Sandra Murphy is an award-winning fashion & textile designer, who spent 16 years working in the global fashion capital of New York City. While designing for various leading American fashion brands such as Victoria’s Secret, Gap and Hanes, Sandra also ran her own small independent label, which received notable recognition in prestigious fashion media including Women’s Wear Daily and WGSN. Along with her continued active presence in industry, Sandra has also established herself in fashion education, fulfilling significant teaching and exam roles at Parsons, Kent State University, Dublin Institute of Design, and Limerick School of Art and Design.
Sandra’s hands-on experience working with sustainable materials began in 2005 while in New York designing for the multinational fashion company, Hanes Brands Inc. What was then considered a passing trend, organic and recycled textiles were introduced to her design process for the first time, and she was hooked! An avid vintage buyer since her own school days, Sandra became increasingly concerned throughout her career in New York with compromises in modern design and quality, in particular fast fashion and mass production. While running her small independent label she worked with local manufacturers in New York’s infamous Garment District, to develop a first hand knowledge of slow and ethical fashion practices.
For two decades, Sandra has closely observed and participated in the fashion industry’s progress and development of sustainability. She has seen the industry’s adoption of sustainability remain fragmented and fall by the wayside, to ultimately not have the environmental and social impacts that are needed. Now based in Ireland, Sandra has turned her focus towards fashion’s future under the circular economy. Her research in overhauling the fashion industry from a linear business model to a circular one is ongoing and evolving. Launching AFORE AFTER as a circular fashion brand has become Sandra’s most ambitious and exciting project of her design career.