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Ditching fast fashion: ‘I was buying new clothes every week and always had the feeling it wasn’t enough or I wasn’t trendy enough’

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Jaded by fast fashion and the pace of running a high street store, Monica Martinez Bermúdez followed her talent for spotting unique vintage pieces and set up a stall in her garden during the pandemic to sell them. Two years later, Agité Closet was born

Monica Martinez Bermúdez of Agité Closet. Photo: Olmo Hurley

“I’m opening Fridays and Saturdays for now. People can grab coffee downstairs from Blas Cafe then come up to the shop to see me!”  Photo: Olmo Hurley

Agité Closet, located in the Chocolate Factory on King’s Inns Street. Photo: Olmo Hurley

“I worked in fast fashion for 15 years with Inditex. The company actually moved me to Ireland from Spain in 2019 to be a manager of one of the stores here,” says Monica Martinez Bermúdez of the Spanish retail giant that owns several high street clothing brands. She had been working in stores from the age of 16, and with fast fashion being her first and only job by the time she made the move to Ireland, she had become accustomed to the fast-paced environment.

However, that changed during the pandemic. “I had time to think. I started connecting with another side of myself that I never had the chance to before,” she says. “I didn’t want to go back to the shop, working so many hours and have so much stress on top of me.”

Martinez Bermúdez needed a fresh start. “When I left Inditex I realised how much I was over-consuming. I was buying new clothes every week and always had the feeling it wasn’t enough or I wasn’t trendy enough.”

“I’m opening Fridays and Saturdays for now. People can grab coffee downstairs from Blas Cafe then come up to the shop to see me!”  Photo: Olmo Hurley

Breaking away from that cycle led Martinez Bermúdez to vintage and second-hand stores for her clothing. “My friends always say they can never find anything in charity shops, and they find it annoying, but I have that skill.” She realised this talent held value and wanted to test it out on a small scale, selling a selection of high-quality, second-hand garments that she sourced. “I began doing markets in the garden of my house. There were restrictions at the time so you were only allowed to do things outdoors. I set up three rails and invited my friends. It was nice since there wasn’t much to do at the time.”

Martinez Bermúdez developed a passion for selling vintage and began attending markets around Dublin once the Covid-19 restrictions had lifted. “My first market was at The Useless Project in The Workmans Club and I’ve done many more since.”

Agité Closet, located in the Chocolate Factory on King’s Inns Street. Photo: Olmo Hurley

After receiving enthusiastic feedback from customers, both at the markets and on her website, she wanted to take things a step further and open a show room, Agité Closet, located in the Chocolate Factory on King’s Inns Street. “For two years I was doing pop-ups and markets so it’s really nice to have the showroom now. I know a lot of people may buy fast fashion because they find charity shops overwhelming, so I wanted to pre-select items to make it easy to buy second-hand clothing for everyone. I focus on timeless pieces. I want people to buy something that’s easy to incorporate into their wardrobe that they’ll keep forever. “I’m opening Fridays and Saturdays for now. People can grab coffee downstairs from Blas Cafe then come up to the shop to see me!”

For more details, see agitecloset.com

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