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We Are Islanders

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Irish label We Are Islanders debut collection, entitled Tidal, aims to challenge the concept of heritage, by merging old and new and fusing art and fashion. Bringing a contemporary twist on traditional Irish fabrics through quilting, cording, binding and hand printing, the brand mix Beetle finished Wexford Linen and Tipperary Wool with bamboo, silk and salmon leather. The collection includes items dyed by the high tide of Sandymount Strand, located on the Dublin coast, and part of the installation 4/704 for the Dublin Fringe. The collection is part whimsical and ethereal, as well as sculptural, dark, edgy and practical.

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We Are Islanders comprises of designer Rosie O’Reilly, producer Kate Nolan and Communicator Deidre Hynds. Their journey began in 2008, when careers in fashion led both Rosie and Kate to the same conclusion, and the need for change. Deeply concerned with the environmental effect of a wasteful industry, as well as disillusioned by the humanitarian impact of production, the two started Re-dress, to discuss and share their ideas and concerns. Re-dress, the better fashion initiative organized events, workshops, projects, exhibitions and consulted on making the fashion industry better, and promoting meaningful change towards a sustainable industry. Re-dress conversations and events center around climate change, climate apathy, sustainable practices and the disconnectedness within the fashion industry.

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The collection was born out of the desire to return to the fashion industry on their own terms. An exploration of what it means to live on an island from a practical perspective, as well as the emotional and cerebral need to look beyond the insulation of island life. The Tidal collection was born out of Rosie’s exploration into studies on climate change and rising sea levels, some thing particularly pertinent for those resident in Dublin.

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Produced in Ireland, the collection is made predominately from indigenous textiles and yarns, using only certified and organic materials and closed loop systems to minimize waste and pollution. Wools are all local and many unique to Ireland, produced in small family mills, while the salmon leather is a waste product from the processing of salmon, from a small organic salmon farm in County Galway. The skins are tanned with chrome free processes and the screen prints produced with non-toxic dyes, using hurricane Sandy as the inspiration. What sets the collection apart however, is the careful consideration, intellectualization and artistry of their work, and the thoughtful, poetic creative output from it.

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Website: www.weareislanders.com

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