writer + artist

Slow Fashion October: Mending

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Over the last month, Slow Fashion October has been running a series devoted to discussing slow fashion, challenging followers to discuss the who, why and what of slow fashion. This week’s prompt is “where.” When we think about the “where” in relationship to slow fashion, we often think about the places to purchase more sustainable items.

As my own relationship with slow fashion has developed, I have found that personally what has become more and more important are not necessarily the resources of where to get things, but the resources of where to gain knowledge about slow fashion skills.

In the world of fast fashion, where we impulse buy an item and then toss it out in exchange for something new the next week, we have lost some of our most basic skills that previous generations practiced on a regular basis, like mending a pair of pants, darning a pair of socks, altering a dress so that it fits just a little better.

As an interest in slow fashion grows, so does an interest in these time honored traditions of making sure that quality items endure a long life. If you’re new to the world of slow fashion, don’t start by googling “eco friendly jeans” – start by mending a hole in a pair you already have. Think of it in the sense of “reduce, reuse, recycle.” Reduce your consumption by shopping less, and investing in quality items that will last. Reuse what you have by fixing something. Recycle by turning an old garment into something new entirely, or by physically recycling a garment, which helps to deal with the issue of textile waste.

I grew up with a mother who mended. I didn’t come around to it until the last few years, and I am very much a beginner. But that’s the beauty of mending; you don’t have to be an expert, you just have to be someone who wants to add a little more life to a loved garment.

Mending means not only giving a garment new life, but it makes you an active participant in your wardrobe instead of a passive one. It makes you a creator and not just a consumer.

Here are some of my own favorite mending resources:

  • The Far Woods – sisters Sonya and Nina Montenegro are creative and resourceful, and not only do they share a lot of visible mending inspiration on their Instagram feed, they also offer a custom mending service.
  • Katrina Rodabaugh – a fiber artist turned slow fashion activist, Katrina Rodabaugh practices the beautiful art of traditional Japanese sashiko mending. She teaches workshops on the topic, and her blog and Instagram account are great resources for mending inspiration.
  • Fix Your Clothes: The Sustainable Magic of Mending, Patching and Darning by Raleigh Briggs – a great book published by Microcosm Publishing that offers all the basics that you need to feel confident about your mending skills.
  • Patagonia Worn Wear – If you ever see Patagonia’s Worn Wear truck roll into town, make sure to stop in and have an article of clothing mended. The outdoor apparel company’s initiative also has an online presence, where you can learn about how to take care of various types of outdoor clothing and technical gear as well as ask repair questions.

Written by Anna Brones

October 24, 2017 at 09:55

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