Fashion editor Maeve speaks with new business Lough Garments, run by UCC student Pádraig, and Sam, who is a recent UCC graduate.
Do you believe that sustainable fashion is more important to the younger generation today than let’s say, millennials?
I would definitely think our generation is more environmentally conscious than the ones that have come before. There is a conscious effort amongst many of our age group to reduce the amount of new clothes they buy, and try to extend the life of clothes they already own before looking to buy new ones. You can definitely see this taking off with the amount of customised clothing, shoes, and reworks (if you’re into reworking, get in touch!) and of course, technology providing us with a space to swap or sell our clothes, making sure they get another life before they end up being recycled.
At the same time, with clothes being so expensive, it’s quite easy to turn to ‘fast fashion’, with high-street names like Zara and H&M and online stores like Shein providing those essentials that feel too cheap to pass up. As Black Friday comes around, it’ll be big business for these stores, while you can find more individual, more ethically produced and distributed clothes on Depop and locally.
What was the initiative to start up the company?
Well, during coronavirus, I think we all are facing a lot of challenges, but people have a lot of unwanted spare time to themselves – we decided that despite the uncertainty, we might never again have this opportunity to try to start the company. We knew of two or three suppliers that would allow us to access high street goods from stores like Urban Outfitters, and plenty of vintage suppliers in North America and the EU at a large discount – one we pass onto our customers.
Depop and Instagram can be a hard place to market a new company, how did you do it?
Up until now we’ve mainly been marketing through word of mouth, friends, and Instagram stories, but we’re looking forward to our upcoming Black Friday sale and ad campaign too. Fortunately, our very competitive pricing has let us build up a >15,000 following on Depop, and we’re working on bringing this success to our Instagram – @loughgarments – also.
Is fashion something you have always been interested in?
Maybe not always – the bulk of our fashion experience as kids was how to look class at Savoy! As we got older, I was particularly interested in Virgil Abloh and his minimalist design philosophy he carried from Off-White to Louis Vuitton, and more traditional designers like Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger. One thing that always interests us is the unusual items we come across – highlights so far include a handmade duck hunt gilet and a handwoven native Cowichan Tribe jacket, among many other handmade goods, and these show fashion can still be something small-scale and individualistic.
What does a regular business day look like for Lough Garments?
As a small business, I don’t really know if we have a typical business day yet, as a lot of the work we do has to fit in around the busy schedules of final year and work life. The business can really be split into three main areas, those are purchasing, photography and writing descriptions, and the shipping. The sourcing of the clothes is something we do continuously, as we are always looking for new suppliers. This part of the business feels the least like work though, as it is similar to online shopping and the unboxing afterwards is always fun. The photography and editing posts typically take up the most time.
We try to make sure we post a new item a few times a week so that our customers always have something new to check out when they visit our Depop, although it can get a bit boring just writing descriptions all the time. The postage is also a fun part of the business as we try to include a small note/sticker in each one to show our thanks to our customers. We also live about five minutes from the post office, so we take it in turns going to the post office each day.
What are your plans for the future?
In the coming months, we are looking forward to further shipments from high-street names including Nike, Adidas, Fila and Champion and increasing our stock of heavily discounted haute couture brands like Moschino, CDG, Armani, Alexander McQueen, DSquared2 and Burberry. We’re also having our sale on Friday 27th November and can’t wait to slash the prices on our already discounted stock.
Follow Lough Garments @loughgarments on Depop, Instagram and Facebook to check out their collection.