- 28 Feb 20
Alison McEvoy’s gender neutral, ethically-made designs are changing the game when it comes to baby clothes.
Alison McEvoy, creator and founder of AAMcEvoy designs, was always interested in fashion. She spent her childhood “making clothing for my Barbies using tissues, and then colouring them in carefully with markers.” Maybe this awareness of how early creativity, style and artistic flair can emerge was partly what led her to create AAMcEvoy. A far cry from the gender-coded, fast fashion designs currently dominating the market, AAMcEvoy’s designs offer parents more options for their little ones, while maintaining an ethical and sustainable shopping ethos.
McEvoy earned a degree in Fashion Design in Limerick School of Art and Design, before completing the Bespoke Fashion Tailoring course in the National Tailoring Academy at Louis Copeland’s. From there, she worked in tailoring manufacturing in the UK. But her passion and desire to create her own label really came into focus when she became pregnant for the first time.
“I had always wanted to start my own label,” she reflects. “So when I was pregnant with my daughter Annie, I began my plan. Our brand logo is two As – one mama A for Alison and a smaller A for Annie. People have often compared it to mountains, which is great – people see different things in it. As a single mama, the mountains can be quite apt! I began designing childrenswear with the end goal of having both unisex kids and adults clothing, as well as accessories, so we are on track with our plans!”
Designing for children immediately meant McEvoy wanted to work with certain fabrics and textiles, which became an integral part of her design and production process, as well as the fresh, modern aesthetic of her baby clothes.
“I knew I wanted to use organic cotton,” she says, “because it was better for newborns’ sensitive skin and better for the environment. And it is just the softest cloth I’ve come across. Having it made in Ireland was ambitious, as I wanted the security of knowing where it was coming from. I can also make samples quickly.”
But McEvoy isn’t just concerned with the softness of the cotton – she’s also determined that her entire process is ethical and sustainable.
“Ethical production of our cloth and products is at the core of what we do,” McEvoy asserts. “It’s not a trend. It’s the only way forward. AAMcEvoy only use Global Organic Textile Standard certified organic cotton. People might not realise it takes 2700 litres of water to make one normal conventional cotton t-shirt, whereas with organic cotton it takes 2500 less! If all brands used organic cotton that’s a huge contribution back to the global water table, not to mention the harmful use of chemical and herbicides.
“We use certified organic cottons, so our cloth is 95% organic cotton. It also certifies that the cloth production workers are working in a suitable, non-hazardous environment. In addition, it verifies that the waste water is treated from the production of the cloth – this isn’t a given in conventional cotton. In terms of where we design and manufacture, I design all of our products and they are made here in Ireland. It’s so beneficial to know who is involved in the process, from receiving the cloth delivery and laying it out, to cutting and sewing it.”
AAMcEvoy has had an incredible couple of years since setting, up, winning Bronze at the National Startup Awards 2019 at the end of last year. The one (welcome) problem with creating such unique, stylish and modern designs is that adults want in on the action too, so McEvoy is in the process of expanding her business and creating an adult collection.
“I’m currently on the Enterprise Ireland New frontiers programme in Limerick,” she says. “So there’s a lot of work involved in that. We are currently expanding our accessories range for children and adults. We’re designing new styles, as there has been such a demand for adult versions of our kids’ products. Watch this space!”
- All AAMcEvoy pieces can be bought from aamcevoy.com, or you can follow AAMcEvoy on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @AAMcEvoyIreland.