Your cart is empty!

Sign up to our newsletter and get 10% off

Sign up to our newsletter and get 10% off

Sign up to our newsletter and get 10% off

Sign up to our newsletter and get 10% off

Sign up to our newsletter and get 10% off

Sign up to our newsletter and get 10% off

Sign up to our newsletter and get 10% off

Sign up to our newsletter and get 10% off

Sign up to our newsletter and get 10% off

Sign up to our newsletter and get 10% off

Sign up to our newsletter and get 10% off

Sign up to our newsletter and get 10% off

Sign up to our newsletter and get 10% off

Sign up to our newsletter and get 10% off

Sign up to our newsletter and get 10% off


Meet Claire: Our in house repair specialist

21 Mar 2023

Meet Claire - Reskinned repair specialist

We are passionate about taking the time to repair clothes that still have life left in them rather than sending them to recycling. We work with Claire Couchman and her team, who are based out of our East London warehouse, to make any necessary repairs to any takeback items that need it before we list them for resale. We chat with Claire about how she got into repairs and what she is up to outside of her work with Reskinned.

Introduce yourself and give us a little bit of background: when did you start altering clothes and why?

My name is Claire Couchman, The Ethical Tailor.

I am from North Essex and have lived in East London for the past 10 years.  I studied Menswear design at Brighton back in the day.  From there I went on to learn more about the unsustainable nature of fashion and wanted to make positive change within the industry.

I started COUCHMAN:bespoke to benefit both the planet and people behind the garments. Since 2018 I have offered an alteration service within the local community of Tower Hamlets area of London.  With every service used we provide education,  income generating tools, food and water to disadvantaged people around the world helping towards the SDGs through Buy1Give1.

Who taught you to sew?

I first learnt to sew at secondary school though we only made a beanbag. I would make clothes for my barbies when younger too. My mum was never a fan of sewing but is crafty. When at university I made an effort to make my entire graduate collection.

How long have you been in the tailoring business for?

The idea of COUCHMAN:bespoke came about in 2014. Though it wasn't until 2017 when I was able to gain the use of a studio and start the business properly. Alterations and repairs seemed the best way to encourage consumers to keep clothes out of landfill and to educate them about the people behind the garments.

Tell us a bit more about your team and Couchman:bespoke

After reopening from lockdown, I became busier than I could ever have wished, working for multiple people needing a full wardrobe reconstruction. I must have been the only person happy when we were forced to close again, as I needed a break! I learnt from this experience and hired someone to help with my workload.

Currently, I have two ladies working with me, they help to do the repairs coming from Reskinned and the other private customer alterations Couchman Bespoke receives.

Saami is studying bespoke tailoring at Newham college and is a meticulous worker with great attention to detail. Lizzy has some City and Guilds garment production training and a background in vintage streetwear up-cycling, giving her a great mind for exploring garments.

When did you start the partnership with Reskinned and why?

I started working with Reskinned in late 2021, having met through a circular business group chat. My mission is to keep clothes from landfill whilst empowering people to re-wear and educating them to repair. Reskinned was an opportunity to expand upon that by working directly with brands to change the system and end life of clothing, making it more circular.

How many items a day do you repair for Reskinned?

It depends on the drop. We tend to get about 150 repairs over a 2-week period to complete and drops are often every 6 to 8 weeks.

What’s the most damaged item you’ve been able to bring back to life?

I have recently completed a vintage jacket that needed patching over the quilting where the original natural silk cloth was biodegrading. Just the slightest touch made a hole. Biodegradation is great for the end of life of a garment but less so when wanting to continue the garment's life.

What sort of repairs do you do?

Anything really. We have a multi-function serger machine which is great for flatlock seams on jersey garments, so all repairs are possible. Our most common repairs are seam holes, knitwear holes and broken poppers.

What’s your favourite thing to repair?

I love darning knitwear as I find getting a great colour match and the invisibility of the result really satisfying. I feel the same way about denim hole repairs.

What’s the hardest thing to repair?

In our personal client repairs, I have recently had a motorbiking leather to repair which was interesting to get into with my pro-domestic machine.

What other sewing projects are you currently involved in outside of Reskinned?

We conduct alterations and repairs for clients in the local area of Tower Hamlets, Newham and Hackney. I also personally teach sewing skills from basic machine sewing up to full garment making and alterations.

Is there anywhere our followers can find you?

I am on Instagram as @CouchmanBespoke, YouTube and Tiktok as The Ethical Tailor. My website is which links to everything.

What’s the best advice you could give to someone that’s new to the repair world and who wants to keep their clothes for longer - where can they check for resources?

That bold repairs are en vogue whatever the season. Get creative with colour and pattern. I like to do hand sewing whilst watching TV as a way to relax. There are also some great online communities that host repair evenings where you can ask questions on issues you may come across. Also, check out my Tiktok and Youtube channels.

Sign up to Reskinned to find out more about what we do and be the first to find out when drops are happening from the brands you love.

©Reskinned 2023