Historically, the fashion industry has not been kind to the environment. While clothing from fast fashion brands are cheap and affordable for consumers, their production takes a toll on various aspects of the environment. According to the World Economic Forum, the fashion industry is the second-largest consumer of the world’s water supply, and 85% of textiles are discarded each year. The United Nations has even found that fashion makes up for 8 – 10% of the world’s carbon emissions.
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Purchasing clothes from ethical and sustainable brands is more important now than ever. Humans are consuming more fast fashion than they were 20 years ago, which is a contributing factor to climate change and the destruction of the environment. Luckily for us, there are many sustainable Irish clothing brands that are dedicated to saving the environment. With our help, these clothing brands can come out on top, and we can look towards a brighter future.
It is very difficult for clothing to be made 100% ethically and environmentally friendly, but there are still certain standards a clothing brand has to meet in order to be considered sustainable. They include but are not limited to: GOTS certification, GRS certification, fair treatment of workers, reusable resources, and being vegan/cruelty free, plastic free, and locally sourced. Below I have compiled a list of 6 Irish clothing brands that each meet at least one of these standards.
Grown was established in 2014, and is committed to raising environmental awareness. Their clothing is completely renewable, and is made from organic cotton, hemp, linen, and recycled man-made fibres. For each garment sold, Grown helps to fight the climate crisis by planting a Native Irish tree in Grown Forest, Aghavannagh, Co. Wicklow.
Fresh Cuts began by selling sustainable T-shirts in 2015, and ended up expanding the sustainability to their entire store. Fresh Cuts carries multiple clothing brands and prides itself on being both GOTS and GRS certified, as well as being a member of the Fair Wear Foundation. Their clothing products are made from both organic cotton and recycled polyester.
Ohh! By Gum began as a small environmentally conscious shop in Clifden, Co. Galway, and was named Ireland’s best boutique by The Irish Times. They have since expanded, and their products can now be purchased online. Their products are humanely produced, made from recycled or environmentally friendly raw materials, they offer vegan options, and their skilled workers are paid decent wages. Their belief is that “fashion should be good for the planet and good for the people who make it too.”
Designer Bébhínn McGrath created this clothing label in 2017 with sustainable, locally sourced garments in mind. She hand picks her fabrics, wool and linen, from Irish companies. Each of her made-to-order garments are produced in her studio, located in Waterford, Ireland. She promotes the slow fashion process, and makes sure all of her products are made to last.
Due South prides itself on being ethical, sustainable, and Irish. They are vegan, GOTS & GRS certified, part of the Fair Wear foundation, and more. All of their garments are made from eco-friendly materials such as 100% organic cotton and recycled polyester. Due South’s aim is to raise awareness of “slow fashion” by working with manufacturers that treat their workers fairly to make ethical and sustainable clothing.
Theo + George is a Dublin based clothing company that was started in 2013 by an American woman who settled down in Ireland. This brand is built on transparency and sustainable practices. They care about their workers, consumers, and the environment. The people at Theo + George embrace slow fashion and what it does to help preserve the Earth and the life that thrives on it. All of their packaging is reusable and/or recyclable, and they are partnered with a Dublin textile recycling company.
As you can see, there are quite a few Irish clothing brands that are committed to helping the environment. With your help as a consumer, we can help save the planet from the dangers of fast fashion.