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Issue 28; Turning My Back on Fast Fashion

written by @coombstw

Many of us are aware that we live in a world of fast fashion.  This is because clothes are so cheap now and things come in and out of fashion like tide changes and with so many trying to keep up, tons of clothes end up in landfills.  So what do we do? I for one am trying to turn my back to fast fashion.

I would like to say this is all because I am an eco warrior type, but it is also due to money (I have a pending wedding to pay for) and I think in my new found hands-on jobs we have lost the art of repair.  When something is cheap we way up the time to repair to the time it takes to go to the website and order another or similar. This all started when I noticed holes in my favourite Epsom coat. I was already fixing the pocket lining that had opened up when I noticed small tears in the wool.  Armed with a trusty needle and thread I went to work. It wasn’t the neatest repair but they were small clean tears near the pockets, they were from lots of wearing, plain and simple, not from anything else. But now fixed and the coat lives on. And has saved me circa £200 for a new one when the rest of the coat was perfectly fine.

I also noticed some damage to my boots, as they were from Next and not made by blind nuns it would be easy to buy another pair, if you could still get them that is.  But they are glued, so I just re-glued them with ShoeGlue, and they will now continue on. I have already decided on my next pair of boots when these eventually give up, but I think I can keep them going for another year before the sole goes and when only £45 new, £50 for new soles is pointless.  But I will fix the simple bits.

I think this is what we should be striving towards, buy expensive but well made goods (I’m not saying expensive as designer) that will last for a lifetime, just look after them and repair them when required.  Good shirts can even be rescued with a little needle and thread. In 2020 I am only going to buy either items I truly need, that I don’t already possess, not anything I can think of right now, or items where the older item is not repairable or I’m not able to rescue.  Then I think I could cut them into rags for cleaning and wood polishing, especially some older t-shirts I still have sitting at the bottom of the pile.

Repairing and looking after clothes is an art and lifestyle we have all forgotten, many people not even being able to sew buttons on a shirt.  I even fixed some jeans this month due to a button breaking, it is just so easy, and you feel triumph when you have completed such a repair. When I do need new jeans I think Nudie Jeans will be the ones as they have free repairs for the lifetime of the jeans and when they are finally not able to go further they recycle the material.  But such simple things as oiling or waxing your boots and shoes keeps that leather in good condition therefore making them last so much longer. The same goes for not tumble drying clothes, they just last longer.

So join me in these simple tasks and you could save the environment and yourself some cash, along with learning some new skills.  Turn your backs on cheap fast fashion, I know this is a complete turn on what I was doing this time last year, but I feel people grow and styles change.  So going to the side of vintage well worn clothes rather than always shiny and new. As long as you look after your clothes they will just keep on going.