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Our CREATE designers talk to us about how they are focusing on sustainable sources for their collections

This year sustainability is the core focus of CREATE 2019 because, as our Fashion Director, Shelly Corkery says: “These designers are the future of Irish fashion…” and as such they are tasked with ensuring it is kind to our planet.

With this in mind we caught up with the designers to discover the many ways they are leading the way in sustainability.

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WHO: Alanagh Clegg’s brand Four Threads is a truly conscious brand, the name is a play on the four ways she wants her collection to make an impact by: being inspired, handmade, quality and conscious.

WHAT: New designs are gradually added with additions to fabric choices; including special projects creating limited edition garments working with artisan makers in India.

WHERE: She sources fabrics from local Irish linen (Emblem weavers in Wexford) to hand woven Indian ‘khadi’ cotton.

SHE SAYS: "Throughout my collection I only use natural fabrics, cotton, linen and silk. The cotton I use is called Khadi, a traditional handwoven Indian cotton. We work closely with our weavers in the Bengal region of Eastern India to ensure the utmost care is employed in the production of our fabric. The weavers benefit hugely from the demand for their fabrics."

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We favour organic or recycled materials that care for your skin and the environment.

Jill & Gill


WHO: Designers Jill & Gill are keen that their brand creates products that meets demanding ethical standards and is based on exclusivity and craftsmanship.

WHAT: Jill & Gill's garments are produced using certified Organic cotton and FairWear foundation standards that respect the equality and standard of workers and the studio uses non-toxic ink to hand print illustrations.

THEY SAY: "Our ‘Hero Pieces’ (denim bomber jackets) from the collection are designed and hand printed onto organic Japanese denim, cut and made here in Dublin, this way we can have full control over the inks used and the waste produced. Our entire collection reflects this, our t-shirts are made from 100% organic cotton, a natural, GMO-free fibre that uses less water than standard cotton and in addition, its production does not involve the use of chemicals to our sweaters which have 15% recycled polyester from plastic bottles."

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WHO: Faye Dinsmore's philosophy is to create knits which support Ireland's unique cottage industries, so our indigenous cultural heritage will be safeguarded for the future.

WHAT: Aran jumpers created using Irish wool and the traditional skills of the North West of Ireland.

WHERE: Faye’s knits are created by local knitters in her native Donegal.

SHE SAYS: "I believe in clothes made to last, and to be loved, for the careful skill and time taken to create them. I am passionate about using my small label as a vehicle to help keep alive the unique Irish tradition of Aran knitting."

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WHO: The Dualist focuses on luxury with meaning, telling the story of Irish heritage with a modern look.

WHAT: The brand offers a limited edition tailored coat collection, using only 100% Donegal tweed.

WHERE: Their limited edition tailored coats use only 100% authentic Irish Donegal tweed. Each piece is crafted using only Irish woven cloth and the skills of some of the best tailors in Europe.

SHE SAYS: "We believe in sustainable fashion that is kind to the environment and every individual in the process. The true art of our craft is to celebrate and respect everyone who helps us shape our story."

The true art of our craft is to celebrate and respect everyone who helps us shape our story

Anna Guerin, The Dualist


WHO: Cliona O’Brien, creator of Moon & Mellow, graduated with a Masters in Business Ethics and Corporate Responsibility. She has combined her expertise in ethical sourcing, creativity and a love for pyjamas into a kind sleepwear brand.

WHAT: Ethical sleepwear brand using 100% cotton and working beautiful and unique prints.

WHERE: Moon & Mellow source their cotton fabrics from a Portuguese mill and produce in a Portuguese factory. The factories that they use are all independently audited to the highest ethical standards for labour, environmental, health and safety and business integrity. Their mill and factory are also Oeko-Tex certified for class I ensuring that their pieces are free from chemicals such as harmful Azo colourants.

SHE SAYS: "We source the finest fabrics and the best socially responsible factories to create our timeless, everyday luxury pieces. Our cotton is 100% natural, soft and durable. Our pieces are designed to last and made to be worn. We believe that if you buy quality you will consume less. We want to encourage people to take time to consider the purchases that they make and to love their choices. If the quality is good and you love wearing a piece you will wear it for years."


WHO: Emer Roberts Design is a fine jewellery brand created by the Irish visual artist. As a small brand every part of the process is managed with the environment in mind.

WHAT: Fine jewellery with a heart.

WHERE: Her designs are handmade in Ireland, with a focus on ethical sources and materials.

SHE SAYS: "As a luxury jewellery brand, I am very conscious of the ethical implications of manufacture, sourcing my materials and social and ecological responsibility. My designs are rooted in sustainable values: ethical sourcing where possible, recycling materials, building intrinsic value and style that is not ephemeral."

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WHO: For CREATE 2019 Sara is focused on sustainability and the ideals of a circular economy, inspired by her years on the Belfast punk scene.

WHAT: Her collection works kimonos, silk co-ords, dramatic crepe de chine capes and sweeping dresses, some using upcycled materials.

WHERE: Handmade in Belfast.

SHE SAYS: "I use silk and second hand leather in my collections. Silk is a highly renewable resource with less impact on the environment than many other fabrics. I prefer to use natural fabrics rather than man-made as they tend to age better so can be worn for many years to come."

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WHO: Leonora creates headpieces woven by hand from lengths of wire into traditional lace knots before being transformed into wearable sculptural forms, often using recycled materials.

WHAT: Leonora creates her sculptural headpieces from a sustainable vegan leather alternative Piñatex®.

WHERE: Each piece is handmade in Ireland.

SHE SAYS: "Sustainability is so important in my business and personal ethics. You have to think about the impact of what you’re putting out there in the world. It means taking more time and care selecting materials, keeping informed of new advances in technology and constantly asking if there is better way of doing things."

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WHO: Designers Triona and Aoibheann are passionate about the quality of their shawls and homewares, all fabric is hand selected and each piece is made to order and designed to last a lifetime.

WHAT: Scarves, shawls and cushions inspired by Ireland and created in Ireland.

WHERE: Committed to the West of Ireland for inspiration and production, the designer duo Triona Lillis and Aoibheann McNamara work solely with indigenous fabrics.

THEY SAY: "The Tweed project is part of the Slow Fashion movement where fabric, time and craft take priority over trends and fast consumer culture. "

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Becoming a more sustainable, responsible and ethical brand takes a lot of work and commitment. We can clearly see from our Irish designers they are truly dedicated and have the vision to make it a reality.




Interested to see how our international brands work their sustainable practices? Read more in Sustainable Strides.