Fashion Manufacturing on Home Soil - Irish Fashion Collaboration

Posted on August 25 2022

Fashion Manufacturing on Home Soil - Irish Fashion Collaboration

 Fashion and homewares manufacturing on home soil - our story

 

We’ve come a long way since setting up in a small room in the former Goldenbridge Convent, kindly loaned to us by Dublin City Council. Set up in autumn 2019, a part time operation, with part time staff, making products for our shop. We completed our first commercial contract in that room – beautiful Irish linen aprons for servers in Domini Kemp’s new restaurant in the Museum of Literature Ireland.

Space was tight and so was the deadline – but we made it, with good humour, thanks to our very first sewing team, Ginan and Emilia. After 2 months, we moved to our next home, provided by the lovely people at St Andrew’s Community Resource Centre, where we stayed until Covid hit. Although spirits were dampened by the need to abandon our studio, we soon made the decision to make masks remotely with our team. In conjunction with Irish Refugee Council, we sold masks on a “Buy one/Donate one to Direct Provision” basis – a hugely successful project that saw many thousands of masks donated, but also allowed to grow our sewing team to 12 people and maintain their incomes during a very challenging time – not to mention the proceeds funding the re-establishment of the studio once lockdown ended.


And now, we are relaunching with a collaboration with the Council of Irish Fashion Designers! We are offering highest quality (with highest ethics) garment manufacture to Irish fashion designers.


After beautiful but humble beginnings, it has been a source of much joy for us how far this project has come – to be in a position to develop a partnership like this, to work with designers like Heidi Higgins, Caoimhe Murphy, Loom Linen and Tissue through our pilot programme has been a real pleasure and privilege.


A return to manufacturing on local soil will represent a sea change for Irish design, with the vast majority of independent designers consistently forced to manufacture their product lines outside the country. Eddie Shanahan, chairperson of the Council of Irish Fashion Designers and advisor to We Make Good says: “The development of a high-quality garment manufacturing facility in Ireland is an important step forward in improving the sustainability credentials of our fashion industry. Lasting quality and local manufacture, coupled with the
availability of small production runs, are key in this regard. They are also associated with added value, minimum waste and lower carbon footprints by an ever-increasing number of eco conscious consumers.”

The spirit of our sewing room has always been one of hard work, bolstered by a sense of belonging, community and a lot of laughter. The jobs we provide are meaningful, skills driven and focused on progression. Each member of our sewing team will spend between 2-3 years with us – upon leaving they will have a reached a stage in their skills development that will make them extremely attractive candidates to employers in the sector. Some will even go on to set up their own micro-enterprise (more good news for local manufacture!). This model allows us to grow and support more people into meaningful careers as time goes on.


We are so excited about the future of this business and the impact it will have. We have many people to thank, naming all them would be impossible so for now, we will keep it to our studio team for all their amazing work - Mariam, Virginie, Nadine, Naimot, Olayinka, Emilia, Diana, Idowu and Nicole. And last but not least, our studio lead and production manager, Sarah Verdon, whose dedication and hard work has made everything possible.

If you are interested in garment/homewares production, please visit
wemakegood.ie/manufacturing

 Read more here:

Irish Times Magazine 27th August 2022

Irish Independent Article 25th August 2022