Belfast Telegraph

Dublin firefighters establish ethical clothing brand

The founders say time spent surfing around the west coast of Ireland was the inspiration for their ethical and organic clothing.

Neil McCabe(left), Damian Bligh and Stephen O’Reilly, founders of Grown (PA)
Neil McCabe(left), Damian Bligh and Stephen O’Reilly, founders of Grown (PA)

By Aoife Moore, PA

Three eco-conscious Dublin firefighters have established their own ethical clothing brand.

Grown is the creation of firefighters Neil McCabe, from Rush – who serves in North Strand, Stephen O’Reilly, from Tallaght – who serves in Dolphin’s Barn, and New Zealand native Damian Bligh, who lives in Lucan and serves in Blanchardstown.

Designed and styled in Ireland, Grown’s range of men’s and women’s shirts, tops and hoodies are constructed from 100% organic cotton, hemp and recycled fibres – and put through a rigorous process of sustainable auditing.

Adding to its green credentials, the brand will be planting an indigenous Irish tree for every item it sells at Gifted Contemporary Craft and Design Fair – which runs until Sunday at the RDS.

The founders say time spent surfing around the west coast of Ireland was the inspiration for their ethical and organic clothing.

Stephen O’Reilly said the business prides itself on its ability to be different to other retailers.

“We don’t use the usual business model of churning out a new clothing range every season,” he said.

“Not only does it encourage needless consumption, but Ireland has so many seasons in one day that it makes sense to have layers that work all year.

“We believe in making do with what you have, and if you need to buy a new item of clothing, buy good quality, carbon-neutral and Irish – which means you are buying local, better and less.

“Everything we make goes through rigorous life cycle and sustainability auditing because we strongly believe that clothes shouldn’t cost the earth.

“That’s why we are committed to make it better.

“To date, we have planted over 4,000 native trees and will be planting one for each piece sold at Gifted.

“The trees – such as willow, alder, birch and rowan – are planted at Lackamore in Co Clare and will never be clear felled or sold for profit.

“We took our own eco-conscious spin on Black Friday this year, removing all items of clothing for sale from their website and replacing them with native Irish trees for purchase.”

Grown will also offer the option of purchasing a standalone gift of an Irish tree at the Gifted event, to give as a carbon-offsetting Christmas present.

“To make sure that the trees stand out at Gifted, they have their own stand, so that people who might not look twice at a clothing stall will still have the opportunity to offset their carbon footprint and give the gift of a native tree,” said Mr O’Reilly.

Gifted Contemporary Craft and Design Fair takes place at the RDS Main Hall from December 4-8 from 10am each day. 

Full details and booking can be found at www.giftedfair.ie

PA

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