Aoife McNamara: Ireland’s First B-Corp Fashion Label

WRITTEN BY Ella Sloane

October 14, 2023

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Aoife McNamara: Ireland’s First B-Corp Fashion Label

by | Oct 14, 2023 | Fashion & Lifestyle

Ella Sloane

14 Oct, 2023

Limerick fashion label Aoife McNamara has become Ireland’s first B Corp certified fashion brand, earning an internationally recognised gold standard for the designer’s socially and environmentally-conscious business.

In doing so, McNamara has joined a growing figure of 7500 B Corp companies, spanning over 90 countries and 161 industries including fashion, food and tech.

To achieve this certification a company must demonstrate transparency across a wide range of factors, from supply chain practices and input materials to employee benefits, as well as meet high standards of social and environmental performance by achieving a B Impact Assessment score of at least 80. 

In a post shared with her Instagram followers, McNamara proudly announced that her brand had far exceeded these expectations, earning an impressive 94.4 points in the B Corp assessment. This was no easy feat, as proven by the time and energy dedicated to fulfilling each rigorous step.

Speaking on the achievement, McNamara said it “marks the culmination of a year-long journey filled with unwavering dedication from our exceptional team”, adding that their high score is a testament to the company’s “commitment to harness the power of our business as a force for good.”

Having graduated from Limerick School of Art and Design, McNamara founded her brand just a year later in 2019. It’s safe to say that Aoife McNamara’s label has grown from strength to strength in the years since then, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, quickly gaining a cult following online.

Speaking recently on the Tech Powered Luxury podcast about the inspiration behind her sustainable brand, the fashion designer explained that she felt a responsibility “to protect nature and figuring out the fashion industry is the second biggest polluter behind the oil industry” which led her to realise that “it was my job to make a change.”

One way in which McNamara is leading this change in the fashion industry is through her decision to forgo a new season launch this autumn-winter, opting for “degrowth” instead. Explaining the reasoning behind this decision, McNamara said “We don’t follow fleeting trends; instead, we create enduring designs that withstand the test of time” adding that, in “choosing degrowth this season” the brand is “taking a significant step towards a more sustainable and responsible future.”

You can browse McNamara’s designs in-person at her flagship store, based in a quaint thatched cottage in Adare, Co. Limerick. Since opening in 2020, the cottage has transformed into so much more than a retail space; the creative hub has hosted everything from yoga classes and other wellness workshops to intimate music gigs and a storytelling evening in collaboration with Seanchoíche.

In celebration of reaching this new milestone, McNamara has organised a host of events which are due to take place at the end of the month.

Kicking off with a B Corp-themed panel discussion on October 27th that aims to educate and encourage other business owners to pursue certification, McNamara hopes to fuel this growing global movement’s “vision of an inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economic system for all people and the planet.” Attendees will also enjoy the brand’s second ‘Cottage Session’ with live performances from local music artists Fiona O’Connell and SAL.

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