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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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One way traffic system mooted for St Oliver’s National School

The Killarney Advertiser understands that a one-way traffic management system will be introduced at St Oliver’s National School. The plan remains subject to confirmation by Kerry County Council and other […]

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The Killarney Advertiser understands that a one-way traffic management system will be introduced at St Oliver’s National School.

The plan remains subject to confirmation by Kerry County Council and other statutory bodie. It is  understood that the system will be trialled at the beginning of the new school year in September.

The area is subject to serious traffic congestion during school drop-off and pick-up times every day.

Over 650 pupils and 80 staff attend the school every day. New housing developments in the area have added to traffic congestion.

Cllr Martin Grady has being pushing for enhanced road safety measures at the school since his co-option to the council in September 2023.

“The issue has worsened in recent years with Woodlawn, Rookery Road and Ballycasheen having more domestic property developments which brings with it more road activity,” Grady told the Killarney Advertiser.

“I’ve seen first-hand several accidents occur when dropping and collecting my children from the school. It needs a safe solution by means of a drop off- pick up point or a traffic management system put in place.

“It is unfair on all stakeholders involved. I will keep working on this until results are achieved in the interest of everyone’s safety. “

The lack of urban school bus services, not just at St Oliver’s but at all schools is adding to Killarney’s traffic woes.

“I would like to see school bus services return for all students, in both urban and rural schools, this service was a massive loss, it would greatly reduce the volume of traffic on our roads and mitigate the risk of accidents and near misses,” added Cllr Grady.

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Planning rules “nonsensical in a housing crisis” Cllr Healy-Rae

A planning rule which prevents people from building houses on their own land next to major roads is being challenged by Cllr Maura Healy Rae. The current planning policy states […]

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A planning rule which prevents people from building houses on their own land next to major roads is being challenged by Cllr Maura Healy Rae.

The current planning policy states that any application house along national primary and national secondary roadways exiting from existing entrances will not be considered.
Healy-Rae says this problem is particularly acute in the Killarney Municipal District given the amount of national roadway surrounding the area with the N22, N71 and N72.
“It is nonsensical that where an individual is living at home and using an existing entrance, can’t be considered to build their own house and use existing entrance they are already using,” she told the Killarney Advertiser.
“How Transport Infrastructure Ireland can quantify this as additional traffic is preposterous. Given we are in a housing crisis, given all the challenges surrounding planning, given exorbitant house prices and the lack of affordable housing, it is ludicrous that this is a reason people are being refused planning.”
She called on Kerry County Council to write to the TII, the Minister for Transport and the Minister for Local Government requesting that the current blanket policy be lifted.
“It [the policy] has directly resulted in numerous planning applications being refused and even considered at the pre-planning stage,” she added.
Kerry TD Danny Healy-Rae has also raised the issue in Dáil Éireann.

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