Sew Last Season launch free umbrella sharing scheme in Galway

News Release

How often have you been caught out in the rain without a brolly to protect you?  Galway social sewing group Sew Last Season have the answer. On Saturday 29th February, they are launching an innovative umbrella sharing scheme Borrow –Stay Dry – Return! Drop into a Galway City library, borrow a beautifully customised brolly, stay dry when it rains and bring it back for the next person to use.

Borrow-Stay Dry-Return was commissioned by Hope it Rains | Soineann nó Doineann, a project for Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture which aims to turn Galway’s bad weather to good use, to make Galway the place to be because it rains and blows. As Ríonach Ní Néill, creator and curator of Hope it Rains | Soineann nó Doineann explains

“We ran the Weatherproof Me! International Design Competition challenging artists and designers to create wearable designs that embrace Galway’s weather and transform our behaviour in the wind, the rain and the dark. Sew Last Season’s stand-out proposal to promote a sharing culture and kindness in Galway through a umbrella borrowing scheme was a unanimous choice for the jury.”

The group of volunteers have spent months crafting and decorating over 40 umbrellas. For their material, they re-used fabric and trimmings from clothing which had been donated to SVP shops and had remained unsold, giving them new life. They used a range of techniques including crochet, appliqué, lacework, embroidery, felting and more. Each umbrella is completely unique, and showcases the skills and styles of a volunteer. The group also worked with volunteers from Galway’s Men Sheds, who customised special drop-pots for holding the umbrellas at the libraries.

Sew Last Season has a bigger vision, that the scheme will expand to have umbrella-sharing points across the city. As member Phil Stankard explains, “Our vision is that anyone will be able to borrow a brolly, stay dry when it rains and return it. Our hope is that Galway businesses will take the time to view this project in passing and take on its development. As it rains a lot here – 232 days per year – we think there is scope for it!”

The launch of Sew Last Season’s 2020 vision will be held in Eyre Square on Saturday 29th of February at 11am.  The crafters will perform a circle dance, followed by a parade of decorative umbrellas down Shop Street, after which the umbrellas will be ceremoniously installed at the three Galway City Council libraries on Augustine Street, in Westside and Ballybane.

To find out more about this and other projects celebrating Galway’s weather, head over to

About Sew Last Season

Sew Last Season is a sewing community based in Galway city, that promotes inclusion through sustainability and creativity. The group redesign old clothes and fabrics into new and wonderful things. Supported by Saint Vincent de Paul and Galway City Partnership, they are open to all who wish to join.