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New thrifting trend fights fast fashion

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By Ellen McSweeney and Méabh O'Sullivan Darcy

Transition Year Journalism

Thrifting is the surprising new trend of today - with vintage clothing coming back in style as young people want to recreate the iconic looks of the '70s, '80s and '90s.

The second-hand fashion market has taken young people by storm and is projected to reach €67 billion by 2025, up from €31 billion in 2021 and is growing at a staggering 11 times the rate of the broader retail clothing sector.

The biggest benefit of this trend is how it challenges the fast fashion industry. Fast fashion is inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends. These industries produce billions of garments a year and it is estimated that a bin lorry of textiles is wasted every second. The fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world, just after the oil industry. That is why it has such a significant impact on carbon emissions and an overall damage to the environment - not to mention the disgraceful conditions the workers in the factories endure as they are severely underpaid and abused.

Second-hand fashion gives used clothes a new life rather than being discarded to the rubbish. This eco-friendly aspect to the trend is a huge contributor to the popularity of thrifting in recent years. People are becoming more aware of the problem of fast fashion and its negative impact on the environment and want to take a stand and make a change for a better, more eco-friendly world.

One such shop in Killarney is ‘Hazels Nuts About Vintage' on Plunkett Street.

“I set up the shop because I was looking for different fashion myself and I couldn’t find any," Hazel O'Malley explained.

"I went up to Dublin 10 years ago and I started to see vintage shops and second-hand shops. There was just so many clothes out there and people are just wearing them a few times and they are just being thrown away even though they are good quality and I wanted to give them a second life. The clothes that you would get in earlier years were much better quality then clothes you would get now. They will last and you can wear them over and over again," she said.

NOT SUSTAINABLE

"I think thrifting has become so popular now because people are interested in the planet and people know that the consumerism that took over in the past few years just isn't sustainable. People want to give clothes a new life. And I suppose people want different stuff, they don’t want to look the same as everyone and they want something new. When you go into a second hand or a vintage shop you don’t know what you're going to get and there's an element of surprise and there's only one of everything while if you go into a big retail shop you can see everything and you know what's in there. In a vintage shop you might find something you didn’t expect and didn’t even know you wanted.”

Hazel said she thinks there is a place for fast fashion because we still need new clothes.

"I think the companies that are making the clothes are going to have to improve their workers' rights as it's a huge problem. People must be suffering on the other side because you can't make clothes that cheap and bring them here so quickly. And the pollution of all that is because they only make clothes that will last a short time and if they can make the clothes that will last longer and pay their workers a proper wage. A lot of places wrap things in plastic bags.”

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Volunteers wanted for street collection

By Michelle Crean October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and local volunteers are keen to not only raise awareness but also funds. Kathrina Breen, Eleanor O’Doherty and Kathleen O’Shea who […]

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By Michelle Crean

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and local volunteers are keen to not only raise awareness but also funds.

Kathrina Breen, Eleanor O’Doherty and Kathleen O’Shea who have been supporting the Irish Cancer Society for many years are delighted to be able to get back to their Pink Ribbon street collection in Killarney town next Friday (October 7).

They are the only group in the country doing the collection as many fundraisers have moved online since the pandemic struck.

“We’re the only town in Ireland doing it this year,” Kathrina, who feels it’s important to keep a street collection going, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“We haven’t done it in two years since before COVID. I pushed to do it as it raises a lot of money. People have been supporting this for years, this money goes towards breast detection equipment, information leaflets in doctors surgeries and towards cancer grants.”

In 2021, donations helped 254 breast cancer patients with free transport to and from 2,380 chemotherapy appointments by volunteer drivers, 154 patients received 514 nights of end-of-life care from Night Nurses and 3,430 enquiries were made about breast cancer through the Freephone Support Line 1800 200 700 and at 13 Daffodil Centres across the country.

And she added that they’re looking for a few volunteers to help out on the day.

“If anyone would like to help they can contact me on 087 2612992.”

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Calls for Council to acquire vacant Rock Road properties

By Sean Moriarty There are calls to make two vacant properties on Rock Road available to Kerry County Council’s housing inventory. The two cottages, one either side of the entrance […]

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By Sean Moriarty

There are calls to make two vacant properties on Rock Road available to Kerry County Council’s housing inventory.

The two cottages, one either side of the entrance to St Finan’s Hospital, are vacant for some time.
Cllr Maura Healy-Rae raised the issue at a recent Killarney Municipal District meeting.

“Regarding two vacant houses at the entrance to St Finan’s on Rock Road which appear to be vacant for a significant period of time. One of the properties is in the ownership of the HSE. I requested that Kerry County Council would liaise with the HSE with a view to potentially acquiring this house,” she told the Killarney Advertiser after the meeting.

“I stressed that it is important that the local authority exhaust all possibilities when it comes to providing more houses, particularly properties located within the town of Killarney where the need and demand for housing is critical.”

Kerry County Council said it would get the Vacant Homes Officer to contact the owner of the privately owned bungalow.

“They will inform the property owner that there is funding available under various schemes and grants to aid the return of this property to habitable use. Such schemes include the Repair and Lease Scheme and the recently launched Croí Cónaithe vacant property grant,” said a Council official.

Cllr Healy-Rae added: “I requested that KCC would liaise with the HSE with a view to potentially acquiring this house.”

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