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02 Dec 2021

Tipperary woman sets up new ‘ethical’ fashion business

Tipperary woman sets up new ‘ethical’ fashion business

Dundrum native Finula Crowe, founder of the New Day Originals fashion and homewares brancd

A Dundrum born woman has founded her own brand of quality yet stylish casual clothing that is part of a growing movement away from cheap and  fast fashion you wear a few times before discarding. 

Finula Crowe, who is based in Essex in England, established her New Day Originals fashion brand last year and is now selling the ethical casual clothing range along with some soft homewares like cushions and throws and yoga products online and at pop-up shops and craft markets in England. 

She has just brought out an autumn/winter range and is working on a new sleepwear range called Nidra including for the Christmas gift market. 

Finula, who is daughter of former Dundrum House Hotel owners Austin and Mary Crowe, has already dipped her toes in the Irish market and would love to eventually open a branch of New Day Originals in Ireland. 

She ran a successful pop- up shop selling a selection of her clothing and homewares at her brother William’s bar & bistro, The Pallas, in Pallasgreen, county Limerick during a recent visit home. 

“I was blown away by the response I got from the pop-up shop at The Pallas. The clothes I sell are not cheap. A t-shirt costs €30 to €40 but customers couldn’t get enough of it. They very much bought into the sustainable and ethical source of the clothes.”

The New Day Originals fashion range includes t-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, dresses, kimonos and beanie hats. Yoga mats made out of cork and recycled rubber, yoga bags and sweatshirts are the latest products to be added to her growing brand range. The Nidra sleepwear range comprising cotton pyjamas, dressing gown, wash bags and eye mask will be launched on November 1 in time for the Christmas shopping season. 

Finula currently buys in the clothes from manufacturing companies and finishes off the range’s sweatshirts and t-shirts with illustrations and positive slogans, which she and a number of artists based near her home in England design. Illustrations inspired by the famous Mexican artist Freda Kahlo feature on her winter range of clothes.   

Finula points out her  dresses, nightwear and yoga ranges are designed and made bespoke for New Day Originals by a company in India. 

Finula stresses New Day Originals clothes and homewares are made from eco-friendly natural materials where possible and the vast majority are 100% cotton and sustainably made.

“We work with our suppliers to make sure the dyes, colourants or substances used during manufacturing are not harmful to the planet and comply with EU sustainability guidelines. 

“We ensure none of the components of our products are tested on animals or mistreat animals in any way. All of our sweatshirts and t-shirts carry the PETA and Vegan stamp of approval.”

She  has also vetted the manufacturing companies she sources her clothing and homewares from to ensure they pay and treat their employees fairly and engage in sustainable manufacturing processes. 

Finula’s goal is for New Day Originals to eventually design, manufacture and finish all its clothing in-house. 

She says sourcing the clothes from outside manufacturers is the most pragmatic way of getting into the clothing market at this stage of the company’s development. 

She started work on establishing New Day Originals during the summer of 2020  and launched the brand last November. New Day  Originals name is derived from Finula’s name, which loosely translated from Irish means Fine New Day.

Her decision to set up the sustainable clothing brand was prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic, which greatly impacted on her occasion wear boutique called, Finique, which she founded in Essex five years ago after leaving a career in corporate marketing in London to become a fashion entrepreneur

Before the pandemic, the boutique was a go to place for women buying outfits for weddings, racing festivals and social events and it boasted a strong contingent of Irish customers including some TV celebrities who wore its fashions at events like   Galway Races Ladies Day.  

The cancellation of all social events due to the lockdown restrictions meant demand for the clothes and accessories Finique specialises in dried up last year.   

In true entrepreneurial style, Finula decided to take a new direction spurred on by her growing concern about the environmental impact of cheap, disposable single-wear fast fashion. 

She has been working more than 70 hours a week getting New Day Originals off the ground for the past year and a half and hopes to start hiring staff for her new company early next year. 

Finula enjoys selling her clothing and homewares products at weekend craft markets, which are very popular in England. “It’s just a great way to get the product in front of more people without having a retail premises and overheads.” 

She is hoping to return to Ireland in November and is consulting with family members about opportunities to grow the New Day Originals brand in this country. 

The New Day Originals website address is: www.newdayoriginals.co.uk.

Pictured below:  A new addition to the New Day Originals brand - the Hope dress as worn by Finula Crowe. 

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