Afore After

Afore After LogoAfore After Sandra

Based in Ennis, AFORE AFTER is a circular Irish fashion brand with a focus on ethical production and low-impact material. AFORE AFTER is the brainchild of fashion & textile designer and lecturer, Sandra Murphy.


Sandra is heavily inspired by nature, which is apparent in her designs.

“I've worked as a designer for over 20 years, so finding and channelling inspiration is a constant practice in my work. I lived in New York for 16 years but now that I'm living in Ireland, I get so much inspiration from my surroundings and the everyday things found in nature. The name of my business, AFORE AFTER, is literally inspired by circularity, because we are a fashion brand who is focused on what our products are made from (AFORE), and what the future of our products will be (AFTER).”, explains Sandra.


“To get set up, I'm lucky that I was able to tap into lots of great experiences from my career in New York. Specifically, I had my own small independent label there which was rooted in slow fashion principles and I also had an amazing opportunity to study Design Entrepreneurship at the Fashion Institute of Technology. So when the time came to begin development of AFORE AFTER I felt well prepared. But of course, there are always challenges. One of the main hurdles is that we're a new business that's considered small by industry standards, so it's really difficult to find the right supplier and production partners who are willing to work with a company that's prioritising responsible production and consumption (SDG 12) over volume and rapid growth. We have worked incredibly hard to form the right relationships and partnerships in a supply chain that I couldn't be more proud of.”, says Sandra.

Making the Decision to become Self Employed

Sandra spent many years working in New York as a Design Consultant & Freelancer. This is where she first got to experience self-employment.

 “I felt that being self-employed really worked well for me. So I knew when I moved back to Ireland that I wanted to work towards being self-employed again.”

Challenges & Opportunities

The biggest challenge for Sandra and Afore After has been establishing her business as a sustainable and circular brand. The fashion industry is unregulated in sustainable practices.

 “There is no model to follow, no accountability and greenwashing is everywhere. I have set very high standards for AFORE AFTER and there are times where this has felt liberating and also times when it's been so rewarding to find that we've not just reached our initial goals, but now we're surpassing them,” Sandra tells us.

LEO Supports

“To compare my experience of having had my own fashion business in the USA and now having another in Ireland, there is a very notable difference in the fantastic business supports that are available here, like LEO. I think the EU does a much better job at supporting individuals with business ideas and I love that there's support no matter if your idea is big or small, in rural or city areas. Good advice and training can be every bit as valuable as financial support but the fact that it's all accessible through LEO makes it extremely helpful.”, says Sandra.

Adapting to Covid 19

The launch of Afore After was delayed by one year due to Covid, something which Sandra says helped in the long run as it allowed them to push the quality of their product development further.

“Using only certified sustainable materials is a given at AFORE AFTER, and that's for all raw material components, not just the main fabric. Needless to say, the introduction of our sustainable face coverings have been in high demand! To design for circularity we've adopted a 'doing more with less' approach, and in 2022 we're excited to be introducing new material innovations and unconventional construction techniques to further our circular mission.”

Winning the MODOS Innovation Award

“I know that MODOS reviewed many applications from various business sectors across Ireland, which makes it all the more encouraging to have won this award. Fashion is still often considered a frivolity, so to win an award that spans all industries is really thrilling and gives a unique credibility to my business that it's already being recognised for.”

Next steps: 2022 and beyond - circularity mission at AFORE AFTER

Communication and engagement with consumers is an important part of building awareness as it helps consumers make the most sustainable product choices. In its MODOS Innovation Award project, AFORE AFTER will use a PR professional specialising in communication on sustainable business to build its brand and promote circular fashion.

“In 2021 we were thrilled to pilot a ground-breaking new virtual try-on function, allowing our customers to create a personal avatar, and encourage more mindful shopping habits while also reducing the waste generated by online returns. 2022 will see the launch of our new resale feature on our website called Full Circle. We've been working on this for over two years because we believe fashion brands have a responsibility to keep their products out of landfill and incineration by prolonging the lifespan of each garment and keeping it in circulation to be worn as long as possible. Additionally we've spent a lot of time maximising the recyclability of our new designs so next on our agenda is to establish a suitable partnership in textile recycling and complete the process of becoming a closed loop business.”

Sandra and Afore After are really at the forefront of ethical and sustainable fashion.

Afore After Dress