For Annie O’Rourke, the inspiration was simple: she wanted to do her part to break the cycle of the fast fashion industry.
The jewellery designer told Her how, in her final year at the National College of Art and Design, she began to learn more about where our fashion comes from – as well as the term, fast fashion.
“I was infatuated with it,” she said. “I was reading articles about the damage it was causing to the earth and the workers; I just thought ‘something needed to change.'”
Determined to become part of the slow fashion movement, she began working in embroidery when she finished college. However, she soon realised that she needed to make a change in what she was working with.
This led the designer to come up with ThinkThreads, an Etsy store featuring handmade and embellished earrings.
“I was looking around my room and I noticed that I had so much costume jewellery,” she explained. “There were buttons and beads; clothing that I found in charity shops that was ripped and I thought, ‘OK, I can sew this or something.'”
Annie began her shop by spending a few months embroidering earrings, before she decided it was time to put them out there. At that point, she called up some of her friends and they collaborated on a photoshoot for Etsy – and it’s been going strong since.
She collects all of her materials either from her own collection, or from broken and unwanted jewellery and clothing bought from charity shops or second hand shops.
“I leave the things in the shop that are in perfect condition, as I know they will have a new life. Someone will buy it and get enjoyment from it,” Annie told Her, explaining how she also works with the shops to put some of the broken pieces aside.
ThinkThreads also takes donations, which could be the perfect solution for anyone with a sentimental piece that they want to save – or even find a new life for.
“The purpose of ThinkThreads is to reduce the amounts of plastics from clothing and jewellery ending up in landfills and our oceans, by giving the materials a new lease of life,” she added. “As a creator and a millennial I am beginning to become far more aware oft he state of our current climate and I feel the need to do my best in helping to break the cycle of the fast fashion industry.”
Prices on ThinkThreads’ Etsy shop range from €15 for some of the smaller pieces to €35 for the more intricate and detailed pairs of earrings.
“Although ThinkThreads is a small business I do feel that what I am doing and what ThinkThreads stands for is making a difference to peoples mindsets, which is all I can ask for,” Annie said. “Our motto at ThinkThreads is ‘why not look badass while saving the planet?’ which, I suppose, speaks for itself.”
You can find ThinkThreads’ Etsy store here.