22 November 2017
By Bryan Smyth
Eco-friendly t-shirts of Cork’s Fastnet Rock, made from recycled plastic bottles and organic cotton, have been specially designed for the biggest-ever City Hall Crafts and Design Fair in Cork from Friday to Sunday (Nov 24-26).
With 85 exhibitors, this year’s fair promises to be a bumper celebration of an event that traditionally heralds the start of the Christmas season in Cork, offering a unique chance to pick up individual and original Christmas gift ideas.
City Hall Crafts and Design Fair is a celebration of the best Irish designers and makers from fashion to jewellery and beyond – with thousands of items that can only be found in Cork.
These include Ireland’s latest success story, Due South, which has seen thousands of T-shirts being snapped up nationally and internationally in its first year of business.
Founded by former life-coach Paul Harrington, the T-shirts comprise of clean and simple designs, which have evoked a lot of nostalgia.
“I was advising people to make life changes, so I decided to follow that very advice myself and turn my screen-printing hobby into a business, with huge support from my fiancée Melanie Mondini,” he said.
“All the T-shirts are either 100% organic cotton or 60% recycled cotton and 40% recycled polyester, from plastic bottles. They are, surprisingly, the softest material ever.
“We’ve sold thousands of T-shirts both home and abroad and the Dublin Pigeon House design is creating lots of nostalgia – one customer even had the design tattooed on himself.
“I have Cork connections, through my father who is from Castletownbere, so I designed a t-shirt with the logo of Fastnet Rock on it, specially for the City Hall Crafts and Design Fair.”
There will also be a huge emphasis on local makers at the Fair, with Cork Craft and Design members such as Rathcormac-based ‘message in a bottle’ ceramicist Siobhain Steele and Clonakilty’s Hen Jewellery on display.
There will also be a Spectacular Christmas Food Emporium which will feature over 25 local artisan food producers, taste-tempting visitors with the best of the season’s fare.
Over €150,000 per day will be spent at the biggest crafts fair outside Dublin, and fairgoers in search of an original Christmas idea can be guaranteed a haven of quality wares both for gifts and the home this festival season.
“The City Hall Crafts and Design Fair gives people the ideal chance to secure original and unique Christmas presents in a wonderful setting,” said Festival organiser Patrick O’Sullivan.
“Shoppers will find a wide range of crafts, artisan-made goods, food and drink, designer handcrafted outfits and accessories at the Fair.
“This year we have a lot of new content with many first-time exhibitors showcasing the best of new crafts and food from around the country.”
The 26th City Hall Crafts and Design Fair takes place at the City Hall, Cork from November 24-26. Full details and booking can be found at www.cityhallcraftsfair.ie.