[Dublin] Better Fashion Week by Re-dress

Low cost but high impact; intimate but powerful; local, fresh and innovative. That's how the guys at Re-dress are re-inventing both the idea of ethical, eco-friendly fashion and the concept of a fashion week, with their venture, Better Fashion Week.

Where fashion weeks around the various global capitals are glitzy, smoke-and-mirrors affairs of high-octane glamour, standing ovations for those at the top with little thought for the workers behind the wheels, obsession with the surface, snapping paparazzi, booze-fuelled boogies, not to mention giant carbon footprints from all those blacked out windows rolling editors, models, photographers and all the rest to various venues, this promises to be something... better.

An organisation dedicated to promoting ethical practise in the Irish fashion industry, they have been getting those in the industry and consumers alike to take a long hard look at themselves since 2008, through talks, conferences and a website throbbing with information and burning questions on all kinds of topics down to the very fibres that go into our clothes.

With Better Fashion Week, founders Rosie O'Reilly, Kellie Dalton and Kate Nolan have made something tangible from this mission. At Number 6 Castle Market, they have set up a pop up shop that's been going on for a few wee weeks now selling ethically produced goods by Irish designers. Next week sees a series of events that make up the Week itself in and around the shop, of documentary screenings, talks and even a photo-shoot, all bringing ethical fashion and the big names involved face-to-face with the public. 

There's a few things I'm particularly excited about. On Monday, Irish inspirations such as designer Helen Steele, whose work I was recently wowed by in Dublin fashion mag Thread then in Dublin boutique Costume, alongside fashion editor Constance Harris and presenter Brendan Courtney reveal their fashion inspiration and insider tricks. Wednesday night sees a three part discussion night on such questions as "Where will fashion be in 25 years?" as well as the chance to ask some top names advice for making it in the industry.

Saturday, Dr Kate Fletcher of the London College of Fashion will be doing a unique research photo-shoot; do you have a piece of clothing with a story? Bring it along for your chance to get in front of the lens. Sponsors Brown Sugar will be hosting a fashion show and party in the evening to round off the week, although if you;re not feeling too shaky on the Sunday, Bill Cunningham's film New York will be showing with complimentary glass of wine at the Brooks Hotel on Drury Street.

I have volunteered to intern with them and can;'t wait to tell you all, though no doubt it will be hard work! Funnily enough, Number 6 Castle Market is exactly the retail space I first started working in fashion, for Helen McAlinden, in the year of Re-dress birth - 2008!

Better Fashion Week, 6 Castle Market, Dublin 2
23rd - 30th April 2012
See the website for full details and the last chance to buy tickets.

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