Two young Donegal designers and entrepreneurs took a big risk last year to set up their own eco-fashion brand. Now, as they launch Forester Products, we talked to founders Sean Forester and Alannah McGhee on why their company is a breath of fresh air for Irish fashion:
Forester Products is the first of its kind in Ireland and a new alternative for environmentally-conscious consumers. The Letterkenny-based brand is already turning heads since co-founders Sean Forester and Alannah McGhee launched their first collection online in June.
(Want a discount code on the first collection? Scroll on to the end of this article.)
The unisex brand’s first range includes backpacks, holdalls, belts and wallets. Materials are cruelty-free leather alternatives, with luxury and quality at their core.
“Our ethos is simple – we just want to make good products, the right way.”
Forester Products has been in the research and production stages for the past year. But Sean says it all really began three years ago after he watched the Netflix documentary ‘Cowspiracy’. He was working in Canada when he adopted the vegan lifestyle and his partner Alannah followed suit.
The inspirational moment to establish Forester Products came when Sean’s watch broke. He tried to replace it with a vegan version in early 2017 but realised the range of vegan accessories which were modern, affordable, stylish and ethical was limited, particularly for men.
The time was right. Sean was looking for a new professional direction from his career in finance so he quickly decided to leave his job in Montreal and return to Ireland to begin building the business with his partner and Co-Founder Alannah McGhee.
“It just made sense. Veganism was taking off in food, so we knew it was the right time for introducing accessories to the market,” said Sean.
With Sean’s finance background and Alannah’s experience in marketing and events, the team put in many months of research and training with the New Frontiers entrepreneur programme to lead Forester Products to its exciting launch date.
Every aspect of the production process had to be sustainable and ethical for the brand to be respected in the vegan world.
The signature watch straps are created using Ultra Leather. Ultraleather is naturally cruelty-free, PVC free, contains no POPs, meets stringent chemical emissions limits and is Greenguard certified.
All other accessories are made in Portugal using cork from the cork oak tree. Dubbed as ‘nature’s leather’, cork is the byproduct of a natural treatment process which extends the tree’s life and absorbs CO2 emissions. In Portugal alone, harvesting reduces global CO2 emissions by 10 million tonnes annually.
Alannah and Sean have committed to using sustainable packaging for all their products by limiting plastics, using innovative practices and sourcing recycled materials. They also commit to giving back a percentage of all profits being donated to charitable causes which align with their values.
“We are not just doing this for profits, we want to partner with an organisation to support because our main reason for doing this is for the environment,” Alannah said.
As a concept brand with an equal focus on ethical and environmental issues, Forester Products aim to create new collections all made with other cruelty-free, plant-based and sustainable materials.
For now, the debut collection is a big draw for vegans and other ethically-minded consumers. If you are looking for an alternative gift for a vegan friend, this brand is for you.
Would you like a discount?
Forester Products have shared an exclusive discount code with the Donegal Daily group for their first collection of bags, belts, wallets and watches. To get 10% off use the code donegal10 at the checkout on ForesterProducts.com