Sustainability is very much part of our family values and what we do at Magee 1866. We recognise that it is a not a straightforward concept with easy solutions. Yet, as a family we are on board to drive a philosophy which respects our environment and how we do business in it.
We have grown up in in the wilds of Donegal with the Atlantic on our doorstep for swimming and the Bluestacks Mountains just up the road for exploring. Mum and Dad have always encouraged a deep respect for this magic landscape at home and to tread with care. This culture of care for the landscape around us means putting time and effort into make sustainable choices from planting belts of mixed forestry to eating organically, growing vegetables and cycling in and out to work. This sustainable set of lifestyle values as a family translates to what we do at work. We don’t leave them at home!
When it comes to work, for over 150 years sustainability has been inherent in our DNA. We focus on using natural fibres like wool which is renewable and biodegradable by default. Natrual fibres create fabric and clothing which is of a high quality, a far cry from the ‘throw away’ culture of fast fashion. Today, we look to harness this sustainable core and to bring its essence through our collections. When you invest in a coat like the Emma (below), you are buying a piece which is made of wool, it is made to last and to be enjoyed season after season. As a 5th generation family business, we are not here today and gone tomorrow and neither is our clothing.
It is so encouraging to see that sustainability is now part of a more mainstream conversation around the world. I am currently in Tokyo with work and also to commiserate with Irish fans over our world cup loss…! Yesterday, I took part in the ‘Tweed Run Tokyo’.
The event was to highlight the versatility of the fabric, its sustainable virtues and to celebrate this with an emissions free pedal about the vast city. What an experience and a vibrant ensemble of bold style and panache!
I talked to the team from the beautiful United Arrows clothing store. They shared with me the Japanese concept of Mottainai which is a Japanese term to convey a ‘sense of regret concerning waste’ and a request to ‘not waste anything worthy’ from food to object. It was fascinating to hear of this old proverb, now being applied to today’s emphasis on moving away from a throw-away culture.
On my return from this provoking event, I bought a single banana…which was completely wrapped in plastic. As a world of consumers, living sustainably is undeniably complex but we hope that the spirit of Mottaninai will start to prevail! At Magee 1866, we hope that you will join us on the journey to create and wear clothing which pays heed to the sensitivities of the environment.