Learn to mend your clothes for free
May 2020

Ros Studd & Elahe Alavi 
Ros Studd has worked as a Fashion and Interior retail buyer, European fashion product developer and is now a Fashion/Textiles tutor. Elahe Alavi is a freelance graphic and web designer who works across different time zones! Both juggle different families, work, but share a passion for eco-friendly fashion and lifestyles.

 Published 12.05.2020 

“If you find that you like mending and have a skill, then get creative and mend clothes for others, embroider and embellish, upcycle. repairwhatyouwear is the start of your mending journey.” - Ros Studd.

Why mend clothes?

Fashion and clothes make us feel good, create our individuality and project our character. Mending a garment can save you money: you spend less on clothes and use the items for longer. It also reduces waste as most clothes thrown away end up in landfill - recycling is difficult because of the different components. In addition, the sad truth is that the fashion business is one of the top 5 polluting industries in the world:

• It is responsible for 10% of annual global carbon emissions and is predicted to increase by 60% if current fast fashion habit does not change (World Bank 19.9).

• Dyeing and treatment of garments makes up roughly 17-20% of all industrial water pollution (World Bank 19.9).

• Cotton production uses 16% of the world insecticides and 73% of the land on which is grows has to be irrigated. Fresh water is already a global problem (WWF).

• Polyester is derived from fossil fuels and doesn’t biodegrade.

Fibers and fabrics are beautiful, and the industry is working hard to become sustainable. It is going to take time to change. We need to take action now by slowing down consumption and show respect for the makers and producers by treasuring what we own.

What is repairwhatyouwear about?

At a time when people are increasingly aware of the importance of reducing waste as well as saving money, repairwhatyouwear.com gives people easy to use techniques and skills to mend their own clothes. Many people will either not have learned – or forgotten - these skills from schooldays. This is an opportunity for anyone to easily learn – or be reminded – of vital techniques to mend and extend the life of their clothes. It has never been more important.

Facebook, Instagram and YouTube also host the repairwhatyouwear and following means you will get the new updates on your preferred media.

Set up and funded by a textile tutor and a graphic/web designer, the practical teaching is clear and easy to follow - from threading a needle to mending holes in knitwear. Videos and instructions are available for both right and left-handed learners.

Why use repairwhatyouwear?

With 15 years of teaching experience and 20 years in the textile industry, Ros’s teaching is measured and knowledgeable. The videos are not about brand or character but focused on enabling you to learn a lifelong skill.

The website is designed for people with different learning styles and can be used by individuals as well as schools and communities. Written instructions on the basic skills can be downloaded to suit those who learn best through words, accompanied by easy to follow videos. When lockdown is ended, gradually visitors to the site will be encouraged to set up mending groups with tips on how to teach and share experience, based on previously successful groups.

Shockingly, the UK sends over 300,000 tones of clothing to landfill each year. Repair What You Wear is a practical way of directly reducing the amount of waste and saving money.

Ros Studd

Elahe Alavi

What else can we do?

Other than caring for our clothes by mending, we can buy carefully. When buying new clothes, look out for Organic Cotton, sustainable manufacturing labels and join groups such as Cleanclothescampaign and Fashion Revolution to see which brands are changing their practices. Don’t be frightened to challenge brands to show you care.

“If the number of times a garment is worn doubles, the greenhouse gas emissions over its lifetime would be 44% lower.” - Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Join the mending movement, learn at repairwhatyouwear.com

The Imperfect Blog

Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to have it all figured out in order to lead a sustainable lifestyle. In fact, it's better to make small conscious choices when possible, than none at all. We explore every topic under the sun around kindness to our environment, wildlife, other people and ourselves.

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