Turning old garments into new pieces of clothing – the art of mending
The only thing better than donating old garments to charity might be this: keeping them and improving their quality or restoring them to their nearly original quality. Oftentimes restoring your clothes can be incredibly satisfying and will allow you to keep an item that holds memories or intrinsic value to you. Plus, it’s more ecologically friendly than throwing them away or buying something new.
Fast Fashion has been a topic of conversation for some time now. Clothes truly do have one the quickest turnover rates in what has become a throw-away culture. Anything we can do to lower our environmental footprint will not only help the planet but our wallets too. You have an entirely new AND sustainable wardrobe right under your nose just waiting to be discovered. In this article, we look at a few ways to repair or repurpose your existing wardrobe.
Restore vibrance to faded clothes
Fading is one common reason people throw away or give away clothes. Sometimes re-colouring or re-dyeing your clothes is an option, but did you know that you can actually boost or restore the colour of your clothes in a more natural way?
Just place your clothes into the washing machine as you normally would then add half a cup of salt to the drum – yes, salt! Regular salts work fine but make sure you avoid overly coarse salt or sea salt since it may not dissolve completely in the washing machine. Salt helps minimise fading, remove baked-in stains, and get rid of any leftover scents or odours. Then just dry your clothing as normally, although bear in mind that the tumble dryer can be a killer of colour if used on the wrong garment.
Repair your clothes with a needle and thread
Sadly, the art of mending seems to have been lost in modern times. But sometimes the answer is as simple as good old-fashioned sewing! Whether it’s a small hole or a big one, a little needle and thread can do the trick to make it as good as new. Turn your garment inside out to keep any knots and weird lines on the inside of the piece. If the hole is too big you’ll need a patch, but the process is just as simple. Patches are an excellent way to add a bit of personality to your piece! Try using a thick bandana or a piece of extra fabric you have lying around. If you’re feeling fancy, you can look up different types of stitching. But in all honestly, a simple needle and thread and a basic understanding of the process will cover most items.
Repurpose your wardrobe (aka upcycling)
Fabric can be so expensive! If your item or garment isn’t serving you in its current form or is slightly beyond repair, repurposing it into a new kind of garment can be a wonderful way to still use the piece. but help save the fashion industry’s high turnover and the environment. Not sure what to use it for yet? Cut an old piece into a simple shape that you’ll be able to use for another project. Then, when you’re ready, let the creativity flow! You’ll be able to keep up with the latest fashion trends without dolling out a tonne of cash. For some ideas, check out...
Your clothes don’t have to be worn to the point of disrepair, there are plenty of ways to make them ‘new’ again and enjoy your existing closet for years to come – all while being ecologically conscious, sustainable, and most importantly, always fashionable.