Care & Repair
Care for Clothes
As conscious consumers, we have a responsibility to look after our clothes with the aim of helping them to last a long time, to serve us well so that we may have many meaningful experiences wearing them, with memories to treasure that tell the story of our lives. A surprisingly high percentage of the environmental footprint of clothing occurs once it's purchased. This is mostly associated with washing, drying and ironing, but also takes into account to the end of life of the garment and whether it can be recycled or passed on or goes to landfill. Whilst we are the custodians of our clothes, we have the opportunity to wash and store them in ways that will ensure the fabrics and structure will endure and not be damaged. This might include washing only when necessary, rather than after a single wearing, adhering the washing advice on the label, avoiding tumble drying and hanging or folding clothing away to protect from fading or unintentional damage.
Wear & Repair
Well worn clothes reflect the lives we live and eventually signs of wear will show. It could be something as simple as a button coming loose or the stitching on a hem coming undone and these can easily be rectified, if not by you or someone you know, then by a professional at an alterations shop. Sometimes, clothing can be damaged by getting caught and the fabric gets torn, but is otherwise in good condition. We've become use to thinking of clothing as being disposable and to simply buy again if it gets damaged, but this is not just a fairly recent marketing strategy to get us to consume more, it's also unnecessary and not good for the planet. Repairing use to be normal practise in most households, then went seriously out of fashion. A visible repair should be worn proudly as a statement of mindfulness, instead of viewed somehow as an embarrassment.
Our Repair Policy
We're keen for you to keep wearing the clothes you buy from us for as long as you can. We take pride and care to make clothes that will last for years and that can be repaired, so you don't have to buy more and can continue to enjoy wearing what you already have. We encourage you to have a go at repairing yourself, but if you would rather return it to us, then please contact us and we'll do what we can to bring a new lease of life. Anything you return to us should be clean, so do wash before sending and allow about a month, depending on the time of year.
Reuse, recycle, reclaim, repurpose, reduce
The majority of clothing thrown away can be recycled or reused, but the annual worldwide consumption of textiles is over 70 million tonnes annually and barely 20% is reused, meaning 80% ends up in landfills. Developments in technology is enabling various kinds of textiles to be recycled into new fabrics, but often this mean adding virgin fibres (e.g. new cotton, polyester) to increase the overall strength of the recycled textile, as the recycling process involves chopping up the fabrics which inevitably shortens the original fibres. Textiles made up of a blend of fibres such as poly/cotton is much harder to recycle and up to now, anything with elastane (spandex or lycra) is as yet, impossible to recycle.
Recycling textiles is preferable to it ending up in landfill, but prolonging the life of a garment is more desirable through passing on and donating clothing, however the mass consumption of fast fashion means that there is too much to go round. Already, there is more clothing existing in the world than there are people to wear it, but that doesn't mean it's stuff anyone wants to wear. Cheap donated clothing has a limited re-sale value, so charity shops may not be able to charge much for those items. Cheap western clothing often ends up in developing countries, reducing demand for locally made clothing, thus depleting the skills of existing garment workers, undermining local textile producers and altering the cultural aesthetic. Clothing at it's most functional is about covering up to protect against the weather as well as our modesty, but as humans, in all cultures, we like to choose clothes that express something about ourselves and that goes beyond simple practicalities. We don't want to wear just anything.
Recently, I have been researching plastics and was horrified to learn that all the plastic already made in the world will exist forever. It never goes away. We are told that in time, even plastic will biodegrade and some plastic products, especially packaging, are marketed as being biodegradable, but this is misleading. It only refers to how quickly something appears to disintegrate. The truth is plastic breaks UP, it doesn't break DOWN. Plastic eventually breaks up into micro particles and then nano particles, but it never, ever goes away. And remember, when we talk about plastic in relation to clothing, we are talking about clothing made of synthetic fibres derived from petrol-chemicals which includes polyester, nylon and acrylic, fabrics that most people will have in abundance.
This is daunting, there are too many clothes and a lot of them we don't wear, don't want to wear and don't know what to do with them because of potentially harming the planet. The main thing is to proceed mindfully as a conscious consumer. If you can, wear it until it's worn out or if you are having a clear out, donate rather than throwing out. And when the time comes to buy new clothes, consider how well the garment will serve it's place in your wardrobe and what will happen to it when you don't wear it anymore.