Shopping local is shopping sustainably. For me, that’s shopping Irish.
My chosen home country of Ireland, in my (perhaps biassed) opinion, is one of the most beautiful places in the world. It’s also home to Irish sustainable brands taking full advantage of what this land has to offer.
Slow living is a natural core tenet of Irish culture, which is one of the aspects I love most. The natural resources here have so much to offer. From agriculture to diverse, forage-worthy remnants of the temperate rainforest that once covered the island.
That’s not to say Ireland isn’t also a hub of activity! Larger cities like Dublin or Cork have scores of working professionals from all over, making them important sources of jobs in the EU.
So, it’s only natural that savvy business sense and a local sustainability mindset come together in Irish sustainable brands! And I’ve found reason to love many of them.
I thought, as an Irish sustainable business owner, I should pay credit where credit is due.
These 7 brands are each amazing, and I’m constantly inspired by the creativity and effort to protect the planet I see in the communities around me, so let’s dive in!
1- Sustainably sourced, gorgeous wooden jewellery: Rowena Sheen.
This contemporary wooden jewellery is gorgeous in every way. It’s lightweight, polished, and earthy.
Each piece is handmade in native Irish woods, sterling silver, and Burren wildflower beeswax. And my absolute favourite part of this endeavour is that the wood is all sustainably collected!
Rowena collects naturally felled wood, such as after winter storms, or wood from trees that had to be cut down for some reason other than logging purposes.
2- Slow, handmade textiles and fashion: Saturn Cottage Industries.
Lisa of Saturn Cottage Industries hand-makes every piece of unique clothing and beautiful textiles that goes through her shop.
This brand is sustainable in every way it possibly could be. The fabric is sourced from Irish mills or recovered from Irish waste streams. Each piece is made with hand-quilting techniques, so each one is unique and as efficient as possible, as offcuts are re-integrated into the process.
I’m also particularly fond of this style of clothing for personal reasons. My mum–from whom I inherited a love of textiles–is also a quilter. That’s why I find Lisa’s patchwork techniques just incredible and love supporting other sustainable Irish clothing brands!
Explore Saturn Cottage Industries
3- Local, healing self care: Danu Skincare.
Much of the Irish flora has traditional healing and wellness properties, meaning that Irish beauty brands have a leg up when it comes to creating local.
Danu Skincare focuses on these benefits, incorporating native Irish botanicals and recognising the power of Mother Nature in all their products.
I also love the references to ancient Celtic deities in the brand and product names! Pre-colonial Irish culture and language faced much intentional erasure under British rule. It’s wonderful to see threads of the island’s indigenous culture standing strong.
4- Handmade, made-to-measure denim jeans: Native Denims.
These made-to-measure jeans are produced in Ireland, and their claim to fame is attention to detail. I am truly impressed with the craftsmanship and care that goes into every pair!
As my premier interest is in natural textile dyeing, I also appreciate that some of their jeans use naturally-dyed denim with woad. It’s beautiful to see a return to plant-based dyes in a larger brand!
And if you’re interested in what other botanical dyes you can create by just foraging around you, see my blog post “What plants can I use for natural dyeing?” You’ll find everything you need.
They also have a repair guarantee for 5 years, which means you’ll be able to wear these jeans even daily for a very long time.
5- Fun in a bag: Jump The Hedges.
Jump the Hedges creates gorgeous bags entirely out of upcycled materials (mostly truck tarpaulin) that others might consider waste.
The craftsmanship is there, the bold, brilliant designs, and the sustainability as part of the circular fashion revolution. I love all of it!
You do have to snag bags quickly, since they make drops and then wait before releasing the next batch. Their website offers a newsletter subscription link so you’ll be the first to know when there’s more!
6- Ethical & delicious: Cream of the Crop gelato.
Cream of the Crop Gelato is one of the sustainable Irish food brands I can’t get enough of.
Their ethos is “zero waste, more taste” which, besides being catchy, is something I fully believe in! They use surplus food in their artisanal gelato – fruit that would otherwise go to waste, just for the sin of not being aesthetically pleasing enough.
It’s a 3-in-1: Delicious, sustainable, and natural flavours. Give it a try!
7- Clean energy cleansing: Palm Free Irish Soap.
Palm Free Irish Soap is a family business (which I love!) that makes zero waste soap, deodorant, shampoo and pet soap.
They use rainwater for their processes & they’re all about zero waste and plastic-free. Plus, their ingredients are natural and minimally packaged!
My favourite product of theirs is the Handy Laundry Dishwashing Bar, which is perfect in caring for all sorts of garments – including naturally-dyed ones!
All of these Irish sustainable brands, and more, are making a difference.
Like I said, shopping local is shopping sustainably.
These businesses typically set up shop in town, limiting sprawl, use natural resources that don’t need to be imported in, and use slow, minimally wasteful processes.
That’s why I’m so filled with joy to have many local options here in Ireland!
I’m honoured to count myself among them.
If you’re interested in sustainable Irish slow fashion, take a look at our sustainable blog and resources! We love bringing regenerative fashion and natural textile dyeing ideas to the table!
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