When did mending become out of fashion?
As a kid, mending was part of any parent's job. I remember my mum had a box full of our clothes that she would never get through, but at least the intention was there. And we did mend clothes, clothes that we loved. I remember going to the fabric shop and getting to choose the patch to sow on my jeans that had a whole on the knee. I was a big fan of the lion king, and I chose a Simba patch. I swear I loved my jeans even more after mending, what kid wouldn’t love their favorite Disney character sowed on the knee.
And still to this day, I remember the patch but I cannot remember what the jeans looked like.
But what does this story actually mean? It means a new pair of jeans, which use up more water than any other piece of clothing does during production, did need to be produced. A pair of jeans didn’t get put into the landfill after they weren’t wanted, causing yet more rubbish that this earth can not handle. A garment worker didn't have to work day and night to sow more jeans, being underpaid and treated inhumanely. No one had to inhale toxic materials to bleach a pair of jeans. No human rights had to be violated to keep the cost down, so that my mum could afford two pairs of jeans instead of just the one I needed.
The jeans weren’t broken, they had a hole in them, and my mum mended them. And life went on.
So why do we not do this anymore? Why are we insisting on purchasing new when the old could be mended, why is throwing away culture in fashion? A culture that puts the people at the bottom of the chain at huge risk, both physically, mentally and economically. So that we can afford to rebuy and rebuy?
Let me tell you, sustainable fashion is not more expensive than fast fashion. But what it requires is thought and care. It is asking us to stop and think; do I really need this? Do I really want this? or do I have something at home that will do just fine?
The Restory At Harvey Nichols offers an on-demand service for modern aftercare for luxury fashion, starting with shoes, bags, and leather goods. They are on hand to repair, restore, or even reimagine your favourite items.
Our favourite think before you buy items:
This gorgeous bag from GANNI - definitely worth mending
What about these Jeans from RE/DONE - Hello Simba patch
And who could resist these pumps from Rejina Pyo! - sow me up