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Image / Style / Irish Design

Sustainable Irish clothing brands you can feel good about supporting this Earth Day

An annual celebration, today marks the 51st anniversary of the universally-celebrated Earth Day.


by Sarah Finnan
22nd Apr 2021

Instagram @four-threads, photographed by Doreen Kilfeather

Instagram @four-threads, photographed by Doreen Kilfeather

A day dedicated to emphasising the importance of looking after our home planet, it’s also an occasion to pay credence to the many independent businesses and retailers that are doing their best to make positive changes. Below you’ll find 13 different Irish clothing brands who have committed to doing their part in the fight against climate change.

Fresh cuts Dublin

An ethical and sustainable clothing company based in Dublin, Fresh Cuts began selling its original designs in Temple Bar’s famous Cow Lane market. Growing legs from there, they’ve since expanded their offering, really pushing themselves to continue challenging themselves in their sustainable practices. 

Gearing up to launch their SS21 line this weekend, the new collection has helped the brand save over seven million litres of water – also adding a new carbon offset tool to their website which will make all deliveries carbon neutral. 

Speaking of the new collection – title The Food of Life and inspired by the moments people have shared, missed and look forward to around the dinner table – founder Steven Murphy said, “We are constantly researching new technologies and fabric to ensure we are always using the most sustainable practices and continue to reduce our footprint.”

IMAGE picks

Against The Tide

A relatively new Irish clothing brand, Against The Tide (formerly known as Forty Foot Apparel) launched in December of last year. Inspired by their love for the sea and all things sustainable living in general, founders Niamh and Joe established the brand as a way to unite sea swimmers, surfers, ocean lovers and beachgoers through consciously created clothing. 

Committed to sourcing only ethical, sustainable and high-quality products, each item is designed and printed in Ireland with 5% of every sale also going to charity too. Inspired by their own local swimming spot in Dún Laoghaire, the Forty Foot range is the first of their signature hoodies. Available in three different colours, each one is unisex, fleece-lined and made from 100% organic cotton.

IMAGE picks

Bogman Beanie

Born in the bog but made in Donegal, the folks at Bogman Beanie believe in old traditions. Proclaiming an undying love for the treasures found in “dusty attics and old photographs”, their products are made from natural fibres and colours – also offering customers the chance to custom create their own specific design. 

Specialising in beanie hats, t-shirts and pure wool sweaters, the chosen colours reflect life in rural Ireland, with some of the delicious offerings including “squishy moss green” and “dusty rose pink”. 

All beanies are made using 100% Donegal tweed yarn, meaning that Bogman Beanie products only take between five months to 50 years to biodegrade – as opposed to the 20 to 200 years needed for products made from synthetic materials to do the same. 

IMAGE picks

Jill & Gill

Another name that most people will be familiar with by now, Jill & Gill are an award-winning Irish brand famous for their fresh approach to illustration and print. Spanning across fine art, fashion and design, sustainability is at their core and founders Jill Deering and Gillian Henderson aim to empower with their creations. 

Already with several big collaborations under their belts, previous projects they’ve worked on include commissions for singer James Vincent McMorrow, the Repeal project and Brown Thomas. 

Known for their bold, eye-catching designs, they’re created with the intent to be timeless and you’re going to want to wear each one until it’s completely threadbare.

IMAGE picks

 

Theo + George

Firm believers in the “ease of buying less and choosing well”, Theo + George was started to help shoppers get more from life, with less. Providing buyers with a timeless collection of wardrobe essentials, each piece hopes to make dressing yourself as effortless an endeavour as possible. Something that we’ll be all the more thankful for when “normal” life returns and we find ourselves rushing out the door, late for a meeting!

Putting an emphasis on textile and social responsibility, their “slow fashion” ethos encourages people to really think before they invest, only buying items that are durable, timeless and made in fair conditions. 

IMAGE picks

Organic Movement

An Irish business selling organic cotton, ethically made yoga wear, Organic Movement was founded by Emylou Hurley after a trip to India back in 2018. Discovering her passion for both yoga and sustainability, Emylou credits the Netflix documentary The True Cost Movie for helping her to realise the true impact the fashion and garment industry has on the world. 

Hand selecting each beautiful design, all Organic Movement pieces are ethically and sustainably made in Bali and Europe. Covering all activewear bases, products range from leggings to tops and tees, with menswear options also available on the website. 

IMAGE picks

Due South Clothing

Born in 2016, Due South Clothing creates simple, minimalist designs that reflect life in Ireland – something cofounder Mel refers to as “la nostalgia” for a piece of home. Designed to mirror the rugged coastline and rolling green hills, designs are made using eco-friendly materials with those including 100% organic cotton and recycled polyester. 

Making the decision to only work with manufacturers taking proactive steps towards sustainability, all of their manufacturers are also PETA certified meaning that the do not conduct or commission ingredients/formulations/finished products that were tested on animals.

IMAGE picks

Grown

A community of curious individuals inspired by nature, Grown draws inspiration from the world around us – honouring that connection by creating clothing that feel part of nature but also pay tribute to their sustainability beliefs. 

Speaking on that topic, founders Stephen O’Reilly, Neil McCabe and Damien Bligh, commented, “over the years we have found that the role of responsible business is to be not only a reflection of what is but to uphold a vision of what could be. We need community, collaboration and connection to create positive change; we can’t do it all on our own.”

Taking things one step further in the fight against climate change, owners have also invested in land at Grown Forest in Co. Wicklow and will plant one tree for each garment sold – a tree that as it grows, will supply enough oxygen for four people per day. 

IMAGE picks

31 Chapel Lane

An independent family-run luxury clothing label and garment making house, 31 Chapel Lane is headquartered in the Georgian centre of Limerick city. So-named after a place in Co Cavan, the brand was born from a “connection to the past and the socially transformative qualities of industry and design”. 

Celebrating the virtues of structure, materiality and stability, each piece is the product of countless hours of love – hand-crafted and tailored from Irish linen or pure wool, Donegal tweed.

IMAGE picks

All Things Fiona Lily

Many of you may already be familiar with Fiona Lily’s colourful creations. Routinely spotted brightening up our Instagram feeds, her designs are made using end-of-line fabric she sources from different warehouses, thereby saving it from ending up in landfill. 

Really taking off last year during the onset of the pandemic, her sweaters come emblazoned with a number of different positive affirmations – ranging from “be kind” to “you got this babe”. Inspiring people to keep the faith during what is an otherwise very worrisome time, Fiona Lily also set up a self-love club that customers can subscribe to for exclusive access to different workshops and events. 

IMAGE picks

FéRí

A “vibrant and imaginative” clothing brand, FéRí is rooted in creativity and nostalgia. Brought up to know the value of being resourceful, Faye Anna Rochford – the brand’s founder – tries to capture the energy of both old and new through her designs. 

Setting herself the loft goal of becoming as fully sustainable a business as possible, everything is designed in a small studio in Wexford with the resulting products hand-made in tiny quantities both locally in Ireland and with further afield with an ethically accredited manufacturer in India. 

FéRí products are made using “reclaimed fabrics” or natural fabrics, with the latter made from natural fibres that are biodegradable. All packaging is also recyclable and or/biodegradable with 90% of it sourced in Ireland. 

IMAGE picks

Imara

Very much a family affair, Imara came to be in the summer of 2019 with founder Amy enlisting the help of her mother, grandmother, sisters and neighbours as she first found her feet. A “hair brain idea” that was the result of fleeting, late-night inspiration, each piece is made with sustainability in mind – from multifunctional and unisex designs, to ensuring materials are natural and locally sourced. 

Working closely with Irish linen mills, each purchase from Imara has a knock on effect, supporting local businesses further down the line that you may not even have thought about when perusing the website. 

Also committed to cancelling the carbon footprint each design leaves behind, Amy and her family plant one tree on their family farm for each piece that leaves their doors. According to their website, “we can’t conquer every world problem in one day, but every small step brings us one step in the right direction.”

IMAGE picks

Four Threads

Created by Alanagh Clegg during her Graduate year in The National College of Art and Design, Four Threads draws on four different aims when producing a product – those being inspired, handmade, quality and conscious. 

Using ethically sourced fabrics from local Irish Linen to handwoven Indian ‘khadi’ cotton, textiles are meticulously chosen to celebrate their heritage and the traditions of old techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation.

IMAGE picks

 

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