Granard student Lily Hemus wins Relove Fashion innovation award

Longford Leader reporter

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The creativity of Granard students was to the fore once again as Lily Hemus of Cnoc Mhuire Granard was crowned the winner of the Most Innovative Category in the Grand Final of the Relove Fashion competition.

The event, which took place at the Rediscovery Centre in Ballymun, Dublin and was broadcast on Ireland AM on Virgin Media TV, saw Lily fend off competition from 17 other finalists from 10 local authority areas to capture the Most Innovative title.

A video of Lily’s entry was posted on the @Relove_FashionComp Instagram Page in advance of the final showcasing the dress she created. She sourced her materials from a charity shop, a neighbour and the school bins. The materials and clothing are made from plastic, aluminium, polycotton and polyester.

As part of her entry, Lily cited fast fashion as one of the leading causes of global warming, and believes it is important to make a stand against the mass production of poor-quality clothing if we want a full bright and clean future for our planet. She feels we must be more conscious of what we buy as consumers and suggests that buying second hand and from sustainable companies will lead to a massive decline in fast fashion and will help slow down climate change.

Lily wasn’t the only one flying the flag for Longford in Relove Fashion as Ardscoil Phádraig Granard was also represented by Transition Year students Funmi Talabi, Dearbháila Lynch, Katelyn Farrell, Maria Ledwith, Aoife Reilly, Tara Spollen and Zoe Columb, along with their teacher Mary Cooney.

The Ardscoil Phadraig students produced their fabulous entry by revamping an old faux leather outfit using recycled jewellery, chains, brooches and Christmas decorations to create this stunning two-piece outfit.

Longford County Council was one of ten local authorities in the Eastern Midlands Region involved in the Relove Fashion competition which encourages students to take a deeper look at how their clothing is made. It helps students explore creative reuse options such as upcycling, repairs, alterations and mending.

This year, two finalists from each local authority in the Eastern Midlands Region went forward to the Grand Final. Then five winners were selected in the following categories: Best Casual, Best Evening, Innovation, Tailoring and one Overall Winner.
Longford County Council Environmental Awareness Officer Gary Brady said the competition is a wonderful way to generate environmental awareness in the school-going generation.

Mr Brady remarked, “I’d like to congratulate Lily Hemus and her teacher Charmaine Hetherton at Cnoc Mhuire in Granard on their victory – it’s great to see the work of local schools being recognised at the Grand Final.

“We were also delighted to have Ardscoil Phadraig represented there as well – well done to Funmi Talabi, Dearbhaila Lynch, Maria Ledwith, Zoe Columb, Tara Spollen, Kaitlyn Farrell, Aoife Reilly and their teacher Mary Cooney on reaching the final.”

At the beginning of February, Cnoc Mhuire’s Aoife Leonard, Emma Dalton and Ella Mulligan, along with their teacher, Charmaine Hetherton, had reason to celebrate after their entry, entitled 'Bucket List', for the Junk Kouture National Final was announced as the RTE Audience Choice Award winner.

So there is certainly plenty of creative flair in Granard!