In addition to our regular workshop in East London, we also take Fast Fashion Therapy on tour and join repair cafes and events around London. Please email us on email@example.com if you would like us to host a workshop at your event
From December to March we have joined Swish & Style hosting mending workshops at their popular clothes swishing events. Organised by OLGA and supported by Wise up to Waste the weekly swishing events went from strength to strength. We helped people repair their favourite clothes preventing them from being sent to landfill. From patching a leather jacket, darning a favourite cardigan to enhancing jeans with patches and embroidery.
Thanks to everyone who came along to our workshops. We enjoyed chatting to you all from saving clothes to our favourite museum exhibitions. We are sad the events were cut short due to Covid-19 but we hope they will be back later in the year when the social distancing is all over. Keep your eye on Wise up to Waste’s website or sign up for our newsletter and we will let you know when we have more news.
‘Make-Do And Mend’ is a well known saying but where does it come from? We visited the fashion archives at the Museum of London to find out more…
Beneath the hum of the traffic on London Wall, the fashion archives of the Museum of London sprawl in identical stacked rows. There are over twenty four thousand items all neatly packed in acid free boxes; Hundreds of pairs of gloves carefully placed in draws, umbrellas and parasols. The belt of Princess Margaret’s Dior dress as featured in the recent Dior exhibition at the V&A and a cravat worn by Charles Dickens.
Turn a corner and we are amongst rows and racks of clothing each covered in a white protective jacket. They look like a line of soldiers with a paper label in place of a medal.
So where did the phrase ‘Make-Do And Mend’ come from? It was part of a campaign launched by the British Government in 1942, during World War II when clothes were rationed and in short supply. The successful campaign encouraged British residents to preserve their clothes providing leaflets and lessons such as how to darn socks and jumpers or patching jacket elbows. This spawned a wave of ingenuity and instead of giving up on fashion, people came up with new ideas in which to show off their individuality.
However, the mending of clothes pre-dates World War II by many centuries. Hidden amongst the twenty four thousand items are evidence that ‘mending wasn’t only for times of austerity or for the non-elite, everyone did it’ says Dr Lucie Whitmore, Fashion Curator at the Museum of London. Eleanor is given a magnifying glass to inspect the mending on a riding jacket. Dated from the late 18th century, the item is rare as it is a woman’s jacket. Usually sportswear items from this era are menswear. Intricate tiny stitches cover a worn section of the silk cuff and add to the elegance of the jacket.
At Fast Fashion Therapy, we encourage the mending of clothes preventing them from being thrown away. But in 2020, we have very different reasons for prolonging the life of clothes. Rather than being scarce, there are more clothes being produced than ever before. In fact, by 2030 global clothing consumption is expected to rise to 102 million tonnes according to Lauren Bravo’s book How to Break Up with Fast Fashion. Mark Sumner, Lecturer of Sustainability at Leeds University estimates ’30 to 40 billion pounds worth of clothing are wasted in the UK’ (Speaking at last year’s Fashion Revolution Question Time at the V&A).
We are working with the Museum of London to host a mending workshop. During the morning, attendees are given exclusive access to the museum’s fashion archives. Dr Lucie Whitmore has hand picked items from the archive to demonstrate mending across three centuries. During the afternoon, we will take inspiration from the items shown and teach you how to mend your own clothes using similar techniques. Learn how to darn a favourite jumper, t-shirt or shirt. Patch your best jeans, a dress or trousers. Bring along an item of clothing you would like to repair (using hand sewing techniques) or we will have samples for you to practice on.
“If the most sustainable item of clothing is the one we already own, then appreciating and wearing those clothes is one of the most powerful differences we can make.”
It is clear from visiting the Museum of London’s Fashion archives that our ancestors cared for their clothes, treating them with the respect they deserved. We hope you will join us at our clothes mending workshop to mend and appreciate your own clothes.
WORKSHOP DETAILS: London’s wardrobe: repair and refashion with Fast Fashion Therapy
Join the Curator of Fashion at The Museum of London along with Fast Fashion Therapy for a day of repairing and refashioning some of your key wardrobe pieces. We will start the day with an exclusive behind the scenes visit to the museum’s Dress and Textile Store. Here, our curators will select key pieces from our collection to show you three centuries of mended clothing, and tell you some of the fascinating stories behind the objects. After, we will teach some basic techniques to help you start repairing and keep your clothes lasting longer. This hands on workshop will take you through simple darning techniques for fixing holes in knitwear and visible mending such as patching inspired by the Japanese art of ‘Boro’. All materials and kit will be provided for you to learn the techniques of darning and Boro patching. Feel free to bring one damaged item of clothing to repair in the workshop, but this is not essential.
This workshop will take you through some simple techniques to help you update a pre-loved jumper into a festive piece for you to keep or share as a gift. We will take you through some quick fixes for adding embellishments, textures and Christmas sparkles.
Bring along your own jumper to decorate, all additional materials and kit will be provided.
One in four Christmas jumpers are worn once and then thrown away in the new year, creating something unique and personal can help you to take care of yours.
Fast Fashion Therapy was born out of a desire to help others to get the skills needed to repair and rework their clothing, giving everyone the opportunity to experiment with fashion in a more sustainable way. The practical workshop can hopefully act as a therapy for our collective addiction to fast fashion! We run workshops twice a month at The Create Place in Bethnal Green, in which you are invited to bring along your old or damaged clothing to get the advice and spaced needed to fix them up.
Learn to create conscious and creative gifts at FREE minimal-waste workshops, and explore the marketplace for sustainable presents that won’t cost the earth.
We are hosting a free workshop at the event: Learn how to transform your old clothing or charity shop finds into unique and bespoke pieces with a few simple tricks! Starting with either a men’s jumper or shirt, this workshop will take you through how to use simple cutting and hand-stitching techniques to add decoration and change them into entirely new pieces of clothing. The workshop will leave you with the right skills and greater confidence to carry on upcycling other items in your wardrobe at home. All materials will be provided including the original jumper or shirt, yarns and sewing kit.
Workshops are free and include:
– Wreath making with The Flower Factory London – Creative jumper upcycling with Fast Fashion Therapy – Soap-making with Bottega Zero Waste – Terrarium-making with Little Drop of Green – Yoga and meditation from the experts at cult gym Frame – Plus advice and inspiration from some of the UK’s biggest thought – leaders and sustainability influencers
Head to the marketplace anytime from 10am to 5pm for a unique opportunity to shop from leading brands who are trailblazing new ways to live and give sustainably, offering everything from sustainable scents and skincare, to conscious fashion and upcycled jewellery.
Visitors will be able to wrap newly bought gifts using eco-friendly materials at Buyagift’s free ‘Sustainable Gift-Wrap Station’, get biodegradable glittered up, and make the most of free manicures and massages designed to soothe and slow down visitors at this busy time of year. Bring tupperware to buy waste-free produce from refillable store Patoka.
There will also be the opportunity to sample vegan and sustainable food and drink that will planet-proof your Christmas menu; including festive mulled cider from the food waste pioneers at Rejuce.
We’re leaving our regular home in East London and heading down south for a creative clothing repair workshop as part of Streatham Festival, a community-organised festival that includes music, dance, art and food events around the Streatham area from 11th-20th October. The workshop will be held at the Streatham Tate Library on Tuesday 15th October between 4 pm-6 pm. For more information and to buy your ticket check out the Eventbrite page – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/creative-clothing-repair-at-streatham-festival-tickets-69164636289
As part of Fashion Revolution Week 2019 we are joining Betsy’s Swap Shop Fair Fashion Fair. A fun day to swap clothes and learn beginner’s darning skills and patching techniques to help you mend and up-cycle old and damaged clothes. Click here to pre-book tickets for the swishing event, which costs £10 and includes food and refreshments.
The workshop will take you through the basics of these ‘visible mending’ and classic repair techniques, starting by fixing holes in knitwear, and then learning both ‘boro’-style patching and invisible patching. We’ll leave you with the skills and information to keep you fixing at home! All materials and kit will be provided. £5 contribution to take part – paid on the day at workshop – The workshop is sold out but come along to take part in the swishing event. Stop by our workshop in case we have had any last minute cancellations and can fit you in.
This workshop is part of Fair Fashion Fair for Fashion Revolution Week 2019
Join us for some #everydayactivism at Pebble Magazine’s first ethical festival, Pebblefest. We are taking our Fast Fashion Therapy on the road and demonstrating how to repair clothes through darning and patching.
A sewing workshop encouraging repair, up-cycling and remodelling of used clothes, looking to break our habit to always buy new. Fix holes in jeans, darn jumpers, shorten sleeves or create a new outfit from something already in the wardrobe. Bring along an item of clothing to repair or re-work into something new. Or practice basic techniques on the examples provided. Help will be given with ideas and basic sewing knowledge. Suitable for beginner sewers who need some help or more experienced sewers looking for a dedicated space and time to sew. We are a friendly and collaborative group, be prepared to share ideas and help others.
We also run workshops at events around London. Click on ‘Events’ in the menu bar above to find out more. Please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like us to deliver a workshop at your event.
We hope to see you at a workshop soon, Eleanor & Sarah