How Dublin store creates a fashion community – and helps shoppers earn cash from pieces ‘resting’ in their closet

Sustainability is at the heart of store housing 15 Irish brands

Bairbre Power

Dopamine dressing to boost your mood is at the cornerstone of a new retail store aimed at creating a colourful fashion community.

It is also geared towards helping shoppers earn an income from pieces ‘resting’ in their wardrobe.

Kara O’Sullivan and Johanna Dooley launched their fashion online rental business, ‘Greens are good for you’, nine months ago.

After running a successful Christmas pop-up shop with friends, the enterprising pair fast-tracked their self-funded business and last Friday they opened a permanent bricks-and-mortar store off Dublin’s Grafton Street.

The concept store, ‘Curated x Greens’ on Royal Hibernian Way, will be home to 15 small Irish lifestyle brands for the next 12 months.

“We’ve curated a colourful community of small Irish brands, brought them under one roof in the new store and we could not be prouder of this community that hypes each other up and helps each other grow,” said Ms O’Sullivan.

In an added twist, alongside their own colourful rental pieces, the duo have also introduced peer-to-peer rentals. This means they are managing transactions for fashionistas to rent clothes and accessories in good condition.

It is a sustainable route which is becoming more popular, especially in the Instagram age where shoppers have a ‘worn-once’ piece but ‘rest’ it after posting an image on social media.

“It’s for those pieces that you have invested in,” explains Ms O’Sullivan. “You know you don’t get enough wear out of it but you don’t want to sell it.

“It’s like ‘oh, I wore this once to a wedding, it’s in perfect condition, I know I will wear it again but in the meantime, it’s just sitting in my wardrobe gathering dust’.

“But now you can make money on it while you are not wearing it.”

While the number of Irish companies renting clothes and wedding dresses has increased recently, the peer-to-peer service is not as common here as it is abroad. Ms O’Sullivan and Ms Dooley believe they are the only company to officially launch it here.

Items submitted by owners online are appraised and renters receive 35-40pc of the fee, which is paid monthly.

“Johanna and I have been sharing clothes for many years and we have a mission to reduce waste, encouraging fun with fashion and to reignite a love of clothes without the guilt,” said Ms O’Sullivan.

Ms Dooley says people are now more used to a renting lifestyle than before.

“They are way more accepting of it. It’s becoming cool now whereas before, they wouldn’t be advertising that they rented something.”

The line-up of 14 other brands in the shop includes Aisling Kavanagh Design and a number of businesses born during lockdown, including Gabrielle Malone knitwear.

To Dye For is a range of mood-boosting hand-dyed loungewear and accessories which Ms Dooley started on her own in a small bathtub at her family home in Wicklow. The range is now manufactured in India.

Style Ignite Studio is run by sisters Jane and Ruth Flanagan from Co Louth who design cotton knitwear and shirts.

The youngest retailer is Holly Johnston (21) from Wexford, who recently graduated from UCD with a degree in Psychology. She started the Holly Makes jewellery brand and has made thousands of beaded phone charms after making the first one for a friend.

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