We’re starting the new year with a few goals, among the first are to buy once and buy well- and start restoring, altering and repairing our possessions rather than buying new clothes and furniture. Skills like darning and patching used to be commonplace, but now we replace with cheap and disposable fashion. It’s more important than ever to take steps to combat the textile waste epidemic- figures show that in 2018 it was estimated that 17 million tons of textile waste ended up in landfills, according to data from the Environmental Protection Agency.
Dig out your old favourite party dress that has a rip by the seam, a pair of trousers that could fit better, or the jumper that has a few moth holes and breathe some new life into your once loved pieces. Mending has become more accessible than ever, with Nylon magazine going as far to say that ‘Mending is the next (radical and accessible) movement in sustainable fashion.’
We believe in buying mindfully, enjoying items, taking care of them and mending them. At East London Parasols all of our products are handmade by artisans, using traditional craft to slowly and carefully craft beautiful works of art. Here in the UK we work with skilled carpenters in Hampshire to make our octagonal frames using FSC certified ash wood and our own designs of brass fittings and pulleys. We are so proud of what we make.
Companies that love slow fashion as much as we do-
Based in Hawick, Scotland, Love Cashmere is a fantastic brand providing professional cashmere knitwear cleaning and repair services. Love Cashmere emphasises how cashmere, when looked after properly, can last for decades. They pride themselves on being able to repair, re-dress and return your cashmere garments back to you within a week of receiving them. This turnaround time is not available anywhere else.
Find out more here.
For your beloved glasses and sunglasses, Peep eyewear has a restore and refurbish service that will remove scratches, polish and improve the look of your unused glasses. All you need to do is send them a photo of your needy frames to make sure they’re suitable, and then you just pop them in the post. All for £44- a steal!
They also donate to the UK Lions charity supporting sight related projects.
Find out more info here.
Handbag Clinic isn’t just for handbags- they also repair shoes. They’re experts on luxury handbags, providing a seamless one-stop service for buying, selling and restoring handbags. They currently clean and restore more than 700 handbags each month! They can also restore your shoes repairing issues such as scuffs, scratches, rips and tears to colour loss and much more.
Blanc is an eco friendly dry cleaners that use the ‘wet’ method and liquid CO2 to clean your clothes, and also offers alterations, repair and tailoring services. They offer fabulous service- either visit one of their stores to get your garments measured, get your items picked up from home, or post your pieces with instructions. They even offer Whatsapp consultations to walk through the alternation options, and how you can even upgrade your goods!
Find out more here.
Untied Workshops hosts workshops in London and Cambridge where you can learn to mend and repair your own clothes. They aim to help change your habits and mindset with regards to clothes and fashion- they were founded with the motto #WearCareRepair.
Head to their Instagram to find out how to attend
Founded in 2019, Layla Sargent started The Seam after moving to London and struggling to find a tailor. Her grandmother had been a seamstress and used to repair all of her clothes, and Layla saw a gap in the market. The Seam helps Londoners love their clothes for longer with repair, alteration and made-to-measure services. The website allows you to find skilled experts conveniently within your local area - and if you’re a seamstress yourself, you can sign up to help others. All alteration and repair prices are fixed but made-to-measure services are custom. For example: replacing a zip (£3), adjusting the length of an item (£16).
Find out more about The Seam here.