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Fashion

A PUSH FOR PROGRESS

With sustainability at the core of this year’s CREATE, the designers reveal how they are acting and thinking more ethically throughout their work.

Having celebrated a decade of CREATE last year, Brown Thomas Fashion Buying Director, Shelly Corkery was determined to go one step further in 2021. “We’ve turned CREATE on its heels and are pushing for progression. With the reinvention of retail and sustainability being at the core of our business, it was very clear that was the way forward.”

While planning this major initiative during lockdown came with its own challenges, achieving a balanced offering was a key objective. “I want the best of the best materials and people want to wear pieces that make them feel good and look good. The balance is very important to me, there’s innovation as well as ready-to-wear. This year we found so many new and innovative projects like Barbara Bennett who does the customisation of the trainers. She blew my mind. I was most excited to find newness, up-and-coming talent and the discovery involved in that.”

For the designers involved in this year’s CREATE, the benefits are ten-fold. “It showcases them on the platform of a luxury, designer department store, sitting alongside international brands and being elevated to that level. It gives them the opportunity of customer feedback. There’s nothing like listening to direct customer feedback. It offers a massive opportunity for the designers to develop their business skills. We’ve seen brands in the past with beautiful collections, but with no business plan behind them to drive the core of the brand, they don’t survive. It’s really nice to see people coming through and my biggest hope is to find people who can come on and stay and grow within our business.”

“This year, we opened it up to people who do customisation and restoration like Kevin Owens [of Sneaker Cleaner], who restores trainers - it’s really innovative. We’re looking at rental, restoration even resale. Everything is being looked at in a different way because people are buying differently now. I think people are buying better and maybe buying less.”

SHOP CREATE

SORCHA O’RAGHALLAIGH

About: Sorcha blends art and fashion, through a love of handmade craft and ornamental detailing, giving her ready-to-wear designs a sense of ceremony. A passion for history and traditional skills are reflected in the motifs, symbolism and iconography that characterise her unmistakable aesthetic.

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AS A BRAND, HOW ARE YOU PUSHING FOR PROGRESS?

“In terms of progress, we are doing our best to work with female-owned independent businesses within our supply chain and manufacturing. We've always tried to have an inclusive brand and see our pieces as genderless. This is something we value and would like to continue to push.”

WHAT STEPS ARE YOU TAKING TO BE MORE SUSTAINABLE AS A BRAND?

“We are taking more steps to reduce our carbon footprint by trying to cut down on the amount of transport involved in making our pieces, this means sourcing fabrics locally where possible.”

Sorcha O’Raghallaigh green feather dress, made to order, price available on request.

SHOP SORCHA O’RAGHALLAIGH

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THE LANDSKEIN

About: Modern refined tailoring that embodies a sense of place, tradition and impeccable craftsmanship reflected in the label’s line of tailored coats and blazers. All of the label's tweeds are exclusive to The Landskein and are made by fifth-generation weavers in County Donegal.

AS A BRAND, HOW ARE YOU PUSHING FOR PROGRESS?

"The main pillar of The Landskein is our unwavering commitment to sustainability. Our aim is to cause no harm to people or planet. Sustainability is about growing sustainable futures for the local economy, the environment, and for all the people and animals involved in the production of our pieces. Every decision that has been made in the development of this brand has considered our impact on the people and environment involved. Quality and sustainability are the main criteria in our purchasing decisions, cost has always been secondary."

WHAT STEPS ARE YOU TAKING TO BE MORE SUSTAINABLE AS A BRAND?

"We have full transparency on the source of each and every one of our components. We seek to partner with suppliers who share our vision of sustainability, accountability, and transparency. We always aim to source our materials locally and domestically first. We are proud to say that 80% of the components required to make each coat is made in Ireland. We only source outside Ireland, when it is proven impossible to source an Irish-made version."

The Landskein, AERIN, Irish Wool Trench in charcoal melange twill, hand-cut & hand-based in Ireland, €895

SHOP THE LANDSKEIN

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FAYE DINSMORE & CIARA HARRISON

About: This year’s showcase sees Faye Dinsmore return with her first ever range of sweaters created in collaboration with textile designer Ciara Harrison. The collection fuses the collaborators interest in the use of stitch and embellishment to present an exquisitely unique array of sweaters.

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AS A BRAND, HOW ARE YOU PUSHING FOR PROGRESS?

“My products are 100% hand knit in Ireland. Our ‘progress’ is about maintaining what we have, retaining the skilled knitters on our books is the gold prize for us. Without our knitters, we wouldn’t be able to exist. We offer a genuinely unique product to our customers and our aim will always be to honour that.”

WHAT STEPS ARE YOU TAKING TO BE MORE SUSTAINABLE AS A BRAND?

“I source all my wool locally from Donegal Yarns and all my knitters are based locally in Donegal. Both the raw materials and workforce are within the same county. When I think about ‘sustainability’ I think about how will I be able to continue to keep making hand-knit products in the future - I can only do this by paying my knitters properly for their work, which in turn encourages women who do knit to teach others, as a skill to have not just for its own enjoyment but as a legitimate source of income.”

Faye Dinsmore sweater hand knit in Donegal with embroidery work by textile artist Ciara Harrison, €675

SHOP FAYE DINSMORE & CIARA HARRISON

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ÉADACH BY SARA O'NEILL

About: Stylist and illustrator Sara O’Neill has reimagined her most popular prints, into sweeping long dresses, kimonos and silk scarves. The combination of her two passions, fashion and art, blend seamlessly to create her unique range of luxury printed textiles.

AS A BRAND, HOW ARE YOU PUSHING FOR PROGRESS?

“As a tiny brand with a tiny supply chain, I feel very privileged to be able to constantly assess my brand and production. For me, true sustainability must be across the design, production and life of a garment. There is little point in ensuring ‘sustainable’ production if the garment is only going to be worn a handful of times. For that reason, I don’t work with seasonal fashion or trends. Collections and new prints are launched when they are ready and are handmade, limited edition pieces. They are never discounted as I feel that devalues what already exists and creates pressure on the customer to purchase something new. Garment designs are simple and versatile to create a hard-working but luxurious garment that a customer will reach for all year round, year after year. Where possible, the garments are loose and flowing and only come in a couple of sizes to further cut down on production numbers. I work with tiny minimum orders and garment patterns that create little to no waste fabric. What waste fabric there is, is kept and reused in other pieces (lining vintage leather jackets for example) Each garment is limited edition and numbered, accompanied with a story. I want the customer to feel that they are investing in a favourite piece of art as well as a treasured garment.”

WHAT STEPS ARE YOU TAKING TO BE MORE SUSTAINABLE AS A BRAND?

“The idea of a circular economy is very important to me - using something second hand instead of producing something brand new, if possible. For that reason, I’ve been sourcing and hand-painting vintage leather jackets for the last couple of years, rather than using new leather. This year, I’ve also looked at the trimmings I use and am now sourcing antique buttons and trinkets to adorn garments instead of new ones. As well as being more sustainable, I adore the idea of using something that has been around for maybe 150 years. I’ve used Victorian Mourning buttons, 1920s French marble and Edwardian jet buttons. I also want to encourage my customers to give a new lease of life to a garment already hanging in their own wardrobe so I’ve created customisation kits which include a small silk square, embroidered patch, enamel pin and badges, so they can customise an old denim jacket, jeans or bag with my artwork and fall in love with an old favourite again.”

SHOP ÉADACH BY SARA O'NEILL

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KATIE ANN MCGUIGAN

About: Katie Ann McGuigan draws from subcultures both at home and abroad to create her eclectic collections and her use of contrasting textures, graphic prints and contemporary shapes remain the consistent, recognisable trademark within the narrative that evolves with each collection.

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AS A BRAND, HOW ARE YOU PUSHING FOR PROGRESS?

“Making an impact with everything that is created. This includes releasing collections and pieces that are consciously designed and crafted, that are released in a manner that stands apart from others and that is unique to the brand in its entirety. Creating a community - a family of creatives, each in their own field of design, that understand the brand’s vision, and can lend their expert knowledge to produce the best product possible. It includes understanding the fashion market, but greater so, the world we live in: Allowing for designs to be made to last, to be different yet staple pieces, to be worn season upon season, but maintain their beauty. It includes not adhering to industry standards, to expectations set out by others, that the brand does not fit into. Remaining boldly unique yet completely true to the brand is what pushing progress means.”

WHAT STEPS ARE YOU TAKING TO BE MORE SUSTAINABLE AS A BRAND?

“Being sustainable means being conscious of all aspects of the design and development process. From choosing fabrics and yarns that are of natural fibres, or fibres that have great recycling abilities, to focusing on local production, Katie Ann McGuigan pieces are designed and made in London. Decreasing shipping pollution and cost, creating a community, allowing for small, often friends and family-led companies, to maintain their businesses. While creating collections and products, the aim is to minimise waste and over-production. Creating initial prototypes from fabric remains, using offcuts to produce unique pieces, and allowing for a much greater considered production. Creating products that can be worn for a lifetime, and thus hold their value.”

Katie Ann McGuigan, Delphi Dress, €1,335. Dublin dress, €2250

SHOP KATIE ANN MCGUIGAN

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JILL & GILL

About: This multidisciplinary studio is made up of creative duo Jill Deering ‘illustrator' and Gillian Henderson ‘printmaker’. Together, they are Jill & Gill, an award-winning Irish brand with a fresh approach to illustration and print across fine art, fashion and design. They create meaningful and impactful products that give a sense of value in what it means to invest in Irish Design.

AS A BRAND, HOW ARE YOU PUSHING FOR PROGRESS?

“Jill & Gill is a brand born out of creativity. We are passionate and sustainable, we are makers and creators, we are empowering and driven.”

WHAT STEPS ARE YOU TAKING TO BE MORE SUSTAINABLE AS A BRAND?

“Our garments are sustainably sourced, ethically woven, shipped to our shores, designed in Dublin, printed locally & created to last. Our packing is all recyclable or compostable from our hand-printed swing tags in store to our compostable mailers for online.”

Jill & Gill hoody, €250

SHOP JILL & GILL

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LEONORA FERGUSON

About: Leonora Ferguson is an award-winning milliner, who’s designs have been worn by supermodel and actress, Cara Delevingne The designer will debut fashion and millinery pieces for the first time at CREATE, utilising Irish crochet lace techniques across beaded headpieces in black and white styles and blouses crafted from textured Irish linen with daisy motifs seen throughout.

AS A BRAND, HOW ARE YOU PUSHING FOR PROGRESS?

“I continue to focus on embracing handmade techniques such as Irish crochet lace with garments, lace and headpieces made in Ireland by myself and a small team of individuals. Ethical sourcing of fabrics and materials has been central to the collection.”

WHAT STEPS ARE YOU TAKING TO BE MORE SUSTAINABLE AS A BRAND?

“Every detail of the collection has been carefully considered, with end of roll designer linen sourced from Irish producers, heirloom embellishments made by hand in Ireland, even down to the buttons which are either corozo (made from the tagua nut) or vintage.”

Wilflowers headpiece, €1599

SHOP LEONORA FERGUSON

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TO DYE FOR BY JOHANNA

About: Created by Johanna Dooley during lockdown, To Dye For By Johanna features mood-lifting loungewear and accessories. Her latest collection for CREATE was designed with summer at home at the forefront of her mind and includes a joyful collection of sweatshirts, sweatpants and T-shirts.

AS A BRAND, HOW ARE YOU PUSHING FOR PROGRESS?

“By producing limited quantities to eliminate overproduction and avoid waste.”

WHAT STEPS ARE YOU TAKING TO BE MORE SUSTAINABLE AS A BRAND?

“We are aiming to be the most responsible version of ourselves and are continually taking steps to work towards designing a better future. We are doing this by introducing more certified, organic and recycled fabrics into our collections. We also use packaging that can be recycled for alternative uses such as the grocery run, storing your bikini or your cosmetics.”

Always fun sweatshirt, €49

SHOP TO DYE FOR BY JOHANNA

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GABRIELLE MALONE

About: Gabrielle's work focuses on feminine, high-quality garments utilising traditional techniques with contemporary materials.

AS A BRAND, HOW ARE YOU PUSHING FOR PROGRESS?

“As a new designer, I believe sustainability is something that should be considered while developing a collection. For myself, this means I only work with fabric that is developed through sustainable practices.”

WHAT STEPS ARE YOU TAKING TO BE MORE SUSTAINABLE AS A BRAND?

“All of our garments are handmade in our studio in Kildare. We only choose to work with merino wool we know is acquired through sustainable practices such as mulesing-free and dyed using low impact dyes.”

Gabrielle Malone, lilac cardigan, €575

SHOP GABRIELLE MALONE

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FIONA O'NEILL

About: Launched in 2019, Fiona O’Neill’s eponymous brand explores themes of surrealism and optical illusions, incorporating different application processes such as screen printing, painting by hand and ceramic sculpting in her eclectic line of trousers, jackets, dresses and shirts. The designer sources and use eco-friendly materials in her designs, working towards a more sustainable future.

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AS A BRAND, HOW ARE YOU PUSHING FOR PROGRESS?

“Our team works to source as many materials we can that have been certified. A lot of our yarns like the mohair have sustainable sourced certificates and the cotton GOTs etc. Otherwise, we try find repurposed materials. We try and print them the best way we can with certified inks. Like our T-shirts are organic cotton with OEKO-TEX ink. We also try keep everything sourced and made close to home so we don’t add on more co2 emissions to the lifecycle of the garment.”

WHAT STEPS ARE YOU TAKING TO BE MORE SUSTAINABLE AS A BRAND?

“Going the extra mile to source materials that have been certified GOTs or OEKO- TEX. Not just picking the cheapest and easiest option. It’s a work in progress for everyone, but if we all work together to make the best choices we can, it gets easier every year.”

Canvas jacket €450 & printed trousers €350, warped knitted dress, €400

SHOP FIONA O'NEILL

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BASIC JUJU

About: Basic JuJu by Shona McEvaddy is a contemporary leisurewear brand hand dyed and hand embroidered featuring uplifting slogans and symbols.

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AS A BRAND, HOW ARE YOU PUSHING FOR PROGRESS?

“Basic JuJu is direct to consumer, aiming to resolve an environmental situation within the world of the apparel & nature industry. The garments are all GOTS certified and made in small quantities to reduce the amount of clothing waste within our planet.”

WHAT STEPS ARE YOU TAKING TO BE MORE SUSTAINABLE AS A BRAND?

“As well as highlighting sustainability, Basic JuJu highlights the mental wellbeing of each other through messages with the clothing. Going forward the focus will continue to be small but effective releases of pieces, maintaining absolute transparency with my supply chain and to continue using the most sustainable textile mills possible for every garment created.”

sweater, €89, sweatpants, €78

SHOP BASIC JUJU

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BEGLIE + BOWIE

About: Begley + Bowie is an artfully illustrated apparel brand that features whimsical slogans and fluorescent accents, and celebrates people and places of note, from artists and playwrights to much-loved Irish locations.

AS A BRAND, HOW ARE YOU PUSHING FOR PROGRESS?

“I am always striving to keep Begley + Bowie fresh and dynamic while staying true to its origins and my original colourful vision.”

WHAT STEPS ARE YOU TAKING TO BE MORE SUSTAINABLE AS A BRAND?

“From the outset, I wanted all aspects of the brand to be sustainable from all of the clothing, the inks I use are water-based, the Munken fine art papers I screen print on are from one of the most environmentally-friendly paper mills in the world and the packaging is compostable.”

Begley + Bowie sweatshirt, €90

SHOP BEGLIE + BOWIE

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REBECCA MARSDEN

About: Rebecca Marsden is an award-winning fashion designer whose work focuses largely on fabric manipulation. Drawing inspiration from her surroundings informs Rebecca’s work alongside the constant search for new ways to develop materials and reinterpret traditional techniques.

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AS A BRAND, HOW ARE YOU PUSHING FOR PROGRESS?

“As a knitwear label we are focused on working with yarns derived from natural, renewable resources from mills who have achieved Woolmark quality assurance and implement sustainable processing practices. This collection also features mill end cotton, that is essentially deadstock yarn, surplus to requirement and would have gone to waste.”

SHOP REBECCA MARSDEN

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AOIFE LIFESTYLE

About: a o i f e ® is a luxury Irish brand that offers a multi-layered approach to luxury and sustainability, featuring multi-functional, gender-neutral bags handcrafted using regenerated and reclaimed materials from ghost fishing nets and fabrics destined for landfills.

AS A BRAND, HOW ARE YOU PUSHING FOR PROGRESS?

“From waste to wear, respecting the former life of the resources we use, we breathe new life into old, creating a new culture of value in place of waste.”

WHAT STEPS ARE YOU TAKING TO BE MORE SUSTAINABLE AS A BRAND?

"Our circular products close the loop, replacing waste with an item of value. Our products are made from ocean and landfill waste, such as fishing nets from oceans, industrial plastic, post-consumer waste including carpets, regenerated textiles and reclaimed materials. We demonstrate how brands can be innovative, modern, and fully sustainable while maintaining quality, luxurious and desirable designs."

The Gallery Convertible Tote, €395

SHOP AOIFE LIFESTYLE

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MY NAME IS TED

About: My Name is Ted is a beautiful range of luxury leather accessories handcrafted to last a lifetime and returns to CREATE with an exquisite collection of luxury leather handbags and accessories, designed with adaptability in mind and handcrafted in Italy to an uncompromising standards of luxury.

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AS A BRAND, HOW ARE YOU PUSHING FOR PROGRESS?

“We value every person who works with us and the customers who purchase from us. We believe in total transparency with everything we produce. Some of our goals are: To become paperless within the next 12 months, Be awarded the Butterfly Mark from Positive Luxury, implement a return/repair policy including buy-back options and implement carbon-emission tracking.”

WHAT STEPS ARE YOU TAKING TO BE MORE SUSTAINABLE AS A BRAND?

“Everything we design is created with a sustainable and ethical focus. We manufacture our collections for long life to last for generations, all our leathers are sourced in Italy from ethical tanneries with Gold and Silver leather working group certification. We control our quantities and donate leftover materials to local schools for the next generation of craftsmen and women to use as they learn their craft.”

Mini Door Bag €495, Crossbody Door Bag €595, Bote €895

MY NAME IS TED

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EARLEY HATS

About: Using traditional hat-making techniques and equipment, milliner Kate Earley’s pieces are inspired by the seasonal colours and changing landscapes of rural Roscommon.

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AS A BRAND, HOW ARE YOU PUSHING FOR PROGRESS?

“I recently moved back to Ireland from London and set up my millinery studio in Co Roscommon. I feel excited about setting up a manufacturing company in rural Ireland. I hope by setting up a craft business in Roscommon it will in turn create jobs, a craft community and encourage other Irish entrepreneurs to move out of the cities and bring prosperity to rural towns and villages.”

WHAT STEPS ARE YOU TAKING TO BE MORE SUSTAINABLE AS A BRAND?

“The materials I use, like wool felt, are sourced from certified sustainable manufacturers. The natural straw materials are completely biodegradable and are a by-product of the food industry. I strive to produce very little waste in the production of the hats by using vintage materials and leftover scraps. I use water-based felt and straw stiffeners instead of chemical ones that are damaging to the environment. All of the packaging for the hats is recyclable and sourced from eco-friendly Irish suppliers. I’m always trying to replace materials I use with sustainable ones.”

Earley Hats, Ray Hat, €480

SHOP EARLEY HATS

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YVONNE RYAN

About: Yvonne Ryan jewellery is handcrafted using a combination of traditional bench techniques and modern design and created with recycled gold and silver. Heavily influenced by vintage finds, as well as texture, Yvonne’s signature geometric print and rope chain texture are consistently evident throughout every collection.

AS A BRAND, HOW ARE YOU PUSHING FOR PROGRESS?

“With a Masters in Sustainable Development – sustainability plays an integral part in shaping how my business operates. All my handcrafted jewellery pieces are designed and created with recycled gold and silver – produced locally, we have for a number of years now insisted on all materials and packaging to be ethically sourced.”

CHOOPG/S Rope Hoop Earrings 130.00/110.00

SHOP YVONNE RYAN

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NCAD STEPHANIE

About: As this year’s winner of the Brown Thomas Designer to Watch Bursary Award 2021 Stephanie Finney impressed with her collection Easing Restrictions, which was inspired by the change in society’s attire due to the recent pandemic and features clothing that is “flexible for all situations during the pandemic, both casual and formal”.

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AS A BRAND, HOW ARE YOU PUSHING FOR PROGRESS?

“In recent years, a lot of sportswear brands have created more sustainable approaches to repurposing textiles. I am greatly inspired by this and am fascinated by upcyling and repurposing textiles to reduce waste and I want to create more repurposed fashion. In my latest collection, I used leftover plastic and recycled it into buttons for my garments. I also used a dead-stock upholstery leather and bonded it with sports fabric to give it a new life. I digitally printed dead-stock fabrics as this reduces waste and uses less dyes in the process.”

WHAT STEPS ARE YOU TAKING TO BE MORE SUSTAINABLE AS A BRAND?

“Everything my brand produces is made by me, which means there is no unethical labour and I can ensure I am making the best use of the materials. Each item is also made to order, which means there is no excess of product going to waste. I am also making steps to incorporate more reused, vintage and dead-stock fabrics to reduce textile waste. I also reduce waste by not using plastic wherever possible in my packaging.”

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FIADH

About: Fiadh is a line of handwoven scarves using only the highest quality yarn sourced from spinners in Ireland, the United Kingdom and Italy. Using traditional weave structures, designer Fiadh Durham takes inspiration from the landscape of the West of Ireland to create beautiful woven accessories with an edge.

AS A BRAND, HOW ARE YOU PUSHING FOR PROGRESS?

“We are living through a time of monumental change and it is up to us, as a generation of designers and makers, to drive things forward in a positive way for society and for our planet. As a brand, Fiadh illustrates a love for nature all the way through from inspiration to the finished product. My mission is to bring the craft of weaving into the future through the use of innovative design.”

WHAT STEPS ARE YOU TAKING TO BE MORE SUSTAINABLE AS A BRAND?

“Each piece is made to a high standard and made to last, the products are woven and made by hand in Ireland. Raw materials and packaging is sourced from responsible suppliers and I strive encourage the idea of investment pieces and using creativity and thoughtfulness for a life with less waste.”

Large triangle scarf, €138, blanket, €250

SHOP FIADH

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LANDA BAGS

About: The LANDA brand celebrates traditional manufacturing expertise, working with small factories that handcraft each item, bringing to life an exquisite collection of handbags in universal shades of nude, eucalyptus, tan and black. The materials are carefully sourced as part of the brand’s commitment to conscious and ethical production.

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AS A BRAND, HOW ARE YOU PUSHING FOR PROGRESS?

“As a brand, we are constantly developing our products and processes to deliver the highest quality in beautiful, trans-seasonal and functional designs. We work closely with our customers and are successfully expanding and exporting into the US and EU markets while maintaining our local and very valued customers.”

WHAT STEPS ARE YOU TAKING TO BE MORE SUSTAINABLE AS A BRAND?

“At LANDA, we see sustainability as an ongoing journey and are constantly looking at improving every step of the business. Our products are made using the highest quality raw materials made to last forever, crafted by artisans at different factories who follow traditional methods and techniques.”

Teca bag in Nude: €365, Teca bag in Black with Plexi chain €420

SHOP LANDA BAGS

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NICKY HOYNE

About: The Nicki Hoyne Collection is an accessories brand which celebrates individuality, colour, vibrancy and a passion for well made, slow fashion products.

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AS A BRAND, HOW ARE YOU PUSHING FOR PROGRESS?

“I want to inspire people to celebrate and enjoy fashion, not to consume it and throw it away. My brand is about being colourful and having fun with fashion while not compromising on quality or sustainability.”

WHAT STEPS ARE YOU TAKING TO BE MORE SUSTAINABLE AS A BRAND?

“I built my brand on a foundation of sustainability. It is impossible to be 100% sustainable in 2021, but it is important to continue to challenge and find more sustainable materials and practices. My products are made in Spain by Leather Working Group & Global Recycled Standard certified manufacturers. We produce in small quantities and created a coin purse from our cut-offs to ensure minimal waste. The bag lining is 100% recycled cotton and the glitter on my shoes is 40% recyclable.”

SHOP NICKY HOYNE

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CLARE O’CONNOR

About: Clare O’Connor’s silk and cashmere scarf collection are limited editions of O’Connor’s paintings, and are season-less and collectibles, made in natural fabrics including silk, cashmere, wool, model, linen and, more recently, bamboo.

AS A BRAND, HOW ARE YOU PUSHING FOR PROGRESS?

“My brand is aligned to the principles of slow sustainable fashion turning away from rapidly changing seasonal collections which are disregarded in short periods of time. All my accessories are season-less, collectible editions of my paintings and my aim is that they are timeless pieces, cherished and passed on.”

WHAT STEPS ARE YOU TAKING TO BE MORE SUSTAINABLE AS A BRAND?

“I plan to expand my use of sustainable fabrics like organic bamboo. Bamboo is a natural fabric which has the touch and feel of silk. It is eco-friendly, sustainable, vegan, naturally antibacterial, moisture wicking and biodegradable. Last year I started to bring this fabric into my collections, So far I have created a small collection of tote bags and cushions and I am currently developing a range of accessories.”

Silk scarves €249 Clare O’Connor

SHOP CLARE O’CONNOR

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BARBARA BENNETT

About: Designer Barbara Bennet’s hand-painted customised sneakers are mostly pattern-based, inspired by vibrant colourful prints and floral motifs from her grandmother’s garden. Her capsule collection, designed exclusively for CREATE, comprises of hand-painted one-of-a-kind designs on classic sneakers.

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AS A BRAND, HOW ARE YOU PUSHING FOR PROGRESS?

“Protecting the environment is just as important as bringing beauty into it. By painting shoes, my brand shows that a shoe can have more than just one life.”

WHAT STEPS ARE YOU TAKING TO BE MORE SUSTAINABLE AS A BRAND?

“The paint I use is water-based and non-toxic so it will not harm the environment.”

Nike Air force 1, UK6 "Vine Print"- €395. - Nike Air force 1, UK8 "Prim Petal" - €395. Nike Air Max 90, UK6 "Lime Crime" - €355.

SHOP BARBARA BENNETT

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TIDINGS

About: Niamh Gillespie’s elegant, luxurious, hand-painted accessories are made from 100% organic silk. The collection consists of hand-painted dreamy, typographic prints and statement slogans adorned across each piece.

AS A BRAND, HOW ARE YOU PUSHING FOR PROGRESS?

“We are dedicated to producing elegant, luxurious handmade products notably using certificated 100% mulberry silk twill, which is readily biodegradable. By choosing mulberry silk, we guarantee that our product is produced without the use of chemicals, pesticides or other toxic treatments. Ethical silk farming promotes the sustainability of the mulberry trees which are the silkworms primary food source. It’s estimated that one acre of renewable mulberry trees can produce up to 35lb of raw silk whilst working in harmony with nature.”

Tidings scarf, €249

SHOP TIDINGS

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MOBIUS

About: Mobius is a Dublin-based high-quality clothing brand that wants to create long lasting clothing. All of their garments are made exclusively using sustainable water-based inks within their graphics and 100% natural rayon viscose thread within the embroidery.

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AS A BRAND, HOW ARE YOU PUSHING FOR PROGRESS?

“Our collections are made using exclusively GOTS standard organic cotton and recycled polyester and all of our garments are made using sustainable water-based inks. The ‘Plastic Naivety’ collection is designed to raise awareness on the issue of plastic pollution and the impact that single-use plastic has on our oceans. We commit to donating 10% of our total profit each collection to one specific charity. Our chosen charity for the ‘Plastic Naivety’ Collection is Ocean Research & Conservation Association Ireland (ORCAIreland) which is a non-governmental voluntary organisation that aims to enhance our scientific knowledge and understanding of marine megafauna in Irish waters through conservation, research and education.”

SHOP MOBIUS

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SNEAKER CLEANER

About: Founded by Kevin Owens whilst still in secondary school, Sneaker Cleaner breathes new life into pre-loved sneakers, utilising a range of techniques to revitalise footwear to be worn time and time again.

AS A BRAND, HOW ARE YOU PUSHING FOR PROGRESS?

“Sneaker Cleaner is pushing for the progress of change in a world full of fast fashion. We allow our customers to give their shoes a new lease of life, which adds an extra few years to the pair. Our brand provides a sustainable solution to the rapid growth of fast fashion.”

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CUSHENDALE

About: One of only two remaining vertical mills in Ireland where local fleece is transformed into beautiful natural textiles, Cushendale’s range of lambswool and mohair blankets and scarves are rooted in six generations of craftsmanship.

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WHAT STEPS ARE YOU TAKING TO BE MORE SUSTAINABLE AS A BRAND?

“We have a deep-rooted passion and respect for a sustainable world. We only use 100% natural fibres in all our textiles, we uniquely source Irish fleece from Irish farmers to create authentic lifelong throws and blankets. We continue to use an 800-year-old natural mountain water source. Our textiles are made entirely by us, from fleece to fabric, using sustainable skills and craftsmanship. Marrying our naturally sustainable products with sustainable packaging ensures a holistic sustainable experience for our consumers.”

SHOP CUSHENDALE

MORE TO READ

Now you’ve heard from the amazing mix of CREATE 2021 designers, why not learn a little bit more about them in Meet the Makers.