Hi there! My name is Laura and I am the owner and founder of Lovely Things here in Dublin.
Lovely Things is a true family business and has come about thanks to the huge support of my husband, Ciarán and our young 3 kids. They have helped me so much, mostly without even realising it - cheering me on on the days when I thought 'how am I going to do this?' and make me laugh so much every single day.
I want to create a positive change for them, their future environment and create a business that we can all be proud to be a part of.
Our path to this point began about 3 years ago when our youngest, Grace, was born. I was feeding her in the small hours of the night and I half watched my phone to keep me awake when a horrible video of waves of plastic washing up on the shore of a faraway beach started. I switched it off in alarm. The next day, I was sure it was some crazy sleep deprived dream but I checked my phone and, sure enough, it was real. It was in that moment, looking at my new baby and thinking of my two older children, that I decided that I would try and figure out what changes I could make to do my small part to help in the challenges in the environment all around us.
At the start, I felt totally overwhelmed. I didn’t know where to start but started to try and learn a bit about what I could do. Then I had a real light bulb moment as I tried to wedge yet another lovely new outfit into my kids’ wardrobes. I realised that so many of these clothes were not worn at all or worn once, twice or maybe a handful of times and thought, ‘what am I doing?’
You see I had started to learn a little bit about the production of clothes and textiles and it was becoming clear to me that the fashion industry is one of the least eco-sustainable around with such heavy use of resources at every stage of production, not to mention the extremely troubling treatment of garment workers around the world. In addition to this, the 'recycling' of clothing and textiles is causing an environmental crisis in many countries around the world where up a huge percentage of our 'recycled' clothes are exported.
I kept thinking that these barely used clothes could be passed on to other kids who could love them and this could have a real impact on the world around my family and community by reducing our waste and our own environmental footprint.
So, I started to buy preloved clothes from other parents and they really were such lovely things! The quality, range and value were brilliant but I found it very, very time consuming. I would have to go to online forums for my youngest and individual online sellers and websites for my older kids, collecting in person and arranging drop offs. Selling our preloved kid’s clothes was a lot of work but I loved sending the packages off to other parents where our preloved would be re-loved and be enjoyed again (and again).
I just wished that someone would make it easier! It was one thought I had over and over… Then, on one of the many, many walks during Lockdown I realised I am that someone and ‘Lovely Things’ was born. Basically, it’s just that - an ethical, quality-focussed, reliable, Irish family business that won’t sell clothes that we wouldn’t dress our own kids in.
The importance of sustainability
Sustainability can feel like a bit of a ‘buzz word’ at the moment. Speaking for myself, I didn’t really understand what it meant until a few years ago but very simply put it means that whatever production we are talking about is ‘able to be maintained at a certain rate or level’.
With 80 billion new pieces of clothing manufactured every year, it is clear that the way clothing is currently produced is unsustainable. So much new clothing will never even be worn, with growing levels being dumped into landfill. Many more millions of tonnes are dumped after a single use. In addition to this, there is the troubling treatment of garment workers who make these clothes.
The logic of buying preloved clothes
Preloved clothes, on the other hand, reduce the environmental impact by limiting CO2 emissions, the use of pesticides, fertilizers and reduce the waste of billions of litres of water that would have been needed to make new clothes. It also sends the message that we want to buy better and hopefully will support the rights of garment workers around the world.
Making buying sustainable clothing an easier reliable option for families
Lovely Things is here to help us all ‘bridge the gap’ between understanding the importance of sustainability and being able to buy beautiful preloved kids’ and baby clothes in a way that is easy and makes sense to everyone.
Our aim is to offer a convenient 'one stop shop' to purchase excellent quality, sustainably sourced and brilliant value kids' clothes from all your favourite brands from 0-12. We also provide a hassle-free service to purchase your great quality kids' clothes which offers a return on this investment, frees up valuable space while you know that you are part of a circular economy to extend the life of clothing and reduce its carbon footprint in Ireland.
We are excited that you are joining us!
Laura, Ciarán & Family x