My family came over from Ireland to the United States during the potato famine but somehow has managed to preserve a few traditions and customs. St. Patrick’s Day a day to celebrate our heritage. This year I looked into what sustainable, ethical and slow Irish fashion brands were around. The classifications are sustainable, ethical, fair trade, slow, and artisan to highlight brands who are preserving traditional crafts locally. I’d always heard about Irish fabrics when I took a trip there when I was 18 my Grandma reminded me to get a good sweater while I was there. Look out for beautiful dyes, sturdy linens, and warm wools.
Ethical. 31 Chapel Lane celebrates structure, materiality, and stability through its clothes. Their clothes are designed for a lifetime and are made in Limerick City on the west coast of Ireland. Each piece is designed and manufactured in house using Irish linen or Donegal tweed.
Sustainable. This brand is all about minimalist modern basics that will fit into any wardrobe. Bébhínn works on a made to order basis to reduce waste. Her supply chain is with fully traceable natural fabrics- the linen is sourced from by Emblem Weavers in Wexford and the yarn is sourced from Donegal Yarns in Donegal.
Slow. Chupi left the world of fast fashion to make something she valued with integrity. “Not simply churning out designs but valuing every piece we make and how it is made.” The designs are inspired by Ireland’s unique beauty and every piece is designed, handcrafted, and finished in Ireland. When possible recycled metals are used in the jewelry.
Slow. Danielle Romeril is the perfect place to find basics with an innovative, avant-garde twist. Designed and made in London, Danielle believes in responsible production and works with mills in Japan, Ireland, and the U.K. to make her fabrics.
5. Edel Traynor
Slow. Edel Traynor provides an alternative to fast fashion by focusing on key quality pieces for everyday wear. They are designed and handcrafted at her studio in the Chocolate Factory in Dublin and if you damage the clothes you can visit the studio and they’ll repair it for you!
6. Edge Only
Ethical. This jewelry is for the edgy, ethically conscious girl who loves a statement. Edge Only is ethically crafted in it’s Kilkenny workshop and by goldsmiths in Dublin, and Kildare. The sterling silver and solid gold are hallmarked at the Assay Office in Dublin Castle, Ireland.
Sustainable. Started by Bono and Ali Hewson in 2005, to prove sustainability and style can go hand in hand, Edun in a sustainable luxury brand that works with artisans and manufacturers to provide community-based sustainable growth. The work with sustainable fabrics that are either, organic, upcycled, or recycled, and mills that incorporate sustainable initiatives like water and energy conservation.
Sustainable. Fresh Cuts Clothing is a brand and online store that focuses on eco-friendly basic clothing and carries some great ethical fashion brands. They are a member of the Fair Wear Foundation and use GOTS certified fabrics. In their own line, they use Eco-Cut fabric, of blended traditional fibers and organic cotton. They also use eco-spun polyester, made from recycled plastic bottles and rayon made from converted plant cellulose.
Sustainable. The comfiest, earth-friendly tees around. Grown spends lots of their energy on making sure they work on minimizing their impact on the environment. All their fabrics are fully fair and traceable tencel or certified organic cotton. They plant one indigenous tree for every top sold and are governed by The Green Plan. This makes sure they use best practices of sustainability and are always introducing new approaches and technology into their production.
Local. Designed, digitally printed, and made all in Ireland. Jennifer Rothwell’s designs celebrate Irish artists, folklore, legends, and traditions through fashion. She reduces her carbon footprint manufacturing the garments in close radius to the studio.
11. Jill de Burca
Artisan. The clothes are crafted by hand using a mixture of intricate embroidery stitched and hand embellishment. Jill’s work is very fashion forward but utilizes techniques and craftsmanship from the past. She uses an Irish Singer Embroidery machine to free-hand satin stitch, which is a skill rarely used today. The free-hand satin stitch embroidery that can be produced on an Irish is arguably superior to more recent techniques both in terms of creativity and quality. She is very proud to preserve a technique that could otherwise, sadly, become a dying art. All of the AW16 collection is produced sustainably in Ireland.
12. Jo Browne
Organic. Made to fill a gap in the market, Jo Brown makes handmade gentle and convenient fragrances using organic beeswax and essential oils. The process for each fragrance can take up to 6 months. They don’t contain parabens, SLS, artificial colors, lanolin or GMO’s and the packaging is eco-friendly sustainable bamboo.
13. Kathryn Davey
Sustainable. Kathryn Davey entered the world of sustainable dyeing in Northern California. Now she runs her brand of naturally dyed accessories, which include gorgeous socks, totes, aprons, and scarfs. All the linen is woven in the South of Ireland, then manufactured in Dublin & sustainably dyed by hand in her studio. She also passes on the craft by teaching sustainable dyeing techniques in her studio.
Sustainable. KEEM believes that customers, designers, and manufacturers can support each other to create a more ethical fashion industry. With their designs, they provide in 100% transparency and traceability- fair trade and GOTS organic cotton from Turkey, organic peace silk, and wild silk from India, and cupro from Japan. Keem’s goal is to achieve a zero waste, closed-loop design/production cycle.
15. Mary Grant
Slow. Mary Grant’s products are pieces meant to empower women to embrace their individuality and create their own personal style with clothes that will last. The clothing is made by a group of knitters near Kathmandu. Their motto is to provide jobs for needy woman and to support socially and economically deprived people. 2% of each export sale being donated to the Nepalese charities for children’s education. They have also established a welfare fund for staff, knitters and weavers.
16. Petria Lenehan
Ethical. Designed and handcrafted in a small workshop in NYC. Petria uses natural Irish textiles like that recall her homeland and heritage. The brand’s focus is on clean simplicity. They produce elegant basics for everyday dressing and amazing outerwear.
Fair Trade. Prairie started out as a supplier of fair trade, organic cotton, of t-shirts to printers, labels, and companies. Do to demand they moved into the design and brand space as well. All their products are 100% organic cotton and carry the Fair Trade certification mark.
Ethical. The name “Squirrel Versus Magpie” comes from the designers desire to “Like the squirrel, be prudent and responsible with the environmental and human resources we use, while also satisfying the inner magpie that wants beautiful, covet-able things.” The environmental and ethical impact of the Squirrel Versus Magpie supply chain is always being considered. The brand is fully transparent listing all their suppliers online, from the GOTS certified silk made by the Tiansang Organic Silk Company in Chengdu, China to the Ann-Joll polish manufacturing company in Poland.
Sustainable. Created to make fashionable sustainability accessible and transparent, Stiall is an online retailer that works to promote information. Helping their customers make informed decisions on the products they are purchasing. provide a place where readers can access honest information on social and environmental policies of brands.
Ethical. Handmade in County Sligo in the Northwest of Ireland with waxed cotton. Ashleigh, the founder, is also the production designer and guides each step through a traditional industrial design process on vintage Pfaff industrial sewing machines. The rings with bag tabs cut from vintage leather.
Fairtrade. The silk is handblocked using traditional methods by the Fairtrade tailoring unit Mehera Shaw, located in Jaipur, India. Mehera Shaw is a sustainable production unit based on a business philosophy that puts the human factor first. The pieces are made using low impact dyes, and AZO free dyes and after production, all water used is treated and recycled.
Slow. The Tweed Project combines beautiful Irish fabrics with modern tailoring to create a truly authentic expression of Irish design. Each piece is handmade to order and embodies the slow fashion ethos of quality and craft.
23. Theo + George
Sustainable. The mantra behind Theo + George can be summed up really well by Vivienne Westwood, “buy less, choose it well.” Theo + George is composed of classics that embrace quality and sustainability. Their supply chain is completely transparent and they use sustainable practices throughout their business with sustainable packaging and partnering with a textile recycling program for their waste.
Ethical. Tissue’s clothing is fun, interesting, and super colorful. One collection was made completely from vintage Irish linen. All of the collections are designed and made in Ireland using high-quality natural fabrics.
24. Triona Design
Artisan. Triona Design was started by a fifth generation weaver, Denis Mulhern to preserve the traditional hand-weaving of his family. The wool is sourced Irish lambs and woven into fabric by Triona Design then crafted into beautiful garments..
Sustainable. Wild by Water uses a lean production process to ensure it’s bags are ethically and sustainably made. Their goal is that all their products will be both recycled and recyclable in an environmentally-conscious loop system.