Designer Aoife McNamara becomes Ireland’s first B Corp fashion label
The B Corp certification recognises a company’s high environmental and socially-conscious standards
Sustainable Irish fashion designer Aoife McNamara becomes the first fashion brand in Ireland to receive B Corp certification, an international gold standard for an environmental and socially-conscious business.
B Corp recognises companies that use business as a force for good, by meeting high ethical and environmental standards and positively impacting workers, communities, customers, and the planet.
After a rigorous year-long assessment, McNamara passed the stringent criteria to become B Corp certified across five categories: environment, community, workers, customers and governance.
In McNamara’s case, this involved sustainable and local sourcing practices; the removal of all virgin polyester from her supply chain; prioritising the use of Irish wool and linen; driving engagement with the local community through ongoing events; and supporting fellow purpose-driven enterprises.
“Not every fashion label has that earth-driven fortitude, so being able to become certified for the hard work behind the scenes is testimony to the brand..While we are the first fashion brand in Ireland to achieve B Corp, we want future fashion brands in the process of getting B Corp to beat our score.
“This is not a competition but a collective dedication to a safer and more responsible fashion industry,” head of sustainability Miriam Keegan said.
And while most fashion labels have launched their autumn-winter collections this month, McNamara chose to use this season for ‘degrowth’ by forgoing a new season launch.
“We're proud to say that the pieces from our previous winter collections remain as relevant and elegant as ever. We don't follow fleeting trends; instead, we create enduring designs that withstand the test of time. By choosing degrowth this season, we're taking a significant step towards a more sustainable and responsible future,” McNamara said.
“We wake up in the morning with a sense of purpose and belonging that is directly linked to our B Corp certification and to the knowledge that we are part of something greater – thousands of other businesses, like us, driving for a sustainable future,” she added.
There are currently 6,000 certified B corporations in over 80 countries across industries like food, fashion, tech and finance. By becoming a B Corp, businesses can demonstrate their commitment to positively impacting society and the environment while benefiting from a network of like-minded companies and consumers who value ethical and sustainable practices.
The Limerick designer founded her brand in 2019 after securing an Honours degree from Limerick School of Art and Design and gaining industry experience in Paris and New York.
At the centre of her brand is creating unique Irish garments that tread lightly on the planet. Her flagship store in a thatched cottage in Adare is both a retail space and a hub for community-driven events and collaborations in the fashion, wellness, and sustainable space.
To celebrate the B Corp award this October, McNamara will host a series of events between October 27 to 29 such as a key notes session, workshops, and a live music event. For more information visit aoifemcnamara.com