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Factory Ireland clothing brand brings Derry's shirt factory heritage back to life – Belfast Live

“I truly believe there is something magical about our shirt factories from the beautifully crafted garments to our factory girls themselves”
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A Derry clothing brand has taken inspiration from the city's iconic shirt factory heritage in the style and manufacturing of its garments.
Factory Ireland showcases history through its pieces and is a gateway into one of the most important industries in Derry's past.
Jill Hyndman was inspired by her own family's connection to the city's shirt factory heritage in the creation of her business.
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Jill told MyDerry : "I always knew I wanted to create my own fashion brand, however, wanted it to be rooted in something that was meaningful. The story of Factory Ireland originates from my childhood, growing up among Northern Ireland's shirt-making factories, where my parents worked in the Herdman's linen mill in Sion Mills.
"People like my parents and all the factory workers created these beautiful handmade fabrics and shirts that were sold worldwide. Seeing this firsthand from such a young age has imprinted within me the importance of finely crafted garments and the significance of where they have come from.
"Growing up the shirt factories amazed me. I found it fascinating how the garments were made. I always had a great appreciation for garment making and the craft form that it is.
"My mother was actually pregnant with me as she worked in the linen mill and I have childhood memories of us visiting my dad when he still worked there. I remember looking around in amazement, watching the machines as I saw the linen fabric being made. Even back then the industry had such an influence on me and I knew I wanted to be part of it."
Jill has incorporated designs as well as illustrations from the shirt factory era into Factory Ireland's items.
She said: "The influence of the factories can be seen thought out my work such as prints inspired by the factory documents, detachable collars inspired by the sizing collar mock-ups that were used when creating designs, and of course the shirts themselves. I am currently working on an upcycled range of creative shirts, this will not only bring new life into old garments but also reduce waste within the world.
"I hope that Factory Ireland brings light to our heritage through story-telling with my garments whilst keeping the factory workers' stories alive. In the future I want my brand to allow the history of the shirt factories to be recreated in a modern story as I bring my own employment to the city and one day have my own factory team."
Factory Ireland is currently stocked in Foyleside Shopping Centre's Re:Imagine pop up, as well as online.
Jill said: "Re: Imagine has been a great experience as a start-up brand and having the opportunity to sell within a shop has been a game changer. Being able to meet and talk to my customers face to face has been brilliant. Working alongside other amazing business has been wonderful and I have definitely made some new friends that I will take from the experience. I have to thank Fashion and Textile Hub for making this all possible.
"The local reaction has been amazing. We live in such a fantastic community where we want to uplift and support one another. I am excited to show more of what I have to come and having a great local reaction has definitely been the most rewarding.
"Our heritage is such an important part of our history and it deserves recognition. I truly believe there is something magical about our shirt factories from the beautifully crafted garments to our factory girls themselves."
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