Repairing for the love of sustainable fashion
We know that the clothing industry continues to come under scrutiny for its contribution to the world's ever-growing waste problem. But rejecting fast fashion doesn't have to diminish our love for gorgeous clothes and shoes. In fact, sustainability in fashion is an exciting journey that's coming into its own. More and more brands are adopting repairing schemes, giving the everyday customer the choice of making what we already own last longer. With promising new ideas popping up every day, the future of slow fashion is looking fabulous.
Brands that offer repairs
Outdoor clothing and gear brand, Patagonia, provides online guides for mending and caring for their products. But if you’re not able to carry out a fix yourself, they also offer a repair service too, and in most cases, the repair work is free. Plus, they also have the trade-in hub Worn Wear, where you can exchange your used Patagonia clothing (for which they will find a new home) for credit towards a new garment. Pretty neat.
For a fee, Barbour offers a re-waxing service on their waxed cotton clothing. Customers can also send in their waxed jackets for repairs and alterations.
Selected Levi’s retail stores host an in-house Tailor Shop where you can take your jeans in for repair, alterations and customising, enabling you to revive and reimagine an old bit of denim into something new. They also give customers the option to drop off denim from other brands to be recycled into materials for building insulation in exchange for a discount at their stores.
Swedish brand Nudie Jeans is dedicated to the cause of fixing fashion. They have a promise of 'free repairs forever' regardless of when or where you purchased your pair. And if you can’t get to their stores, they also offer the choice of going to their Repair Partners, who will fix your jeans free of charge by visiting a global Mobile Repair Station or ordering a free repair kit.
Lots of other brands also offer lifetime guarantees or 'free repairs for life' on their clothing and bags, including Outerknown for their S.E.A. JEANS, Lowie clothing, DeMellier handbags, and Briggs and Riley luggage, to name but a few! Thankfully, more companies are becoming greener, closing the loop or making clothes to last. Have a search for yourself and see if your favourite brands offer any additional sustainable benefits. If the companies you're looking at don't have the option to repair, there are plenty of other ways to get your clothes, bags and shoes fixed.
Take advantage of the various repair services available. Many local dry cleaners offer repairs and alterations and often for a good price too. You're also bound to find a shoe and bag repair shop on a lot of high streets. Alternatively, for more advanced repairs, alterations, or customisations, there are companies that you can post your stuff out to, such as Clothes Doctor and The Restory.
Repair it yourself
Or take matters into your own hands. Products and kits aimed at empowering people to keep what they own for longer are popping up left, right and centre, and we couldn't be prouder to house a fantastic selection of gear perfect for mending and refreshing garments.
Felt away with Woolfiller
Mend holes in your woollens or simply give them a fresh new look with the technique of felting. Keep your creations hidden or show them off, make shapes or patterns, it's up to you. Woolfiller comes in lots of glorious colours too so you can get seriously crafty with it.
Revamp with Sugru
Who needs to buy new when you can reimagine the shoes you already own? Update them with a one-of-a-kind design with Sugru and you'll be the envy of all.
Put a gold patch on it
Try remarkable Gold Iron-on Patches from Humade to cover stubborn stains on beloved clothes. A gold splatter design is a gorgeous way to celebrate your fix – the visible way.
Also available in the Sugru shop is the Humade Create Me Gold Textile Kit. With over 100 shapes and a gold cut-out sheet, create your own patterns for a truly unique repair.
First aid for clothing emergencies
Stay prepared for the unexpected with the Merchant & Mills Rapid Repair Kit. First aid for fashion, it's got all of the essentials you need at a moment's notice. And it comes in a lovely little portable tin.
Also available in the Sugru shop is the Merchant & Mills Sewing Notions box, a must-have for every home. Ideal for those bigger repair projects.
Mending the Sashiko way
If you're into embracing your fixes, you'll love the visible yet mesmerising Sashiko stitch. Enjoy repairing through embroidery with the Sashiko Mending Kit, created by Kate Brookes from Sewing With Kate. Get inventive with the stitch pattern or put a spin on it and use contrasting colours for a striking addition to any piece of clothing.
Patch your leather goods
With the MastaPlasta Repair Patch, you can cut to size and cover ripped leather on your jacket or your bag in seconds and with lasting results. This vegan alternative is as soft and strong as real leather and suede and is suitable to use on leather and faux leather. Get it in Dark Brown from the Sugru shop too.
If you're looking for more info on protecting and mending your garments, or you don't know where to start with the sewing box, there's plenty of online material available too. Love Your Clothes is packed with seriously helpful guides, tips and tricks from buying smarter and caring for your clothes, repairing and altering, to refreshing and recycling. A fantastic effort set on changing our relationship with the things we own and trying to keep as much from landfills as possible.