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Spotlight On: greens are good for you founders Kara O’Sullivan and Johanna Dooley

For this week’s Spotlight On feature, we spoke to greens are good for you founders Kara O’Sullivan and Johanna Dooley.

The Dublin-based fashion rental service allows customers to consume fashion more sustainably by renting and returning their outfits instead of buying them.

Their current collection is full of colour and fun, with outfits available for every occasion.

Kara and Johanna have dressed a host of well-known Irish faces in some of their pieces – including Roz Purcell, Niamh Cullen, Joanne McNally, Bonnie Ryan, and Aisling Kavanagh.

In their exclusive interview with Goss.ie, the close pals and business partners spoke about their passion for fashion, their brand new shop, their future plans for the business, and much more.

Take a look:

How did you both first get into fashion? 

Kara’s mum was always very stylish and colourful growing up, so this was definitely an influence for her. Kara was never a fan of black clothing or anything too basic and safe, and always experimented with colours and her style.

There was nobody in school to tell her about the careers in fashion, so after graduating from Business & Law she went to New York to discover these opportunities for herself. She landed a job with a fashion brand in marketing, social media and PR. Having worked with the brand on shoots, events and even New York Fashion Week, she understood she could have a career in fashion as opposed to it just being a hobby or an interest.

Johanna also always had an eye for fashion. She grew up with an entrepreneurial spirit and went on to study Retail & Services Management. Throughout college she found friends asking to borrow her clothes for occasions.

One of her college projects tasked her with creating a business. She turned borrowing into rental and the project turned into a real-life business. Once covid hit and occasion rental slowed down, she saw the gap for super cute and comfortable loungewear. She founded ToDyeFor by Johanna and tie-dyed sweat sets.

Who are your style influences? 

In terms of Irish style influences we absolutely adore Gabby Luksaite (@gabsluk), Aideen Feely, Niamh Connaughton and Tara Kumar. They all have their own distinct style. We love Gabby’s use of colour, Aideen’s edge, Niamh’s classic timelessness and how effortlessly cool Tara’s looks are.

Outside of Ireland we love Verona Farrell (@secondhandhuns), an Irish girl based in Stockholm. The queen of sustainability and pre-loved fashion, we love seeing the pieces she thrifts and how she styles them again and again.

Emili Sindlev is probably our ultimate style crush as she never fails to surprise us. She’s definitely the queen of all things colour and every day is a totally new look. We love how she experiments with her style and it always just seems to work.

Sophie Suchan and her crew from That’s So Sabotage never fail to get it right. We are obsessed with everything they wear! We also adore Leonie Hanne’s wardrobe of feathers and frills, and Hailey Bieber and Dua Lipa for the ultimate cool girl outfits.

Tell us about Greens Are Good For You. What made you decide to start your own brand? 

greens are good for you is a fashion rental service based in Dublin. We specialise in dopamine dressing and adore having fun with what we wear. We truly have feelings for our clothes, and every piece is standout and special to us! We saw a gap to move away from traditional clothing rental for weddings and graduations, in a move towards taking more risks with fashion without the commitment.

As Covid restrictions started to lift we saw this excitement to go out and get dressed up again. People really wanted to “show up” for their social events but weren’t exactly looking for a ball gown. We curated a collection of colourful and enjoyable clothes for any occasion that really resonated with the customer, whether they were doing it for sustainability, cost efficiency or fashion. Whether its a concert, date, boozy brunch or city break we have you covered!

How does your Rent It service work? 

Customers can browse our website www.greensaregoodforyou.com or can now visit us in store at 6 Royal Hibernian Way. Once they have found the piece they want to rent they can choose whether they want it for 3, 5, 7 or 10 days. They can click & collect and return to our store, or we can deliver it to them throughout Ireland. We are always on hand on our insta messages or in person in store to help with any questions the customer has on fit, suitability and styling!

Customers can now also choose to rent pieces from the own wardrobes out through us with our peer-to-peer rental service. These “peers” have wardrobes full of amazing pieces they have only worn once or a couple of times but don’t want to get rid of. Once these pieces fit in with our collection they give them to us and we take care of the rental process. They get a cut and we get a cut, it’s a win win!

What are your favourite pieces from your current collection? 

Kara’s favourite pieces have to be the Saks Potts shimmery cargo pants we recently bought in a luxury pre-loved fashion store in Copenhagen, along with our truly neon orange Christopher John Rogers dress and our new green TwentyFall feather top that can also be worn as a (very) mini skirt.

Johanna’s favourite pieces include the super fun Selezza frill pants she wore to Forbidden Fruit, The Attico pink feather shirt dress recently worn by Bonnie Ryan and The Vampire’s wife gold gown as it’s a work of art!

What small steps can someone take to become a more sustainable, eco-conscious shopper? 

Our obvious first answer to this question would be rent, not buy! We are definitely biased but think this is an amazing step to reducing clothing waste and reigniting peoples love for clothes. Thrifting is also amazing to circulate what’s already in existence, we find such gems on sites like Vestiaire and Depop.

We love that there has been a huge move towards supporting smaller and more local brands of late. It’s amazing to help local communities thrive as opposed to supporting fast fashion giants.

Outfit repeating is definitely cool too. We love styling the same piece in so many different ways and rarely get tired of our clothes!

If you could dress anyone in the world, who would it be? 

The only person on our minds this week is Harry Styles. It would have been a DREAM to dress him for his Dublin concert.

You recently opened a shop. What has the reaction to that been like?

Yes! The reception has been beyond incredible. We celebrated the launch of curated. by greens are good for you last Thursday the 16th of June in our store at 6 Royal Hibernian Way. We marked the occasion with a DJ, drinks and dancing, and welcomed well over 100 people into our new home.

We share the space with 14 other incredible Irish brands who we’ve built a close community with, and could not be happier with how it turned out. What to expect at our store is a lot of colour, good vibes and fun, whilst supporting extremely talented local brands.

There’s fashion rental, sustainable knitwear, jewellery, accessories, candles, loungewear, art prints and even skateboards! So there is something for everyone. We have the store for a year so we won’t be going anywhere, please come say hey!

What are your future plans for the business?

Right now we are having so much fun expanding our peer-to-peer offering. We constantly have new peers joining the process and have built an amazing community (and wardrobe) with them! We are hosting our first peer-to-peer event next Friday July 1st in store to catch up with all of them and to introduce them to each other. Community has always been at the forefront of our business.

We are so excited to host a number of events in the new space, one being focused on women in start-ups. We have been so lucky to meet so many incredible women that have helped us on our journey so far, and we want to share our experiences with other women looking to start their own businesses. Whether they are influencers, designers, investment bankers or CEOs, they have been so kind to share their experiences which have really supported us on our journey.

In the future we would love to have more physical presence across Ireland in the rental space, whilst also collaborating with other businesses in different areas – so watch this space!

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