Run by husband and wife duo Steven and Lorna Murphy, Fresh Cuts was born and bred in the heart of Dublin City centre, where they began selling their original designs in Cow's Lane Designer Market in 2015. Fast forward a couple of years and their team has grown to seven people with their first retail store open at 13 Castle Market, Dublin 2. Here they share more about their brand.
Tell us about you and your brand/business
Born and bred in the heart of Dublin City Centre, Fresh Cuts began selling its original designs and garments in Cow’s Lane Designer Market in 2015. The idea was to give people an option to choose better-made clothing, but not compromise on style or quality. Sustainability and ethical production are at the heart of what we do. We’re an independent family business run by us (couple Lorna and Steven) and our new addition, a beautiful little girl, Indi.
What is your mission?
We are really passionate about creating a design-led brand that focuses on slow fashion and sustainable practices. We like to say: designing is our passion, protecting the earth is our duty and celebrating independent stores is our mission.
Did you always want to work in fashion?
Lorna has always had a love of fashion – from a young age, it has always been a passion of hers. After studying computer science for one semester in UCD she knew it wasn’t for her. She packed up her bags and moved to Milan by herself to study fashion design. From there she worked with designers in the UK, Germany and Ireland before setting up her own brand. Steven’s interests were more aligned with starting a business and working for himself. From a young age, I have always wanted to work for myself but I didn’t particularly know in what capacity. Having moved back from Australia and not being able to buy my favourite t-shirts anymore I decided to make my own.
What kind of items do you stock?
We stock a range of casual sustainable items from hoodies and crew necks to jeans and footwear. We try to stock a good mix of items so there are bits for everyone at all price ranges. We have both men’s and women’s clothing items. The only requirement we have is that all brands are certified and sustainable.
What new brands or items are on your radar?
At the moment we are really trying to push our own Fresh Cuts brand. We have just launched our new Knitwear range made from 100% Organic Cotton. This is the first time we have done a knitwear range and are delighted with it. The collection falls into our AW22 Botanical collection and was actually designed using deadstock fabric. This means no extra fabric had to be produced to make it, we just used what was available.
Was money/funding a concern when starting out?
We have very much bootstrapped and re-invested in the brand to date. The brand was started with personal savings of €5,000 and we have grown from there.
Best business advice you’ve gotten
Block out the noise. Stay true to your path and always remember what your mission and goals are. There will be so many brands doing different things – growing faster than you, introducing different products. You always need to stay focused on what you want to do with your own brand and what your goal is.
Favourite sustainable style accounts to follow online
Our favourite at the moment is The Ocean Clean Up on Instagram. They are developing technologies to clean up the great Pacific garbage patch. They are on version 7 now but it’s amazing to keep track of what they are doing and how much they have yet to do. Other accounts we love are Project Just & Good On You.
Best fashion purchase
Steven: My Mud jeans that I wear every day. I’ve gotten years of wear out of them. When I do finish with them we collect them in-store and send them back to the factory to be recycled into new jeans so I know that that circular element is there.
Lorna: My EcoAlf Jacket has to be the winner for me. I have had it for three winters now and it’s such a classic piece that it is yet to go out of style. It’s made from 100% recycled material and they are some of our best sellers in the shop over the winter months.
Other sustainable Irish brands you love
Aoife McNamara , Edge Only and The Kind are three brands that really stand out but there are so many out there that are really pushing the sustainability element forward.
Most useful learning since setting up a business
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Proudest moment so far
This would have to be signing our lease at 13 Castle Market. Having started the retail journey in a basement on South William St we could only have dreamed of having a unit on Castle Market. To sign a long-term lease and have a base to grow from has been instrumental to us. We love the area and to have roots here now is something really special for the family.
I want my brand to be remembered for… being high-quality designs that last with sustainability at the forefront.
If I could dress anyone it would be… truthfully there’s nothing better than walking up Grafton Street and seeing our customers wearing one of our designs. We don’t aspire to create clothes for anyone in particular. Just seeing anyone invest their money in our designs is the best feeling. Our customers are who we design for and our favourite people to dress in the end.