Aoife and Orla Lynch, founders of Firkail.

Fashion designed from the kitchen table

Happy New Year everyone, I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and are ready for 2023.

I have spent most of the Christmas break doing a major clean of my wardrobe. I basically spent a little bit of time on it each day and tackled 1 section per day. That way I wasn’t getting completely stressed out and sick of it.

I didn’t throw much out as I’ve come to the stage where even though I have a lot of clothes, I like what I have, I wear most of them pretty regularly and I think this is because I’ve changed the way that I shop in recent years.

I now prefer to really think about what I need and I’m only buying items I really love plus I want to buy items that are more sustainably made. Doing the wardrobe clear out has made me take stock and I’m going to try and not buy anything for the first few months of the year. However top of my list when I do purchase again is a sweatshirt from the fabulous brand Firkail.

Their sweatshirt is a great classic basic in gorgeous colours with the loveliest daisy motif on the sleeve. It's a piece you’ll wear time and time again and is like a sartorial cosy hug. The brand was created by 2 sisters living in Kinsale, Aoife and Orla Lynch, founders of Firkail.

On starting the business, they said: “As two moms, we understand life is busy and wanted clothes that would suit all aspects of life. We were tired of our everyday basics not lasting and wanted to create something that would last and have minimal impact on the planet.

“The solution had to be an honest and kind one, with ethically sourced materials and the most sustainable fabrics. This stemmed from the positive influence from our parents, to always care for our planet and buy Irish, and sharing this same ethos with our own families.”

They have created all their own designs at the kitchen table in Kinsale and they now have a studio in the heart of Kinsale that they love. If you’re in the area, they can arrange pick ups and personal appointments there for their customers.

The products are great day to day basics with a coastal relaxed vibe and are inspired by time spent in West Cork. When Aoife and Orla researched different fabrics, hemp kept coming up as a really sustainable crop and an ideal fabric for what they wanted to create with the brand.

“The hemp cotton we use is 100% organic, hypoallergenic, naturally biodegradable and has natural UV protection (great for Irish skin). We are plastic free, so all our packaging is compostable, recycled and recyclable,” they said.

Hemp is such an interesting crop, it replenishes and heals our soil, uses 50% less water than cotton, consumes 4 times more carbon than trees and is naturally pesticide free due to its dense root system.

Firkail hopes to have Irish hemp in the products, hopefully by next year and in the next two years hope to have a 100% Irish product from seed to stitch. They are working closely with a group/company in Dingle that is building up the infrastructure to be able to manufacture hemp fabric in Ireland.

Firkail is also a member of the Hemp Cooperative which is a fantastic resource on all things hemp in Ireland.

To keep updated on this brand’s interesting journey, check them out on social media @firkail_kinsale and their website

You can also check them out at pop ups that they have been doing since going live in early August and they will keep this up as they love meeting customers and telling the Firkail story.