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Repair, Rewear

You’ve organised your books in alphabetical order, tidied the house up, and catalogued your magazine and music racks. Now that we’re all in a quarantine of consumption it’s also a good time to appreciate and make the most of what we’ve got. So, start sorting through your wardrobe and pull out the needle and thread.



"Repairing our clothes is incredibly important," says Orsola de Castro, sustainable fashion pioneer and founder of the global non-profit Fashion Revolution. "We know that lengthening the life of our clothing from one to two years decreases their carbon footprint by 24%, so it actually has an environmental effect." Once upon a time, mending clothes —and looking after one's wardrobe—was the norm. Think back to your grandparents and great-grandparents for whom sewing was a basic life skill, like cooking. Split seam? Out comes the needle and thread. Hole in wooly jumper? Easy, just pull out that ball of yarn. Loose button? Sew it back on, duh!


But, as fast fashion took up a bigger space in our wardrobe, we spent less time caring for our things, treating them as disposable and replaceable. Chuck it out, get a new one. Why bother fixing it? It was cheap, right? But it’s not just fast fashion that's to blame. Fashion encourages consumption, and most things that we buy have a planned obsolescence, whether it was cheap or expensive. "Today’s textile industry is built on an outdated linear, take-make-dispose model and is hugely wasteful and polluting," says Ellen MacArthur, founder of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, an organisation which focuses on the development of a circular economy.


"Today’s textile industry is built on an outdated linear, take-make-dispose model and is hugely wasteful and polluting."

According to a 2016 McKinsey Report the average consumer nowadays buys 60% more items of clothing than in 2000, and each garment is kept