Spring/Summer 2022 Collection

Spring/Summer 2022 Collection Launches at ilovecarousel.com

A sustainable collection of clothing, designed in Dublin and ethically made in our partner factory, Good Earth India.

The Circus Spring/Summer 2022 collection aims to invoke a sense of nostalgia in the wearer. The vintage colour palette brings a softness to the collection. And the retro-inspired prints inject a huge amount of personality into each piece. You’ll find beautiful vintage florals, colourful graphic prints, fun retro repeats and soft classic stripes in the Circus SS22 collection. 

This past year, we have spent time sourcing sustainable fabrics and registering with Lenzing™, Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and Better Cotton Initiative (BCI). We are delighted to say that we now only use BCI or Organic cotton, Lenzing™ EcoVero™, deadstock or other sustainable fabrics in our collections. Currently we are also looking at introducing bamboo derived fabrics and Tencel.

We can say with full confidence that we know the manufacturing journey a Circus piece makes from beginning to end. We collaborate closely with our partner factory, Good Earth India. It’s a spacious, modern factory with comfortable conditions for all its employees. The factory adheres strictly to a minimum working age and maximum working hours per week. The workspaces are well lit and air conditioned. There are policies in place to deal with workers safety, protecting the environment, and sexual harassment in the workplace. Good Earth India has recently been GOTS certified to manufacture organic garments. 

A selection of our Spring/Summer 2022 collection is already available to buy at ilovecarousel.com:

Ava Painted Flower Dress –  €75.00 – Size UK 8-16
Jazz Daisy Print Dress – €79.00 – Size UK 8-16
Anna Antique Floral Top – €49.00 – Size UK 8-16
Jasmine Wave Print Skirt – €65.00 – Size UK 8-16
Livia Circle Print Dress – €79.00 – Size UK 8-16

Don’t forget, there’s free shipping to Ireland & the UK on orders over €50. And we’re very excited that we can now offer free returns to our Irish-based customers. Simply drop us an email letting us know your order number and the items you’d like to return, and we’ll generate a free return label for you.

Send your free returns requests and any questions you may have to support@ilovecarousel.com.

The Carousel Team xoxo

Design a Dress Competition

On 30th January 2022 we put out a call on social media for entries to a brand new competition. We asked our followers to send us an image of a dress that could inspire a brand new design for ilovecarousel.com. The image could have been from a movie, a tv show or something a fashion icon wore. We said we’d pick our favourites and hold a vote for the winner! The most exciting part, we’ll be creating a dress inspired by the winning image.

Thank you so much to everyone who sent in an idea! We received so many fabulous images and we wish we could make every single one of them. After much deliberation, we’ve chosen 5 dresses for the shortlist. Our decision was mainly influenced by the facilities we have available to us and whether or not we could do justice to the inspiration images.

See the five dresses that made the shortlist below:

Option 1 by Deirdre O’Brien – inspired by Audrey Hepburn’s classic style

This 1950s style dress is the first of our shortlist options. Deirdre O’Brien sent us three images that combine to create her dream dress! The bodice of Audrey Hepburn’s classic dress, a full skirt and a bow on the back to finish it off. We did up a sketch of how we envision Deirdre’s dream dress to look.

Option 2 by Sarah Pattison – inspired by Emma Stone’s dress in La La Land

The iconic yellow dress from the film La La Land is the second of our shortlist options. Sent in by Sarah Pattison, we fell in love with this idea immediately! The cut of the dress is so simple and elegant. And of course the colour is just fabulous.

Option 3 by Caiena Techart – inspired by Anya Taylor-Joy’s dress in The Queen’s Gambit

We loved watching The Queen’s Gambit when it first came out! Mainly because of Beth’s outfits. So we were delighted when Caiena Techart emailed us this pinafore as an entry for our competition. A cool and relaxed dress that can be worn with layers or on its own! 

Option 4 by Margaret McNally – inspired by Jackie Kennedy’s impeccable style

Margaret McNally sent us this image of the fabulous Jackie Kennedy. In Margaret’s words, ‘She had impeccable, elegant and timeless fashion sense. This dress has a simple design that has transcended the decades and would fit in beautifully today. A dress design that could carry you from day to night. A style that would compliment in any size.’ We couldn’t agree more and had to include this dress in our shortlist.

Option 5 by Susan Lynott – inspired by Audrey Hepburn’s dress in Funny Face

And last but definitely not least, this iconic dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face was sent in by Susan Lynott. We love its elegant shape but simplified it slightly for a more contemporary feel. The actual dress worn by Hepburn (designed by Givenchy) is on display in the Museum of Style Icons in Newbridge, Co. Kildare.

That’s all 5 dresses on the shortlist. Now it’s time to have your say! Go to our Facebook or Instagram to vote for your favourite dress. Choose carefully as the winning dress will inspire a brand new Carousel creation! Once the votes are in, we’ll get to work finalising the design and getting the dress made in our factory. It’ll then be available to buy at ilovecarousel.com.

Thank you again to everyone who sent in an idea! We received so many wonderful images and we wish we could make every single one of them. Good luck to our 5 finalists! We can’t wait to see which dress comes out on top.

Deadstock Fabric

‘Deadstock’ seems to be the new buzz word in the #sustainablefashion circle! But what does it actually mean? We can’t speak for every fashion brand. But when we say deadstock, we’re referring to fabric that already existed and if not used, it may have been sent to landfill.

A simple definition of ‘Deadstock’ Fabrics

We were eager to introduce deadstock fabric to ilovecarousel.com and we decided the best way to do this was to create a brand new ‘Carousel’ brand. This new line of clothing will be made from majority deadstock fabric. There’s a great range of deadstock fabrics available and it actually means we can offer a larger variety of colours and prints.

When we use deadstock fabric, we don’t have to worry about the minimums that usually come with designing and producing our own fabric. We can buy small amounts of lots of different fabrics which in turn, reduces our waste.

Carousel Floral Tea Dress – €59.00 – Made from responsibly and ethically sourced deadstock rayon

There’s a certain amount of exclusivity when using deadstock fabric. Once the fabric has been used and the garments have been sold, we most likely won’t be able to source the same fabric again. So we would encourage you not to wait too long if you fall in love with one of our ‘Carousel’ pieces in particular!

The greatest appeal for using deadstock fabric is that they don’t require any new resources to be made. You can’t get any more sustainable than using things that already exist. Plus we’re giving these fabrics a second life and potentially saving them from ending up in landfill.

Deadstock fabrics are a great option in terms of aesthetics and sustainability. A win-win for everyone we reckon!

If a dress is made from deadstock fabric, are you more likely to buy it? 🤔

Carousel Floral and Butterfly Ruffle Dress – €59.00 – Made from responsibly and ethically sourced deadstock cotton

You can check out our new Carousel range here

What is Slow Fashion?

What is ‘Slow Fashion’?

We use the words ‘Slow Fashion’ a lot when describing our brand and our ethos. But what does that actually mean? Read on to discover the top 5 things that we associate with ‘Slow Fashion’.

1. It’s the Opposite of Fast Fashion

Fast fashion is about making and selling as much clothes as possible, without much consideration to the planet. Whereas ‘Slow Fashion’ is about slowing this whole process down, and providing clothing that people actually need/want.

2. Quality over Quantity

Slowing down fashion is about buying a select few high quality pieces for your wardrobe. Garments that you really love and plan on wearing multiple times.

3. Clothing that People will Wear Over and Over and Over Again

And even then, hopefully be passed on to someone else. ‘Slow Fashion’ is about valuing our clothes and not seeing them as disposable.

4. Unique Designs that aren’t Trend-Based

Trends come and go, whereas ‘Slow Fashion’ is about designing beautiful clothing that people identify with. Classic pieces that you’ll be able to wear in 1, 5 or 10 years time.

5. Responsibly Sourced & Made

Last, but definitely not least, ‘Slow Fashion’ should also be responsible fashion. In order to protect our planet and the people in it, our clothing needs to be sustainably sourced and made.

What do you think of these points? Is there anything you would add to the meaning of ‘Slow Fashion’? Join the conversation on Instagram and Facebook.

We’re a small, independent Irish clothing brand and sustainable fashion is a huge part of our ethos. Fulfilling all of the above points is our main aim when creating each of our collections for ilovecarousel.com. Our Autumn/Winter 2021 collection is inspired by classic shapes of the past with a modern twist. Each piece has been made to the highest quality in our partner factory Good Earth India in New Delhi. You can read more about our ethos and story on our About Us page.

A letter from Tom – the owner of Carousel

Thank you for taking the time to find out more about Carousel and our brand ‘Circus’.

After the last recession it became clear that going to trade shows across Europe and sourcing/curating lines from different brands was not a sustainable business model. With the rise in rents and general cost of doing business I had to step back and take a fresh look at my retail business. Fashion and retail are all I had known since working in Selfridges in the late 80s (makes me giggle when that period is now considered vintage), so a career change was not an option.

“I had to step back and take a fresh look at my retail business”

I did not know at that point that I would eventually have my own clothing brand with agents across Europe selling into indie clothes shops like mine.

I travelled to Thailand and Korea in the early days of developing Circus (2012) sourcing new lines and meeting some extraordinary people. Mostly women running thriving business that took time out to help me get off the ground. I met Kate Chang from Seoul when she was on a holiday in Dublin. She ended up being my agent and translator in Seoul. My many trips to Seoul would not have been possible without her amazing help.

Araya from Fame Fashions in Thailand was also instrumental in helping me export and source new lines in Bangkok. After several years of travelling back and forth to Thailand I realised that it would not be possible to create a brand of my own in Thailand as the logistics did not make sense.

Following an introduction from a colleague at a trade fair in the UK I was introduced to Udayan Kapur. Udayan ran a small family-owned clothing manufacturing business in New Delhi – Good Earth India. Even though Udayan was 25 years my junior we got on from the beginning.

After several trips to Delhi we decided to start a brand together and Circus became a reality. Although I was creative, I had never designed a clothing range. But I began designing lines for Carousel. This was relatively easy as I knew exactly what I wanted in my shop.

The most difficult part was learning to design a range of clothing that appealed to many shops and customers across Europe, and repeat that every season whilst keeping our identity and still appealing to a broad enough customer base to grow. We are still on that journey but really enjoying the learning process.

“Many people have helped me over the years without any benefit to themselves”

I have tried to live by the motto “what goes around comes around”. Many people have helped me over the years without any benefit to themselves. Seeing someone grow and develop is an extremely rewarding experience especially if you have had even a small hand in it.

Carousel and Circus have always taken the more difficult decisions but more rewarding ones since the first day we opened our doors back in 1993. Long before it was ethical or sustainable or the informed thing to do. We will always go about our business doing what we believe is for the greater good and morally correct decision. In the early days this was a personal choice.

Society now demands that the values of a company be authenticated by relevant certification. Whilst this is understandable it is sad that instead of assuming a business does the right thing where possible, it seems to be the exception and not the rule. Hence the need to be more formal about our values, ethics, morality and respect for our employees, customers, and associates.

We needed to make bigger changes to ensure all of our activities were more sustainable… This was much harder than we had anticipated

18 months ago I attended a talk on sustainability hosted by “Thinkhouse”. As a result of this talk I realised that we needed to make bigger changes to ensure all of our activities were more sustainable. This was much harder than we had anticipated. We have finally reached a point where we are happy with all elements of our production.

We registered with EcoVero™, a sustainable alternative to viscose. This took some time before we became certified as a registered brand. We are delighted to be a part of the EcoVero™ family now. We have started working with the “Better Cotton Initiave” (BCI), which supports farmers to grow cotton more sustainably. Our factory has also just recently been certified by the “Global Organic Trading Standard” (GOTS) and we’ll be offering more styles made from Organic and BCI Cotton.

“We will continue to build positively on our values for as long as we are lucky enough to be in business”

I have learned that the only thing you truly own is your reputation. This is something that is earned over time. It cannot be created by a marketing company but only by your actions over a sustained period of time. We at Carousel have always taken the best, fairest and morally correct decision based on what we thought at a point in time. We thank everybody who has been on that journey with us over the years. And we will continue to build positively on our values for as long as we are lucky enough to be in business.

Thank you for your support,


A Peak at our Nostalgic Spring/Summer 2021 Collection

We’re all looking forward to brighter days and warmer weather. The team at Carousel are no different and this year we’ve created our happiest and most radiant collection yet! We wanted to create beautiful vintage style clothing that will put a smile on your face and a bounce in your step.

The Ava is a gorgeous shirt dress inspired by the glamour of the 1940s. Perfect your vintage style with elegant cap sleeves, a removable belt and a full a-line skirt. Featuring detailed yellow sunflowers printed on a rich blue cotton with teal undertones.
The Ava Midi Sunflower Dress, €79, Available Now

We’ve created a collection of vintage inspired clothing that celebrates our nostalgic memories of summer as a child. There is a reassuring comfort in remembering our childhoods fondly, and we all need a bit of comfort at the moment. When creating our prints we were inspired by moments such as; occupying ourselves picking flowers, spending our pocket money on penny sweets, splashing through puddles after a rain shower and of course trips to the seaside.

Splash through puddles in our Ingrid Umbrella Dress, €65, Available Now

We design our own brand “Circus” at Carousel that celebrates individuality, femininity and nostalgia. Our aim is to create fun and flattering clothing that empowers the wearer, with a touch of vintage flair. We’re very excited about our Spring/Summer 2021 collection and we can’t wait to hear what you think! A few items from the collection are available now. And the rest of the pieces will be available at ilovecarousel.com over the next few weeks.

The Nova is a brand new shape and will be your new go-to summer dress! It has a gorgeous relaxed shape that is so easy to wear. We designed this classic dress for everyday wear with an elasticated waist for added comfort. The vintage inspired Nova boasts a refreshing floral print on a sky blue cotton base for a vibrant, retro look.
The Nova Geo Floral Dress, €69, Available Now

We have created a selection of our Spring/Summer 2021 pieces using Organic Cotton. We’ve also started to introduce our new recyclable packaging. And of course, each piece of clothing is ethically made in our partner facory, Good Earth India.

Sweeten up your wardrobe with our Twiggy Lolly Dress, €65, Available Now

From the beginning of Carousel in 2001, we have focused on doing things the right way. We believe in order to deliver exceptional vintage style, we need to design our products alongside our values. And so our aim is to create excellent vintage inspired clothing for women to enjoy and feel good about wearing!

This quirky baby cactus design is printed on 100% organic cotton, a first for Circus this Spring/Summer. The Maude dress features a classic shirt bodice with a gathered skirt for a relaxed and flattering shape. We designed this dress for you to find the fun in expressing your individual style every day.
The Maude Baby Cactus Dress, Made from 100% Organic Cotton, €69, Available Now

All of these items and many more vintage inspired pieces will be arriving at m2.ilovecarousel.com over the next few weeks.

We would love to hear what you think of our new collection! Get in touch on Instagram @ilovecarousel or tag us using #ilovecarousel.

5 Ways to Dress with Vintage Style in the Cold

We don’t know about the rest of the world, but here in Ireland it’s been freezing over the past couple of weeks! So we’ve put together a short guide on dressing with vintage style in the winter. Never sacrifice your outfit in order to keep warm ever again!

1 Layer Up

You can layer your favourite vintage style clothes on top of each other to stay warm. Women’s vintage clothing can be geared more towards the summer months. But by layering a blouse, a dress, a cardigan, and a jacket; you can express your individuality whilst staying warm and toasty. By dressing this way, you can also take a layer off if you feel too warm!

Layer Up your Vintage Clothing to Stay Warm and Stylish

2 Opt for Long Sleeves and a High Neckline

A cold wind can cut through you if you’re not covered up! A dress with long sleeves and a high neck, like our Twiggy style, can protect you from the elements. Or our long sleeved Fay dress (pictured below) is a great option. The shirt collar means you can easily wear a polo neck or turtle neck top under the dress for a bit of extra warmth.

The Fay Heart Print Dress, Now €49

3 Thick Tights are your New Best Friend

We’ve styled our vintage style dresses and skirts with black tights for a reason! It’s far too cold out there to have bare legs, and black tights look great with pretty much everything. You don’t have to stick to black though! Add some fun (and warmth) to your vintage clothing with a pair of coloured or patterned tights.

A pair of thick black tights look great with The Anita Dandelion Skirt, Now €49

4 Get Yourself some Warm Accessories

Keys, wallet, mask… Hat, scarf and gloves! That’s what we’re all saying to ourselves before leaving the house this winter. So make sure you’ve got yourself a warm and stylish set of winter accessories that will go perfectly with your vintage clothing. You might as well look as stylish as possible for that daily walk within 5km! We have a great range of vintage inspired accessories available at ilovecarousel.com, that will keep you cosy while allowing you to express your vintage style!

A vintage style pair of gloves and a cosy beanie make the perfect companions to your vintage outfit

5 Choose Warm Fabrics

Your choice of fabric could be the difference between a pleasant walk or a gruelling hike! By choosing a sturdy cotton cord or a comfy cotton jersey, you will be better equipped to face the elements. When buying vintage style clothing for the winter, look for heavier fabrics and fabrics with a tighter weave. These will help to keep the cold from getting to your skin.

The new Elena Floral Print Dress is the perfect winter dress. It’s made from a comfy and cosy cotton jersey, is easy to layer and has a high neck and long sleeves.

We hope you found this guide helpful, and that you get to use some of these tips this winter! Let us know if you do by tagging us on Instagram using @ilovecarousel. Stay safe and stay warm ? The Carousel Team xoxo

Gold Plate Fox Necklace worn with The Circus Joan Winter Flora Dress.

Carousel Vintage-Inspired Christmas Gift Guide 2020

At Carousel, we love Christmas. And we love shopping early so that come December, we can relax and enjoy the festive season. We’ve fully stocked our online store with gorgeous vintage inspired clothes and accessories. Feel good this Christmas by shopping with an independent Irish store. No matter your budget, we’re sure you’ll find the perfect Christmas gift at ilovecarousel.com.

Don’t forget, we offer free standard delivery on all orders within Ireland over €50. And we’ve extended our returns policy for Christmas to take the stress out of your shopping.

Stocking Fillers at Carousel

We’ve added a range of vibrant, fun and nostalgic accessories to our online store in time for Christmas. Perfect as a little stocking filler for a friend or family member.

Robins Socks available at ilovecarousel.com
Robin Socks – €10 – One Size

How cute are these socks with little Robins on them? We’d be delighted to open these on Christmas morning to keep our feet warm! Made from a rich bamboo cotton mix, which means they’re super soft and breathable. We’ve just added a large selection of cute bamboo socks with robins, foxes, hedgehogs and dinosaurs, to name a few!

Leaping Fox Socks – €10 – One Size

Make sure they stay warm this winter with a pair of gloves with a vintage twist. We have a stylish selection of vintage style gloves. From vibrant reds and pink to sophisticated greys and blacks.

Fur Trimmed Glove – €19 – One Size
Faux-Fur Trimmed Glove – €19 – One Size

Carousel’s Secret Santa Suggestions

Make your Secret Santa smile this Christmas with a thoughtful gift from Carousel. We have been busy stocking our online store full of vintage style treasures that your Kris Kindle will love.

Delmonte Bobble Hat – €19 – Available in Pink and Black

Can anyone ever have too many cosy hats? We don’t think so! We love a bobble hat at Carousel. Especially one with a bit of added sparkle. We’ve chosen a gorgeous selection of warm, comfy and stylish vintage style hats for our online store.

Angora Beanie – €35 – Available in Yellow and Pink

This Angora Beanie is super soft and so cosy! The perfect gift to add a bit of colour to your Secret Santa’s winter wardrobe. Particularly when we’re constantly covering up our gorgeous outfits when it’s this cold!

Terry Leaf Shawl/Scarf – €35 – Also Available in Grey and Yellow

Surprise and delight your Secret Santa with a scarf that will keep them nice and cosy during the winter. It’s large enough that it can double as a shawl!

Feathers Print Scarf – €19 – Available in Pink, Denim Blue, Yellow and Navy

Brighten up your Secret Santa’s Christmas with a pop of colour! Nothing makes us happier than receiving something fun and feminine at Christmas. And bonus points that it’s purchased from an independent Irish brand.

Special Gifts for Someone Special

We searched high and low for special pieces of jewellery to compliment our Irish designed, vintage inspired clothing. From foxes to fawns, necklaces to brooches, we’ve got the perfect gift for that special someone.

Enamel Fox Stud Earring – €29 – Matching Necklace Available

How adorable are these hand painted fox earrings? They’re also gold plated and come in a cute gift box. We hope our loved ones are reading this… hint, hint!

Enamel Fawn Necklace – €25 – Matching Brooch Available

We are so in love with this delicate fawn necklace. It comes presented in a matchbox style gift box and a sweet cotton pouch, and is sure to bring a smile to her face.

Buy Irish Gifts this Christmas

We are proud to be an Irish owned and independent company. We love celebrating Irish design. And we love being able to say that all of our “Circus” products are designed in our Dublin studio. We source the highest quality vintage-inspired accessories from independent brands to compliment our range of Irish designed clothing.

Looking for more ideas when shopping Irish this Christmas? Then check out The Irish Times List of 400 Irish online retailers (we’re featured in the clothes section). Thank you for supporting Irish and shopping locally this Christmas.

Love, The Carousel Team xoxo

The Circus Brand: An Irish Vintage Clothing Company

We are a small vintage clothing company based in Dublin, Ireland. You may have already read about how our own brand, Circus, was born. So now we would like to tell you a little bit more about our Circus brand values. We take inspiration from vintage fashion to design classic pieces with a modern twist. Find out what’s important to us as a small Irish business and our hopes and dreams for the future.

Circus is designed in our Dublin studio for women who have fun expressing their personal style
Circus is designed in our Dublin studio for women who have fun expressing their personal style

Our Values as a Vintage Clothing Company

First and foremost, we are proud to be a small Irish vintage clothing company. We love celebrating Irish design. And we love being able to say that all our products are designed in Ireland. At Carousel, we support our community by employing people locally. Furthermore, we use local suppliers for our Dublin studio wherever possible. We also love collaborating with creative people in our local area such as models, make up artists and photographers.

As a small business specialising in vintage female clothing, we have the luxury of being able to provide a personal customer experience. Therefore we can respond to your queries quickly. And easily solve any issues you may have. In addition to this, because we are small, we can constantly look at improving how we do things at Carousel with our brand Circus. We can make quick decisions on important topics such as sustainability, inclusivity and accessibility.

Sustainability and responsibility is at our core. From the beginning of Carousel in 2001, we have focused on doing things the right way. We believe in order to deliver exceptional vintage fashion style; we need to design our products alongside our values. Our motivation is to create excellent vintage clothing and accessories. In particular we are passionate that our products have to be manufactured ethically. Our partner factory, Good Earth India, is a spacious, modern factory with comfortable conditions for all its employees. We collaborate closely with the factory and we visit regularly to inspect the standards.

Circus is made ethically and in close collaboration with our partner factory Good Earth India in Delhi, India
Circus is made ethically and in close collaboration with our partner factory Good Earth India in Delhi, India

Our Hopes and Dreams for the Future

Our main aim with each vintage clothing piece is for the wearer to enjoy our designs. In order to achieve this, we look for suggestions and feedback from our customers. We want you to know that our motivation is making sure our customers are happy and that they love our products. We hope in the future to be considered one of the best vintage clothing websites. Especially in terms of customer experience and satisfaction.

Our customers are our inspiration and we design our vintage clothing and accessories around our customers’ values. Circus celebrates femininity and nostalgia with clothing that is suitable for modern living. Our hope is for women all over the world to feel empowered when wearing our creations. We’re passionate about designing for women that firstly, enjoy expressing their personal style and individuality. Secondly, women that want to feel comfortable in what they wear without sacrificing style. Thirdly, women that are conscious about the environment and the impact of their purchases. And finally, women that desire clothing that does not exploit workers and is in line with their social values.

We design the clothes but the women that wear them are what makes Carousel blossom.
We want to lift up all the incredible women that wear our creations

We hope you enjoyed getting to know us a little better. At Carousel, we are proud of our own vintage fashion clothing brand Circus. You can read more about our story here. Keep an eye on our blog to stay up-to-date with the latest Carousel news, products and more!

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram to become a part of the Carousel community xoxo

circus brand logo

Developing “Circus” our Irish designed, ethically made responsible fashion brand inspired by original womens vintage dresses

The first 20 years:

For many years Carousel bought and sold independent retail brands with a vintage inspired aesthetic in our shop in central Dublin. Sourcing womens vintage dresses was a successful and a thoroughly enjoyable time which lasted over 20 years. Traveling all over the world to trade fairs picking up new cool brands and introducing them to the Irish market. I travelled all over Europe and occasionally the USA attending trade fairs. Carousel became a go to source for original womens vintage dresses and vintage inspired dresses  https://www.ilovecarousel.com/blog/carousel-loves-vintage.html

But like all good things this came to an end around 2010. For many reasons  this business model was no longer viable. Margins were squeezed by increasing rents, rates, vat and other day to day running costs. When the banks stopped credit lines the business almost ground to a halt. A new vision was urgently needed.


The adventure begins

Carousel had to find new product that was  viable under the changing conditions. I travelled to Thailand on the recommendation of a friend who had recently holidayed there. In Thailand I found many small clothing manufacturers. Bangkok was a hive of exciting and innovative young businesses with a can do approach to getting things done. It was a very inspiring place to be.  I found many of these enterprises in a place called the Platinum market which I found online. This was full of small clothing brands, some resellers but many had there own factory.

a small Bangkok clothing shop

A typical shop in Platinum market selling their own designs

I spent a week in Bangkok on my first trip going up and down the isles day after day assessing which brands were  potential partners. Initially I bought items at the market and had them delivered to my hotel. I then arranged shipping back to Ireland. I did this for one or two more trips until I had developed a relationship with a number of the shop owners. They would then send me images of new lines by email. I woul transfer the money and they would deliver to a shipper in Bangkok. I did this for 2 or 3 years with a  degree of success. This saved the business in the short term but was not a long term solution.

I travelled to Bangkok every 6 months to build on the relationships and source more sofisticated product. In all my time working with the Thai people I never had an issue. Everything delivered always arrived  as described and in good condition. Travelling to Bangkok opened up my eyes to the possibilities beyond Europe.

Some of our first womens vintage dresses sourced in Bangkok

Our first womens vintage inspired dresses sourced from Platinum market in Bangkok

Thai design is heavily influenced by vintage style. Very often the aesthetic was copied directly from original womens vintage dresses.