How to Join the Repair Revolution

You might already be aware of the topic of ‘fast fashion’ and how it fuels this throwaway culture that has grown amongst us. You might also be aware of the various solutions too, but one that doesn’t get enough attention is repairing and mending. Now I’m not just talking about replacing a missing button, it’s more than that.

Aside from buying less and buying better or considered quality, the best way to make your clothes last longer is by repairing them. If you have a well-loved dress or favourite pair of trousers, a small repair will mean you won’t need to part with them!

If the idea of sewing fills you with dread, you’ll be happy to know you don’t need a fancy box of tricks to be able to do it - just a basic kit of needles, three or four spools of threads, pins and an unpicker should do you well! All this is easily bought from a local haberdashery shop, charity shops sometimes have little bits or online. Otherwise I’m sure Nanna won’t mind you raiding her sewing box!

Stitching by design

Depending on the item, you might want discreet stitching like the crotch area of jeans for example. But why not make it more interesting with stitches on the outside and on purpose? Darning and boro stitching are two ways to add an element of originality to your clothing. These are ways of ‘visible mending’ with lots of people using coloured stitching to add beauty to jumpers, shirts and even shoes.

If you’re feeling creative, you can try stitching anything from simple flowers to your pooch all whilst sorting a small hole in your favourite jumper. There’s really no right or wrong with it, kind of like drawing with thread! Plus, if you enjoy mindful activities like knitting or drawing, you might find this is just as enjoyable and therapeutic.

Leave it to the experts

Sometimes a repair is a bit more complicated or you just don’t have the time to do it - it’s ok! A quick google search can bring up local businesses that can do it for you. Local dry cleaners usually have in house tailors that can do it for you too. Here’s a few places to start with!

Brighton: Our very own Brighton Girl Nicole does repairs, alterations and full outfits if you wanted! It’s all by appointment so get in touch via her Facebook page.

London (Tooting): Ana Bela’s are one of the older shops in the now trending market but do all sorts of repairs and alterations. Plus they’re super lovely.

Edinburgh: The Edinburgh Remakery is a great place teaching all kinds of repair skills to the community with everything from fixing electricals to of course sewing and mending. You can book a one to one appointment for repairs or attend a workshop.

Get makey

If you want to have a go at doing something bigger but don’t know where to start, have a look in your local area for sewing classes or community projects that run workshops or classes. That way, you can get some help from an experienced person whilst meeting new people looking to learn as well. Here are some places to start with;

London (South East): Make Mee Studio in Brockley run classes and workshops covering everything from repairs right to 6 week courses to start making your own clothes.

Manchester: Stitched Up run regular ‘repair cafés’ and workshops for all skill levels. Plus they also support adults with mental health challenges through a 12 week Bee Well Crafternoons course.

Bristol: At Flo - Jo’s you can find all the bits you need for your sewing projects as well as workshops to learn the basics and more!

Follow the hashtag #makedoandmend for inspiration and ideas

Written by Indie Foolheea

IG: @unfoldchange | @ctrlchange