Better Fashion Conversations

Better Fashion Conversations are a unique opportunity for you to sit & converse with individuals working to improve the fashion industry, both here in Ireland and internationally. We have hosted speakers from the cotton industry in Senegal, a former bonded labourer from Pakistan and inspiring Masters Students from NCAD exploring sustainable fashion design. If you would like to hear about the next Better Fashion Conversation, sign up to our newsletter below or follow us on facebook or twitter.

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ReDress: Fairtrade and the Cotton Farmers of Senegal




Tuesday May 28th at 6.30pm: Harry Clarke Theatre, NCAD

We partnered with two masters students from NCAD who are looking at creative and innovative ways to incorporate sustainability principles into fashion design. They were joined on the night by Rachel Tuffy, a lecturer in NCAD on Fashion and Textiles.

‘Project Homegrown’ by Aisling Clancy explores local sourcing and production in the fashion and textile industries and its impact on economic, social and environmental sustainability. It aimed to establish a supply chain in Ireland from the field to the finished garment. ‘Manifestations of Desire’ by Dee Harte explores ideas around self-image, identity and desire with finished pieces being made from reclaimed material from worn and discarded garments. Rosie O’Reilly from Re-dress facilitated the discussion on the evening.


ProjectHomegrown Aisling Clancy graduated with a 1st class honours degree in Fashion from Plymouth College of Art in 2010. Having always had an interest in sustainable fashion, her degree collection used only organic fabrics which she hand dyed using natural plant dyes. After graduation Aisling participated in various workshops with ‘Style’ in Plymouth, Offset warehouse in London, Re-dress in Dublin as well as some freelance work for ‘Himalayan Wild Fibers’. She began working in the QC/Garment technology office of an Irish high street label, working with suppliers and factories overseas. For the last two years Aisling has been undertaking an MA at NCAD. As a member of the Fellowship 500 with the Ethical Fashion Forum, she is part of an international movement aimed at improving the fashion and textile industries.


DEE HARTE IMAGE 2013 Dee Harte completed a Diploma in Fashion Design at the Limerick School of Art and Design, and a BA (Hons) Degree in Embroidered Textile Design, NCAD. She was the Creative Director of a clothing label for four years that offered bespoke up-cycled womenswear, as well as teaching dressmaking and alterations to adults at the Ringsend Technical College. She has also worked with the Kilkenny County Council Arts Office. Dee has had private commissions and collaboration with designers, illustrators and photographers on live design briefs and workshops. Dee’s decision to pursue postgraduate research at NCAD was based on the need to develop a new, creative and innovative portfolio of work that shifts focus from running a fashion label towards more considered work in both gallery and education settings.

Read about the event in our blog post here.




Thursday April 25th at 7pm – 9pm:  The Loft, South Studios, Dublin 8

We partnered with Trocaire on an event that looked at bonded labour in the supply chain in Pakistan. Everyday thousands of adults and children face a life bound to slavery in the the cotton production industry in Pakistan. Released bonded labourers face enormous problems reintegrating themselves into society and developing sustainable livelihoods for their families. Susan Morell of the Sunday Business Post facilitated the discussion.


Shrimati Veero is a former bonded labourer and now campaigns actively to release others from modern day slavery. When she was young, Veero’s family were tricked into taking on debts they did not owe by their landlord, on the cotton farm where they worked picking cotton. With no understanding of their rights, they lived in captivity for many years, under heavy armed guard, while they worked on the landlord’s cotton farms to pay off the illegitimate debt. Eventually, fearing for her own children’s safety, Veero escaped to a nearby police station, in great danger. She refused to leave until her landlord was arrested. Since then, Veero has campaigned for the release of slaves across Southern Pakistan, giving others the courage to speak out as she did. For this work, she received the 2009 Frederick Douglas award, a prestigious international award given to individuals who contribute to ending slavery. Veero will be running as a local election candidate in Pakistan’s upcoming elections.

Karamat Ali is the founder and executive director of the Pakistan Institute for Labour Education and Research (PILER). Karamat has been one of Pakistan and South Asia’s most prominent labour rights activists for four decades.PILER works to promote a democratic and effective labour movement in Pakistan, crucial to the overall advancement of social justice and the attainment of an equitable society where fundamental rights of people are respected, ensured and guaranteed. PILER carries out this work through supporting labour mobilization and organisation, carrying out high level research on the labour force and labour rights in Pakistan, and advocating at a high level to government, for a strong labour rights code.Beyond his work with PILER, Karamat is also a founder member of the Pakistan-India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy; Member, International Council for the World Social Forum; and a member of the Steering Committee for People’s SAARC, the South Asian regional civil society network which lobbies for a more just regionalisation in South Asia. He holds an MA Development Studies, is an honorary Fellow of the International Institute of Social History, and is author of numerous articles and essays on labour, politics and development.

Dr. Gulam Hyder is the director of Green Rural Development Organisation (GRDO). GRDO are a partner of Trócaire in rural southern Sindh province in Pakistan, an area which was worst hit by the Pakistan floods of 2010 and 2011, and in which bonded labour is widespread problem amongst cotton workers in particular. GRDO work to free bonded labourers on cotton farms and in brick factories, through awareness raising and campaigning. They also provide livelihoods opportunities to bonded labourers who have been freed, amongst other activities;

Read about the event in our blog post here.



February 2013 / Re-dress X Fairtrade 

2013 marks the 11th Anniversary of Fairtrade Fortnight (25 Feb-10 March) which is a nationwide effort to promote awareness of Fairtrade, to buy products carrying the FAIRTRADE mark and to ultimately look after the food and cotton we love and the people who grow and produce it. To quote Moussa Keita, a Fairtrade cotton farmer in Mali “Since selling our cotton as Fairtrade, we are able to eat every day and all my children go to school. With the premium we have built two classrooms.”

The evening began with a panel discussion on Fairtrade cotton production in Senegal followed by break away group conversations with drinks and nibbles, all within the fitting setting of documentary photographer Sean Hawkey‘s exhibition on cotton production which Filmbase hosted for Fairtrade Fortnight.  We were delighted to host our special guests Oumer Bousso and Ann Katherine Keane of Fairtrade Cotton Senegal who were in conversation with Fairtrade Ireland, Susan Morell of the Sunday Business Post and others.


Thanks to Sinead of Fashion Blog Mini Melange for interviewing Rosie at the Re-dress X Fairtrade Better Fashion Conversation

Huge thanks to heather Thornton who Produced this video snapshot of the Re-dress X Fairtrade Cotton Event at Film Base on March 7th

ReDress: Fairtrade and the Cotton Farmers of Senegal from HEATHER THORNTON on Vimeo.

Read about the event in our blog post here.