching a premium collection of two new styles for their AW21 collection, all pieces are now available to shop on the Moss + Cable website. Bridging the gap between expensive, bespoke options and mass-produced, tourist-centric versions, prices start at €165 and range up to €315.

Also Read

Make like Chris Evans and Taylor Swift and invest in an Aran jumper this season
BEAUTY
Convenient, reusable cleansing cloths that will make you ditch make-up wipes for good

When it comes to cleansing, take it from Caroline Hirons, wipes are only good for the three F’s: fannies, festivals...

By Holly O'Neill

Make like Chris Evans and Taylor Swift and invest in an Aran jumper this season
BEAUTY
3 for Tuesday: Facial sprays to keep at your desk (and why you shouldn’t overuse them)

Need something other than caffeine to liven up that mid-afternoon slump? Facial sprays are a great way to hit that...

By Aisling Keenan

Make like Chris Evans and Taylor Swift and invest in an Aran jumper this season
BEAUTY
Andie MacDowell: Why is my grey hair an issue and George Clooney’s isn’t?

Andie MacDowell debuted a new natural look at the premiere of ‘Annette’ earlier this month, but she thinks it’s time...

By Sarah Finnan

Make like Chris Evans and Taylor Swift and invest in an Aran jumper this season
premium BEAUTY
Will filter free images be a legacy of the pandemic?

A renewed appetite for genuine imagery during Covid-19 (grey hair, stretch marks and curves) is to be welcomed but is...

By Rose Mary Roche

Make like Chris Evans and Taylor Swift and invest in an Aran jumper this season
SUSTAINABLE STYLE
Rixo are launching their first denim collection

The London brand debuted its first sustainable denim collection with a gorgeous 13-piece line at CFW. It’s been a year...

By Sarah Finnan

Make like Chris Evans and Taylor Swift and invest in an Aran jumper this season
SHOPPING
Is it hat weather yet? Our favourites to buy right now

As functional as they are stylish, hats are a great way to dress up an outfit (or hide hair that...

By Sarah Finnan

Make like Chris Evans and Taylor Swift and invest in an Aran jumper this season
SHOPPING
The luxury advent calendars to buy now (before they sell out!)

Nothing builds up the holiday anticipation quite like luxury advent calendars and the thrill of opening just one door a...

By Sarah Finnan