It’s the third day of Fashion Revolution Week and today I want to talk about why you need to start mending your clothes. Doubling the life of your clothes from one year to two years reduces emissions by 24%, this is why it’s so crucial to mend clothes, so we can continue to wear them and reduce the impact.
Planned obsolescence is rife within fast fashion. This means that clothes are designed with a short lifespan in mind. How many items have you bought from fast fashion stores that have broken prematurely? This happens purposely for a couple of reasons. First; if clothes break faster, we are more inclined to buy more clothes to replace them. Secondly; fast fashion brands often favour cheap materials to maximise profits, which ultimately end up breaking.
This is problematic. And one of many factors that characterises the relentless pace of production and drive for profit by the fast fashion industry.
A 2013 study found that many people do not feel they have the skill to repair their clothes; so they often don’t engage in mending. This is particularly prevalent among young people, with older people being more inclined to mend their clothes.
I know for me and others in my generation repairing clothes is definitely seen as something that older generations do. Many of us in younger generations are stuck in the mindset of why repair when you can buy new so cheap? We’re often not taught mending skills. I’m 21 years old and my repair skills are severely lacking.
But this is something that needs to change. In fact, it’s essential that it changes. Making clothes is extremely resource intensive, because of that we should be keeping them for a long time.
Fast fashion has made us undervalue clothing. It’s made us believe that our clothing is almost worthless. But our clothes should be items we appreciate and look after for years. We shouldn’t want to abandon them as soon as they get a tiny rip or pull.
It’s important that we cultivate a respect for our clothes. When buying we should only make a purchase when we know we’ll love the item for years to come, and once we buy the item its essential that we take care of it.
This means reading the label to make sure we wash it correctly. And taking care to mend items if they do break.
Mending our clothes doesn’t have to be a boring task. Visible mending is when you mend a garment, but you do it in a creative way that is visible on the garment. This could mean stitching a fun pattern, or maybe sewing a patch over a rip.
You can really get creative with your mending, but at the same time you can keep it simple.
You don’t need to worry about having a sewing machine to mend your garments as you can often fix them with just a needle and thread.
If you’re wanting to mend your items but you’re not sure where to start; a simple YouTube search of ‘how to fix [insert thing that needs fixing]’ will likely bring up dozens of tutorials.
I hope that we start to see younger generations learning how to fix their garments. Fixing any item, not just garments, is essential if we want to live in a more sustainable world.
We need to abandon our throwaway attitude, we need to learn how to mend.