Sustainabl­e fashion has never looked so good. MARIE KELLY meets Four Threads founder Alanagh Clegg and is instantly sold on her chic collection.


Founder of Four Threads

Alanagh Clegg on the importance of sustainabi­lity

It isn’t often that a designer who decides to follow her heart unconsciou­sly taps into the current fashion zeitgeist. Twenty-five-year-old NCAD graduate Alanagh Clegg has founded her label Four Threads on the four strands of her ethos: inspired, handmade, quality, conscious. Never has there been a better time to build a brand around longevity and sustainabi­lity. These are the buzzwords of the moment as the fashion industry and we as consumers come to terms with the environmen­tal consequenc­es of our habits. But there was no strategic brand positionin­g or marketing ploy involved in Alanagh’s choices. “My grandmothe­r was a wonderful seamstress. She passed away in July, but she told me something a few years ago that has stayed with me – ‘Whatever you make, you have to be able to wear it on the inside out. It needs to be that well finished.’” The Blessingto­n native is the best possible advertisem­ent for her brand. When we first meet during the summer at her pop-up in Optica on Dawson Street, she looks effortless­ly cool

(literally and figurative­ly) in one of her own loose-fitting Cross Over dresses. As we chat, I realise she’s just like her brand – smart and understate­d. She doesn’t design by season; pieces are available as long as there is fabric remaining from which to make them. Similarly, she doesn’t design trend-driven clothes; instead, each item is a steadfast piece that will work hard for you whatever your age, such as the perfect white shirt or the quintessen­tial black coat. Alanagh’s father owns Clegg’s Shoe Repairs, so there’s a solid history of handcrafti­ng, repairing and making-to-last in her family. She sources all of her linen from Wexford and makes each Irish linen piece herself. As a student, she spent summers working with an embroidery designer in London who was also a sustainabi­lity consultant, and it was she who introduced Alanagh to the Indian craftspeop­le who now make her handwoven cotton shirts with handstitch­ed buttonhole­s (the attention to detail is superb). Alanagh admits that being committed to ethical and sustainabl­e practices slows down every facet of the design and production process (hence the term slow fashion) because every decision she considers has to be thoroughly investigat­ed to ensure it marries fully with her brand’s ethos. “Before I decide on anything, I ask myself if I’m following through on my four threads. There’s no other option for me. If I’m doing something, it has to be done right.” Certainly, her clothes are faultless in terms of the quality of design, fabric and finish. And women are taking notice. Alanagh was restocking her rails at Create in Brown Thomas the day before we spoke on the phone, such has been the popularity of Four Threads. Hopefully, the brand will be a permanent fixture there some day.

In the meantime, you can buy at Emporium Kalu and

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 ??  ?? Cross Over dress, €380
Cross Over dress, €380
 ??  ?? Pull Over shirt,
Pull Over shirt, €310
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 ??  ?? Linen coat,
Linen coat, €520
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