And how do I mend my clothes?
Getting off the starting blocks mending our clothes can be a bit a task. As with any new habit, it will take a bit of time to bed in. But believe us, it is really worth it when you do. How so?
First of all, let’s take the bigger picture. Here’s a few things we know: we know that a lot of clothes are languishing in our wardrobes unworn and unloved. There’s a popularly held belief that we wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time - it’s quite relatable. And a lot of clothes end up in landfill in the UK - reliable estimates put it at £140million worth. We also know that the current speed of fast fashion makes it very quick and easy for us to replace clothes when they are showing small signs of wear and tear (like a rip, a hem or a button). Go a bit deeper and we know that a lot of fabrics like polyester and denim can have a much longer life than they are often given in our wardrobes.
So embracing repairing our clothes can have lots of benefits - it keeps us wearing our favourites, it keeps us from throwing clothes away that still have plenty of life left in them, and it means that we might not always reach for a new article of clothing if our favourites are still doing a great job for us.
There’s also a big benefit that you might not have experienced yet, a personal wellbeing one. The wellness and mental health benefits of creating with our hands is well document by occupational health professionals and scientific research. The Crafts Council offers a fascinating insight into the research in their blog 4 Reasons Why Craft is Good For Your Mental Health . Studies reveal that textile based crafts are one of the most popular (even about music and arts based activities). And stitching and sewing combine so many brain stimulating and soothing attributes - meditative, repetitive, multi-sensory, a sense of anticipated achievement, increased pride and enjoyment and the ability to get into ‘flow’ and have a healthy distraction from stress. All in all the phrase ‘mindful mending’ is truly based in scientific fact. Have you experienced it for yourself?
We can’t always tackle a mend ourselves though - we might have just too many things on our domestic plates, we might be worried that we won’t be able to tackle something with a tricky fabric or a complicated problem. That’s where beginning to appreciate the talents makers really kicks in - it can be time to call in the experts. Head on over to our Mend section and you will find easy ways to find them.
A question for you - could you go beyond repair? There is so much wonderful creativity in the world of mending, up cycling and re-fashioning. Maybe you have a piece that needs more than a repair - perhaps it needs new life breathing into it. There are makers who can take that on for you. Look in the Customer Projects section in our Mend section. If you’d like any recommendations or guidance, do get in touch with us via our customer service email - firstname.lastname@example.org - we have talked to all the businesses that list with us and we might be able to help you connect with the right one for you straight away!
5 tips for getting into Mending
1 - If your first thought is ‘I don’t sew’ - just replace a button, or do a little stitch on those tiny pesky holes that appear in the front of our t-shirts (yep, happens to us all). Satisfying? If you need guidance, have a look at our partner Repair What Your Wear in our Mend section - they have lots of free tutorials
2 - Have some needles and colourful threads in a jar at home, or in a tin in your bag. If you have the tools to hand, you’ll probably find you need them more than you thought.
3 - If a mend feels like its too much for you, or you find one of your favourite jumpers riddled with moth holes (yep, that happens to us all too!), call on an expert. These sewists have been refining their craft for a long time out of pure passion and creativity - why wouldn’t you ask them to do a brilliant job for you? Have a look around our Mend section to find them.
4 - Carve out some ‘me time’. If it feels like Mending is just another chore on your to-do list, try re-framing it and look for those mental health and wellness benefits. A comfy chair, a favourite drink, a podcast and your mend. Its a lovely way to spend an hour.
5 - Share your mending journey. There is an amazing community of menders and repairers out there. If you dive into a few hashtags on Instagram, you will find them, and they are a very helpful bunch. Try #mindfulmending #mendingmatters #visiblemending to get you started.