10 Minutes With…Irish designer Aoife McNamara

Pic: Instagram/Aoife McNamara

Aoife McNamara’s star is just growing and growing.

The Irish designer has always put sustainability at the heart of her brand and she tells VIP Magazine that she is working to make things more green as well as helping raise awareness for the brand.

The Limerick lady started her brand in 2019 and has already shown collections at Paris Fashion Week. We caught up with her for a quick chat…

Aoife McNamara and Bernard Cahill

Hey Aoife, how are you? What was the first thing you did this morning?

I normally have a cup of cacao first thing in the morning and I do my yoga.

How would you spend your perfect day?

Wake up in the morning, have my cacao, do my yoga and go for a sea swim, come back, do some design work and then I will go out in nature for a sunset hike. Then I would head to a local restaurant in Co Clare, by the coast in the Burren, for some local fish and a pint of Guinness and then just chill!

That does sound like a dream day! And of course, sustainability is so close to your heart and your brand. But something your customer might not know about is how cyclical your business is! Tell us about that.

It’s something that we don’t talk about a lot supply chain, which is fundamentally, like the most important part of the business. We just don’t talk about it in detail. So it’s actually really exciting. All of our suppliers, from our raw material, our manufacturers, distributors, that’s just like the start of the supply chain. So, for me, one of the most important parts is the very start with the raw materials. I work a lot with the local woollen mills, the John Hanly Woolen Mill, who weaved my wool. We also manufacture in Dublin, and in Portugal. So for me, keeping it in the EU, as well as keeping it in Ireland.

That’s so interesting! Education is something you’re very passionate about as well.

I am very passionate about sustainable design and it’s great being able to show people all these designs. I felt like I wasn’t really educating people on what I was doing I felt like I was just doing it and for me, that’s where the community events, come in. We do a lot of revising retreats, in Finlough and Fermanagh and it’s all about creating a conscious mindset, and starting from within. We also do mending workshops, natural dying workshops in our cottage in Adare village so that’s I suppose the educational element that I’m very passionate about.


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A post shared by AOIFE MC NAMARA (@aoife_ireland)

Your workshops also help people cut down on their waste

It’s all about using our dead stock fabric, our old materials and closing that loop, so we’re never creating any waste in our supply chain. We use them for our sewing workshops, and we also use our waste fabric for scrunchies in the cottage. So it’s all about trying to figure out how we can close that loop. We’re also looking into taking back products, this year and giving them a new life so it’s sort of like making pillows, making scrunchies and even mending them. I think that was actually a big thing. I noticed that even if a button’s gone off something, people are like “Ugh I can’t wear that now.” You know, they sort of leave it in the back of their wardrobe. Now we do free mending for our clients. So, say, if a button falls off or they tear it or something happens, we mend it for free. So we’re doing those in the cottage as well.

That’s all so amazing. Another amazing thing must be seeing people wearing your designs!

I love seeing my customers and even when I see people you know wearing them I get so excited! It sort of brings it back to that local idea, the amount of people you’re impacting when you purchase local you know. So when I see people wearing my designs I can see all the people they’re supporting as well as me. It’s an interesting way to look at it!

Who would be your three dream dinner guests?

Stella Mccartney, Arizona Muse and Leah Thompson.

What is the best piece of advice that you’ve ever received?

Believe in your own ability.

Solid advice. Who is the person you look up to the most?

I think my dad, my mam will kill me. Haha. My parents, obviously, but my dad’s a businessman. Um, I think it would be my dad.

Pic: Instagram/Aoife McNamara

What are you bingeing?

No, I’m so bad with TV. I mostly watched documentaries. Space X, which was so interesting with, Elon Musk. That’s the last thing I watched on Netflix.

If you couldn’t be doing your job right now, what job would you be doing?

It would be Architecture was another area that is really interesting. Technical Graphics was like my favourite subjects in school, TG adn art. It’s basically making a house just out of fabric in a very small way. I think the structures matter a lot more in houses, but it’s sort of building patterns, putting, putting patterns together, I do love doing that.

Tell us your favourite place on earth!

Oh, I have to say County Clare the Burren in county Clare would be my favourite place.

What’s on your bucket list!
Japan. I don’t know when I’ll get there. I will get there. Soon hopefully but yeah Japan.

What are the three beauty products you can’t live without?

My skin ingredients sun lotion . I love her sun lotion. The Sculpted by Aimee Tint and Glow and Aliso Lip Balm, ot’s a really heavy lip balm.

Wow, all Irish businesses!

Yeah I’m obsessed with Irish women, that’s so funny I didn’t even notice they were all Irish business women. They’re truly products I love though, which is really nice.

Aoife McNamara is campaign ambassador for Logistics and Supply Chain Skills Week 2024 and will be speaking at LogisTYcs event on Friday 1st March. For more information on events and the Logistics and Supply Chain sector please visit

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