Aimear Lynch with one of her garments.
A Derry woman has used the Covid-19 lockdown to start her dream business.
Before the coronavirus pandemic struck, Aimear Lynch was working as a buyer for a major high street jeweller.
However, she had a long held wish to return home and establish a clothing brand for babies and young children using organic fabrics and ethical business practices.
Lockdown gave Aimear the chance to reassess her career, and after much careful thought and planning her business 'My Pet Lamb' was born.
"I've had the urge to come home for a long time really and this seemed like the perfect time," she said.
Aimear studied for a degree in architecture before completing a Masters in Sustainable Design and then taking up a job as a buyer and merchandiser.
"I used to think my career had taken a bit of a mad path, but when I look back on it now all of that history was leading me where I want to be now," she reflected.
My Pet Lamb sells timeless organic cotton and knitted clothes that are designed for outdoor living.
A selection of the knitted goods are handmade in Donegal and Aimear hopes to grow this aspect of the business in the coming months
It was while studying for her Masters that Aimear learnt about the importance of sustainability.
"When I look at clothes I ask myself 'what is it's provenance, what's the story behind it and what is the impact of buying it?'
"All the clothes by My Pet Lamb are made from sustainable, natural resources, and they are easily recyclable and have a lower impact on the environment.
"The people that make the clothes are paid a fair wage that puts a proper value on the skills they have.
"The reason 'fast fashion' is so cheap is that it is made using polluting manu- facturing techniques or by taking advantage of a workforce who are already disadvantaged.
"I think the problem with cheap clothes is that people don't put any value on what they are buying, it's not important to them.
"The coolest thing you can do fashion wise is do your own thing, because that never dates."
Aimear had an idyllic childhood with her parents and her three siblings and often visited a family farm on the outskirts of the city.
"I have always been connected to the natural environment from a young age," she explained.
"Growing up I remember my granny and granda taking wee lambs that had been rejected by their mother and hand rearing them.
"I remember seeing my great uncle John, who was an older bachelor man, giving this wee baby lamb a bobo and it was so lovely, so that sparked off the idea for My Pet Lamb.
"And it's also something my mammy used to call us when we were younger too."
Retail is also in the blood for Aimear whose other grandparents ran Mallon's shops in Rossville Street and Eastway in the 1960s.
There are now plans for a My Pet Lamb diffusion range Little Wolf of unisex clothing aimed at children aged 5 to 10.
Aimear has worked on all aspects of her business with the help of Enterprise North West
"They have been so instrumental in bringing my idea to fruition and Brian O'Neill, the Business Development Manager, has been an amazing help.
"I think a lot of people are using lockdown to launch business ideas that they may have had in mind for a few years and I would highly recommend Enterprise North West to anyone who is thinking of taking the leap."
You can see the range of clothing at www.mypetlamb.com and follow the brand of Facebook and Instagram.
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