“The hottest new trend”
In a boost to sustainable fashion, ” ‘Make do and mend’ is now not only “the hottest new trend“, but also good for our soul. The Great British Sewing Bee – back on our screens for a 7th season and already attracting more than 5 million viewers – has been described as “a soothing balm for the soul” that “raises spirits”.
So far in our sustainable fashion series we’ve focused on finding new homes for pre-loved clothes – whether we want something new to wear ourselves or want to get rid of unwanted items. But if you have the time, energy and inclination, repair and upcycling can be a fun and rewarding way to refresh your (and perhaps your family’s) wardrobe, join the “biggest trend of 2021” – and be kind to the environment.
Learn a new skill and save the planet …
If you’re new to sewing, why not join a sewing class? There are a number of providers in and around Oxford, including:
If you prefer online classes or tutorials, there are plenty to choose from. Here are some:
- Guides, courses and online workshops from Tilly and the Buttons
- One-to-one sewing help over zoom from Ray Stitch
- Online tutorials such as how to upcycle a pair of jeans into an apron, from Sew Fabulous
- Online workshops from Activate Learning
- List of 10 free online sewing classes
- Some simple upcycling ideas for old clothes from Hubbub
And remember, repairs don’t have to be perfect – in fact, the more visible, the better!
Once you feel ready to get creative, there are lots of online guides, tips and resources to inspire you. Here are just a few:
- College Fashion “The 10 easiest ways to upcycle your entire wardrobe“
- One Green Planet “10 tips to upcycle everything in your closet“
- Love your clothes “Refashion and upcycle“
… or help your local economy by paying others to do it for you
If you don’t want to take up needle and thread yourself, look for a local seamstress or seamster. Here are some Oxford based clothing alteration services:
You could also take your clothes along to a repair cafe – see the Share Oxford website for details of upcoming repair cafes.
And if you do have the urge to head to the shops, look out for those brands and retailers are themselves creating upcycled clothes, from high street stores like H&M to designer brands like Marni or Miu Miu. Or head online to find the perfect upcycled garment (see the list of online platforms in our previous post).
Resources and inspiration
Check out Loved Clothes Last by Orsola de Castro for a wealth of facts, tips and resources.