Alterations Franchise Wins ‘Franchise of the Year – Sustainability’

The Zip Yard, the alterations franchise with 23 stores across the Republic of Ireland, has scooped the coveted ‘Franchise of the Year – Sustainability’ award at the Irish Franchise Association (IFA) Awards.

Ireland’s only clothing alterations and garment restyling franchise are no strangers to the IFA Awards, having previously acquired the overall Franchise of the Year title. The ‘Franchise of the Year – Sustainabilty’ award, sponsored by INNOVU Insurance Company, was one of three for which The Zip Yard were shortlisted for this year.

“We are proud and delighted to receive this award as sustainability and sustainable fashion is what our business is all about,” commented Caroline Wallace, The Zip Yard’s Managing Director. “Consumers are more and more uneasy about the environmental – and financial – costs of fast fashion. Altering garments – whether it’s a much-loved Winter coat or your favourite pair of jeans – is an easy way to save money and help save the planet. For example, extending the life of your clothes by 9 months, can reduce their carbon, water, and landfill footprint by up to 30 per cent.”

The company itself has also implemented several initiatives to make daily operations more sustainable. The use of paper receipts (made from recycled paper) has reduced by 80 per cent, while The Zip Yard carrier bags are produced from 100 per cent recycled materials.

The awards ceremony took place on Friday 25th March at the Radisson Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin after a two-year absence due to public health guidelines, so it was fitting that a new Covid Response Award was introduced for the first time. Wallace agrees that the pandemic has had a huge impact on the franchising world.

“The disruptive nature and uncertainty around Covid-19 was a huge challenge for franchises,” said Wallace. “As we emerge into a post-pandemic world, certain changes in society will continue to cause an impact – for example, city-centre businesses will need to adapt as work-from-home continues to be the norm for a certain section of their customer base. However, the tenacity shown by Irish franchises over the past two years will prevail.”

Since its inception in 2009 in the Republic of Ireland, The Zip Yard has grown to 23 stores nationwide with plans for several innovative kiosk locations in the next few years.

Wallace, a passionate advocate of women in franchising, is currently the only female Board member of the Irish Franchise Association. She has her sights firmly set on improving the landscape for women in franchising during her appointment.