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Rediscover Fashion

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With an estimated 93% of all textile waste in Ireland sent to landfill, rediscover fashion is a spin off – now fashion label – from Rediscover Centre Ballymun. Set up in 2007 its aim is to demonstrate the potential for textiles recycling, reuse and recovery in Ireland and also to highlight the environmental, social and economic benefits.

Yesterday I attended their second fashion show. All the clothes were made from recycled materials. Some from pillow cases, some from ikea waste bins and old restaurant uniforms. Others were made from jeans and old suits. I know for a fact for one piece in particular the material was taken from a skip….

Ballymun now has won 30 environmental awards. In 2008 it was voted Irelands fair trade town. They have also won the Arthur Guinness Fund.

I worked with the rediscovery team last year when we built a recycled garden at the Smithfield festival and of course also when I bought my kitchen chairs from their rediscover furniture revcycling project.

Take a look at what one can do when the imagination is really put to the test. Now pretend I never told you this fashion show took place in Ballymun, in an Ikea store and that some high street fashion label was the designer. In all honesty, I know all of the pieces were for sale yesterday. But I could not tell you whether they would have cost €75 or €1750. I also know diddly about fashion…. but this blew me away and from a green perspective it is exemplary.

See more images of the rediscover fashion show 2010.

I have also covered more the fashion element of this over on culch.ie

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Irelands Eye

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The second garden group event took place today. This time to Irelands Eye.

It was an amazing day. And to that some notes of thanks are due. To the legend that is Diarmuid O’Cathasaigh of The Howth Peninsula Historical Society, who spoke to us about the island and to Mary Stephenson who introduced me to Diarmuid – thank you so very much. It put meaning to the journey.

To the skipper of The Little Flower, Mark Doyle of Island Ferries. You are Sir, a gentleman and I wouldn’t sail in any other boat.

To the people I spent the day with… I applaud you and thank you. Absolute Ladies and gentlemen.

To the island itself… I did try to edit the story teller [the video of him that is] that is Diarmuid [and I could have rewritten what he told me]… but the guy is a legend and I just couldn’t do it. Want to know about Irelands Eye…. really ?

From the famous murder to why martello is actually incorrect spelling. From the year 200 AD to Napoleon and why Howth has 2 of everything…. it’s all there.

All I know is, prior to this trip, I could find very little information on Irelands Eye, including 3-ish photographs and some information on wiki…

This video is the ultimate guide to a history of Irelands Eye. The day out… one I will never forget.

My advice if you are going…

  • Get on well with skipper Mark – that’s if you wish to plan in advance. He is a marine engineer by trade and a gentleman by nature.
  • Wear long trousers and hiking boots, not necessary, just better.
  • Bring a picnic including a hot drink and water And sun screen and water proofs.
  • Relax and enjoy. Worth every cent… more than that, every minute.
  • The boat rip costs €15 and if the tide is with you takes about 15 minutes
  • I recommend you spend a good 2 -3 hours there
  • There is much more than the martello tower there [see images]
  • Anything else…

looking for more information

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Trim 2025 – the carbon [r]evolution begins

Before you read this – read Trim 2025 to go carbon neutral

In what may have seemed, to some, like an almost niaive scenario to percieve… it now seems that young Martin Tighe literally has started what is now the most enviable vision ever to evolve worldwide and this one from a town in Ireland called Trim. Ladies and gentlemen… The carbon revolution has just begun.

In an all star headline act some spoke of the redemption required to change that same old heads of town events, boards and committees…. and whilst the presence of Noel Dempsey may have attracted some – it was the fine and independent minded speaking of David Mc Williams who stole the show.

That was until the music kicked off….

Whether you are 6, 16 or 106 years old… this really was a day for Trim, in its entirety, to stand tall and to be extremely proud. I’m not talking some group of contrary county councillors seeking to prove their worth to the local papers and a bunch of men in suits holding cardboard cheques… This is close on verging Bono country and it is every piece of energy that a green revolution should be.

One last thing before – the last thing…. where the fork where the green party….?

Martin Tighe, stand up sir and take a bow…. The world is watching.


The one thing I took from this…..? anyone, any person all of the doom and gloom merchants, the nay sayers…. you know who you are and if not, everyone knows at least one……. fork you! It can be done. I listened to young Martin. No older that 30 years old – who took on an entire town… and won’t stop there. I listened to Mc Williams…. stuff the government and stuff you if you are sitting on your arse looking for someone to blame. We know what they can’t do…. but you can. And you can. As a btw… I’m almost 10 years in business. I borrowed the tools for my first job. I’ve never been the recipient of any welfare or grants of any format…. and now Martin who doesn’t even live in Trim…..  and you know what he’s right…. I’ll give him the final word….

Many, many special thanks to all the very kind people I met in Trim.

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Cape Garden Centre, Cape Town, South Africa

cape-garden-centre-cape town

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Whilst building the garden in the Wallacedene Township in South Africa, I would first like to note that I was a part of a team. A very large team. And I simply played a part.

To that there where so many really good people I met out there. One in particular was a really good guy Peter and not forgetting his foreman Garreth.

Btw Peter insisted he take this photograph of me… 😆

Back to it… Peter owns The Cape Garden Centre that I passed on my way everyday to work. On the final day of the build plants whilst laying out plants and running back with Garreth to get some more I got about 20 minutes to take a look around his place whilst waiting for plants to be loaded.

I had spoken to Garreth and Peter abut the operations and working side but…. To say I was blown away by his setup, the garden centres layout, the displays, the restaurant, the list is endless…. is an understatement. As my first ever garden centre review I am so proud that this is first on the list.

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Peter spoke to me about how they used what was the bark from a [weed] tree that needed clearing from the land to make what we know as willow like screening and features for the garden.

I noticed how no member of the public was left unattended and at all times there was a staff member nearby ready to help or give advice.

The door of their design studios were open for all to see into. Being really honest the people, the customers seemed really happy. It had a very feel good feel about… I sat down at one point for about five minutes and watched the people stroll by… It was phenomenal. And to think that in the midst of all of the mayhem that was happening not so far away, that I had left for just a moment… even I was beginning to relax… then Garreth bipped the horn on the bakkie [open back jeep/ truck] and it was back to it 😉

I loved the family areas, the play areas, the pet area, the garden displays…. [breath] the fact that almost any variety of plant could be seen in a setting or at the varying stages of growth and moreseo that it was for sale in abundance at any of those sizes. There wasn’t a hair out of place… Throw in the individual craft and art shops and the indoor and outdoor furniture places… it was like a little village with too much to do. I loved every second of it.

I’ll be reviewing in the next days some of the plants you may know, you may have seen or may not have that are more common to the Cape Town climate…


 

 

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irish conker championship 2009

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I said I’d go to Freshford to compete in The Irish Conker Championships …and I did. How did I get on…? Absolutely 110% had an amazing time…. 😆 I loved every second of it…

How did I get on in the competition….? Honestly? K.O. ‘d in the first round 😆

I hadn’t trained….

Is it serious stuff…? On one hand, the conker must be 8″ from the finger and the lace twice wrapped…. the fact that I was beat by last years champ; the fact that his sister Aileen won it this year… You may think so.

There is the other side where all the monies raised goes to charity and when I arrived down there on Saturday evening… within 3 minutes of arriving I was involved in a team of about 18 people putting up a marquee….

My advice…. book a b&b. Get your socks down to Freshford and literally have the craic. If you do manage to get involved, get to the ceilí, to the flower show, get a donkey ride…. [the list goes on….] and more important meet the amazing people all in the name of conkers… well, how bad can life be 😆

Here’s how I managed to get knocked out…. literally 😉

These are just some of the amazing people I met over the weekend…. thank you all. It was an absolute honour. I have some more images over here

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