In November 2022, Shared Island funding from Creative Ireland gave a boost to the industry when Donegal County Council and Derry City and Strabane District Council collaborated to create ‘Yarns’ – A two-day fashion and textile industry conference. Hosted by Donegal County Council in partnership with Derry City and Strabane District Council, events were hosted in The Playhouse Theatre and The Fashion & Textile Design Centre in Derry, as well as the Regional Cultural Centre in Letterkenny on the 18th and 19th November 2022.
Celebrating the strength and heritage of the fashion and textile industry in the North West of Ireland it also provided a unique opportunity for businesses to gain exclusive insight while networking with peers. Practical workshops and consultations from a range of industry experts, as well as local success stories and advice for participants were the highlights of the conference.
The programme included practical workshops such as Bag Making and EcoSystem Mapping with Deirdre Lane, navigating the manufacturing process with Orla Ward & Deirdre Wild of Bottummy, and Crafting a Creative Story with Aideen Bodkin of A-Line
High-profile figures from the fashion and textile industry in Ireland, including Sonya Lennon, Aisling Farinella, Paula Hughes, Deirdre McQuillan, and Aideen Bodkin, delivered workshops, panel discussions, and 1:1 consultations to support and drive ambition among the attendees. Local business owners and representatives, such as Rosy Temple of Magee 1866, Edel MacBride, Bridie Mullin, Chris Weiniger of Donegal Yarns, Bridgene Graham & Niall Lynch of Coalesce Wearable Art, also shared their success stories over the course of the event.
Yarns was a very practical and successful event for everyone involved in or aspiring to be part of the fashion and textile industry. One of the major benefits of the conference was the shared knowledge and experience of those operating in a cross-border environment. It has helped strengthen relations between Donegal County Council and Derry City and Strabane District Council and provided opportunities for the industry to grow and collaborate.