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Why do we love visible mending so much?

13 Apr 2022

visible mending reskinned

Reskinned sells anything that can be worn again.

We sort everything by hand and take the time to repair anything that needs it. Clothes which are resold are categorised by the following filters:

Brand new -Genuinely unworn clothes that are either deadstock from brands who have made a commitment to supporting preloved, or clothes that have been sent in by a member of the public. These may or may not still have tags on.

As new - Clothes that have no visible signs of being worn, even though they have been.

Preloved- Good condition clothes that have been worn. They don’t necessarily look brand new but they only show minor signs of wear.

Repaired- Clothes that have been visibly mended. This could mean patching, re-hemming, replacing buttons or stitching of tears.

Why do we bother repairing clothes?

By extending the life of a garment by an extra 9 months reduces its environmental impact by 20-30%. 77% of those asked at our clothes repair workshop said that they would keep the item that they had mended for at least another 3 years with a third of people stating that they would keep the item for more than 10 years. (TRAID, 2017)

Other research by Thought revealed one in seven Brits (15%) throw their clothes in the bin if they become broken or damaged – that’s more than eight million people in the UK, and only a third of us (36%) choose to save our clothes by repairing them.

That’s a lot of numbers to get your head around but what it means is that, as a society, we're throwing away a lot of clothes that could have life in them yet. When we take the time to repair clothes, we end up keeping them for longer (duh!) and by doing so we can reduce the environmental impact of that item of clothing.

We’re passionate about sustainability so it’s a no-brainer that we would take the time to make repairs where we can.

Finisterre mending.png

Why should we embrace visible mending?

There are two types of repairs. Invisible mending is when subtle repairs are made with particular types of stitching, replacing buttons or resewing dropped hems. Other repairs fall into the visible mending category and we can’t get enough of it.

We see visible mending as a love song to clothes. Visible mending is said to be influenced by Sashiko , a traditional Japanese technique which uses a decorative running stitch to repair torn clothes. Visible mending is rooted in history but has a recent resurgence in popularity due to our better understanding of the environmental impact of fashion coupled with a growing love of craft amongst young people.

Visible mending Shahiko.png

We love visible mending because it keeps something going for longer, even when the damage seems pretty big. It’s artistic and expressive. It offers an opportunity for personalisation and can be a great use of fabric scraps and other waste. It’s environmentally positive because it reduces waste and honours the labour that went into the making of the garment in the first place.

And why do we love invisible mending? Well that one seems pretty obvious but why would we recycle something when we have the skills to fix it? It’s less energy intensive and more cost effective, but most importantly it is the more sustainable option available.

How can I mend my own clothes?

Over the years visible mending has fallen out of favour with the rise of “disposable” (*shudder* - no clothes should be considered disposable) fashion :(. With declining skills in sewing, it is often conceived as more time efficient/ cost efficient for someone to buy something new than it is for them to take an item to a tailor. It means that a lot of us don’t know how to sew our own clothes back together when they need it. But forget all that…

The good news is that it’s becoming increasingly easier to get your clothes repaired. Apps like SOJO offer local alteration services in a simple and effective way and there are plenty of digital tutorials if you fancy having a go yourself. We also recommend taking things into your local dry-cleaners as they often have an in hour seamster who can make alterations or repairs.

For a bit of further reading, we recommend, “Mend! A REFASHIONING MANUAL AND MANIFESTO”, by Kate Sekules. It’s a hands-on manual and celebration of clothes tending-and its remarkable resurgence as art form, political statement, and path to healing the planet.

Yep, visible mending can help heal the planet.

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