Clothes mending workshops for May

Our clothes mending workshops were super busy in April. Both in person at The Create Place and online via Zoom. It is really encouraging  that so many of you want to mend your clothes, saving them from landfill to be worn again. We really appreciate the enthusiasm you bring to our workshops, chatting and helping each other with tips on clothes mending and how to live a bit more sustainably. Thanks to everyone who joins in to create this friendly and welcoming community. We are looking forward to being back in Bethnal Green and Brixton this month after a break for the Easter holidays. Please scroll down for workshop booking details.

Join us for a workshop

The Create Place
We are back  on the 9th and 23rd May this month. We are already full for the 9th May but we have lots of places for the 23rd if you want to book your place. Either book via Eventbrite or send us an email to to book your place. 

The Remakery
We are back in Brixton on the 16th May. Bring along a couple of items of clothing to repair and we will help get you started.  If there are any particular materials you need, please let  us know in advance. We only have a couple of sewing machines so please bring along some hand sewing repairs too. Book via Eventbrite, £3.50

Online via Zoom
We welcome new attendees to our group of regulars who log in from around the UK, USA, Canada and Australia. It is an opportunity to get through our clothes repairs whilst we chat and share tips, it isn’t a formal teaching session but please ask questions. Join us on 6th June. As a subscriber to this newsletter you will automatically receive joining details.

We have been keeping a basic list of all the clothes that everyone has been bringing with them to our workshops. The idea is that we can compile a basic audit of the number and type of garments that people repair. An audit of the amount  garments that we have all saved from landfill. We will share the half year results before the summer.

Fashion Revolution Week 2022

Money | Fashion | Power

This year, Fashion Revolution is calling on global citizens to rise up together for a regenerative, restorative and revolutionary new fashion system. Throughout Fashion Revolution Week, the groundwork will be laid down for new laws on living wages for the people that make our clothes, brands will be encouraged to shift their focus away from endless growth, and consumers will be inspired to scrutinise the real value of what we buy.

Fashion Revolution Week

How to avoid overconsumption

As a consumer, we have the power to change the fashion system. Shopping can be overwhelming, trying to figure out which brands pay living wages, who are trying to greenwash us, which ones are championing organic and recycled material?

There is a simple answer to this and that is to buy less, value what we have and the new clothes we buy. Fashion Revolution are asking brands to ‘shift their focus away from endless growth’. We can support this cause buy reducing the growth of our wardrobes. Below we share our tips on how to make a difference all year round.

Mend more, buy less

We teach people to repair, refresh and refashion their clothes. Mending clothes means we get to wear the garment for that bit longer. It could be a favourite pair of jeans that has holes from being worn so much. Or a dress that never did fit quite right and needs altering. Maybe even a coat that hasn’t been worn simply because the button fell off. The process of mending is rewarding, taking time over a piece of clothing, feeling the cloth and remembering the times we wore it. As we repair, we understand the construction of the clothes and all the hard work that goes into making them. Helping us to value them more.

Slow down and think about what we are buying. It is not the end of the world if we buy something new if it has been a very thought out decision and we have thought of other options beforehand.

Jen Gale, Sustainable(ish)

Buy second hand

We love fashion, it is in our name! Keeping and wearing our clothes for longer hasn’t stopped us enjoying the shopping experience. Expressing our identity through the clothes we wear, buying second hand is more fun than buying new. The UK’s highstreets are full of charity shops selling clothes in every shape, colour and size. Discovering areas of towns and cities that have the best selection. Buying from charity shops is a double win as we are preventing the clothes from reaching landfill and the charity benefits from the sale. Swishing (clothes swapping) events, buying vintage and using the many second hand clothes apps are also a fun way to shop. Jen Gale started Sustainable (ish) to encourage us all to make ethical choices and not feel bad when we are not able to. This was a result of a year of not buying anything new in 2014, which Jen has pledged to repeat this year. Find out how she gets on, plus lots of other great tips on her podcast.


A word of warning here. A fashion brand may talk the talk and at first glimpse sound like they are sustainable but there is more to investigate. For example, H&M have their Conscious range. This is a tiny percentage of their overall sales, the rest of which do not follow the same sustainable credentials. The fast fashion system started around the industrial revolution in the 19th Century, increasing over the decades, especially after World War II. This has resulted in a complex supply chain, where often the fashion buyers and product developers don’t know the full journey of their stock from fibre to shop floor. How can they ensure staff are paid a living wage and treated fairly and harmful chemicals are not released if they don’t know where the fibre is produced or where the fabric is woven?

Who made my clothes?

We need to ask our favourite brands this simple question. If we keep asking them then they need to ask their supplier. Usually brands don’t own their own factories. They commission factories, often through an agent, to make the garments for them. The agents or factories can then give some of the work to another factory without the brand knowing. So they can’t always answer this question. We can go deeper and ask who made my fabric? They might know the factory that constructed the garment, but do they know where the fibres were created, who dyed the yarn, wove or knitted the fabric, printed the fabric? ‘Who made my fabric?’ is another important question to ask.

Clothes waste

Online clothing sales grew by £2.7 billion in the U.K. during the pandemic, with physical stores closed total sales still fell by £9.6 billion. This shift in behaviour when buying clothes is expected to continue as more than a third of people say they would carry on with these new buying habits. It is now expected that online clothing sales in the U.K. will overtake in-store purchases this year, previously this was expected to happen in 2025.

It is common for people to order many items online, try them on and then return what they don’t like as many people expect these clothes to be put back into stock for someone else to buy them. This isn’t always true, it is cheaper to throw the clothes away than to repackage and resell them. Luxury and fast fashion brands have also been reported to burn brand new clothes that haven’t been sold to avoid their distinctive designs being sold cheap elsewhere. A report released in 2017 found that 73% of clothing that is thrown away by consumers goes to waste, with 57% ending up in landfill and 25% of this being incinerated.

However, there has been some signs of positive change recently. Since 2020, France has been bringing in new Anti-Waste laws to encourage a shift to the circular economy, one of these means that is now illegal for new unsold clothing and textile items to be burnt or sent to landfill. This law has already changed the way luxury goods companies manage their stock and production. This action is proof of the power that governments have to change the fashion industry and shows the importance of campaigning to pressure governments in other countries to act as well.

Fashion is fun and an important way for us to express our identity. It provides a living for millions of people across the globe. But buying clothes should not at the detriment to the people who make them or the Earth’s resources. Considering all of these aspects when buying new clothes is overwhelming. But it really is as simple as buy less, value what you buy by wearing the garment more. When it needs a bit of TLC, we can help you out.

About Fashion Revolution Week: This is the ninth year in which the charity ask us to challenge our favourite fashion brands with the question #whomademyclothesFashion Revolution was established in 2013 a year after the Rana Plaza disaster that killed 1138 garment workers in Bangladesh. Since then charity have been campaigning globally against the human and environmental consequences of the fashion industry. Encouraging brands to change their practices to a more transparent and circular model.

Clothes mending workshop news

Thanks to everyone who has joined us for clothes mending workshops over the past few weeks. It has been great to see so many of you online and in person getting those clothes repaired and preventing them from being thrown away.  We joined the University of Birmingham to host a workshop as part of their project ‘The Air We Breathe’. Thanks if you came along. Everyone did a brilliant job with their visible darning and patching. The exhibition ‘explores air pollution through the lens of University of Birmingham research’. The exhibition is on until 30th June and we recommend a visit.

Join us for a workshop

We are fully booked at The Create Place this coming Monday. We have lots of spaces available for 11 and 18th April, please email us on if you would like to book a place. The next online meet up will be Monday 4 April, book via Eventbrite. There is no workshop at The Remakery in April as it is the Easter holidays. We will be back there on the 16th May, book via Eventbrite

Looking forward to seeing you at a workshop soon.

Stitched Up! Protest and the Garment Industry

We are honoured to be included as part of The Cinema of Ideas programme focusing on protest in the garment industry. The line up includes films, a discussion and a darning workshop hosted by us! It is all online. Our workshop and the panel discussion are on specific days. The films; you have two weeks to watch at your leisure. All of this for only £5 ticket.

The Cinema of Ideas programme

Workshop and panel discussion

Darning Workshop
10:30am, Saturday 26 Feb

We are delighted to have Fast Fashion Therapy join us for a darning workshop. Learn how to prolong the life of your clothes by mending holes and fixing seams and save them ending up in a landfill. Darning kits provided by Fast Fashion Therapy are available on their website so you can mend-along with this workshop. Please purchase your darning kit a week in advance so it can be delivered to your home in time for the workshop:

Register for the workshop here (note, you must have purchased an event pass for your registration to be approved).

Live Panel Discussion – How to Support Garment Workers
7pm, Monday 21 February

We are delighted to be joined by journalist Amber Sunner, writer Gracie Beswick and Ruth Ogier from charity War on Want for a live conversation on how to support garment workers around the world on an international and local level.

About the speakers

War on Want is an organisation dedicated to supporting Garment workers around the world fight for their rights.

Amber Sunner is a freelance journalist who has researched and interviewed garment workers in Leicester, publishing an article in October 2020 exposing the exploitative treatment of workers in BooHoo factories.

Gracie Beswick is a filmmaker and writer dedicated to sharing and promoting sustainable and ethical fashion, with an emphasis on small individual changes that can make a big difference.


Made in Bangladesh, streaming 19 February – 5 March

Rubaiyat Hossain’s 2019 drama follows garment worker Shimu as she fights to start a union in her unsafe and exploitative factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The Pajama Game, streaming 21 February – 27 February

The Pajama Game is a classic Hollywood musical starring Doris Day as a union grievance officer who juggles her loyalties to her union and her growing affection for her new manager.

The films will be accompanied by Knitwear Workers Protest March, an archival newsreel from the Media Archive for Central England that highlights Britain’s history of textile production and union action! As the demand for cheap instant clothes has been accelerated by the pandemic, this selection of films is as timely as ever, showing who really pays the price when your t-shirt costs next to nothing.

We’ve got our tickets booked!

Why sewicals are the new night out

‘Garment-mending workshops are opening up across the country, promoting a more responsible attitude to fashion and a space to unwind. Fleur Britten and her holey sweater drop in’ Stella Magazine, The Sunday Telegraph, 23 January 2022

We are thrilled to be included in Stella Magazine’s article on mending circles. Thanks to Fleur Britten for getting in touch and including Fast Fashion Therapy. It is encouraging to see so many clothes mending groups popping up all over the country.

‘People share ideas on the local area, their favourite charity shops and fashion’s lack of sustainability. People arrive with no sewing skills, but leave with their clothes fixed and always happy. It’s addictive.’

Sarah Richards, Fast Fashion Therapy, Stella Magazine

Want to find out more? Come along to one of our London workshops on Monday evenings or join us online if you live further way.

One of our sessions at The Create Place in Bethnal Green

5 Reasons to Repair Your Clothes in 2022

1. Prevent textile waste and carbon emissions

Something as small as a lost button can prevent us from wearing our clothes. By learning how to repair or rework our clothes we can prevent that item from adding to the 336,000 tonnes of clothing that end up in UK landfill or incineration each year (Wrap Textiles 2030).

Our clothes can take as long as 200 years to decompose…so our planet is getting polluted by more and more unnatural material all the time.

What ‘s Wrong with Fast Fashion: Pebble Magazine

2. Wear the clothes you love for longer

The majority of the clothes people bring to our workshops are items that they cherish. It might be a pair of jeans that fit perfectly, a Kaftan that was owned by a grandmother, a dress that brings back a lot of fun memories on the events it was worn to. People leave our workshops happy that their favourite item of clothing can be worn again to create new memories.

3. Learn a new skill

You don’t need to be an expert dressmaker or tailor to fix clothes. At least 85% of our workshop attendees have never used a sewing machine before or not since they were at school. Bring along an item of clothing you want to fix and we will show you the techniques you need to repair it. Build up your sewing skills with each item of clothing that is repaired. Materials and equipment is provided.

4. Practice mindfulness

Often participants will talk of how calming simply sitting as a group and hand stitching their damaged clothing can be. As our repair and upcycling workshops are often aimed at beginner sewers, we place a focus on the doing rather than perfection. The practical task of clothes mending and sewing can offer respite from the scale of a problem for a short moment in time. Darning, for example, takes concentration to weave the yarn to build up the hole. Read our article in Pebble Magazine on why mending your clothes is good for the soul.

5. Save money

Window of Royal Trinity Hospice London Charity Shop, Islington.

Fast fashion is notoriously inexpensive to buy but it often doesn’t last very long as cheap fabrics and techniques are used to make them. There is no judgement at our workshops on where your clothes are from. We are happy to help you repair the item of clothing to prevent it from adding to the landfill issue. By mending an item of clothing that you can wear again, it reduces the need to buy something new to replace it. Our workshops are free or offered at an affordable rate.

Join one of our workshops

We host regular workshops in London on a Monday evening. If you are not based in London, we also offer a free online mend-a-long via Zoom. It isn’t a teaching session but we can give you advice on how to mend your clothes and send you videos of any techniques required. Find our list of ‘How To’ videos here.

Find the list of our workshops on our Event Calendar, including more non-London based workshops coming this year. Or sign up to our newsletter to keep updated on how to join us for some Fast Fashion Therapy.

Will I wear it 30 times?

Tips on how to buy ethically during Black Friday

Those of you have attended our workshops or follow us on social media know that our ethos all year round is to mend our clothes and choose second hand to avoid buying new. With all the noise around Black Friday it is difficult to avoid all the seemingly good discounts. I’ll admit to making the most of the discount off my favourite natural beauty brand but I wrote a list before I went shopping so as not to get tempted by discounts and buy only what I needed.

When buying new clothes a good tip is to question yourself ‘will I wear it 30 times?’ A philosophy created by Livia Firth, founder of Eco-Age to help reduce the number of clothes bought and not worn. We like this explanation on Cariki’s blog. It is also helpful to ask yourself ‘can I buy it second hand?’ or if it is an item of clothing that needs replacing, ‘can I mend it?‘.

When shopping for new clothes it is useful to have a check list of the values that are most important to you. For example buying clothes made from organic fabrics and ensuring the brands pay their factory workers a fair wage. I wrote the above list about 8 years ago when I started understanding more about sustainable fashion. I realise now that this list is idealistic but it has resulted in me buying less, choosing second hand clothes, mending and upcycling clothes or making my own from pre-loved fabrics.

FASH Forward is a new online sustainable fashion magazine. Lots of tips from how to wash clothes to mending shoes and wear to buy sustainable sportswear. We are definitely going to visit the packaging exhibition at the Design Museum thanks to FASH Foward’s recommendation. Read the Winter Issue here. Thanks to Ailís for including us in her excellent magazine.

I like to remember that Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving in the US, as it was a day that retailers are supposed to be in the black, or credit. It is a holiday in the US and people start their Christmas shopping. In the UK we seemed to have inherited the buying frenzy without the day of thanks. I’ve been celebrating Thanksgiving with my American friend for the past 10 years to make her feel more at home. It is an enjoyable day with our families eating a delicious dinner without the commercialism of gifts. At the end of the meal we take turns in sharing what we have thanks for. This year I gave thanks that The Create Place introduced Eleanor and I and for the support from our workshop attendees and followers. Thank you!

COP26: What can we do?

with COP26 finished in Glasgow, it feels like climate change is firmly on the agenda. A UN report found that if we carry on at our current rate of growth by 2050, it will take the equivalent of almost 3 planets worth of resources to maintain our modern lifestyles.

But what can we do now? With so many world leaders having met at COP26 it’s a really important time to demand action from our governments, whether by contacting them directly or signing petitions. Contacting the companies that make our clothes, food and other products to demand transparency and change in their unsustainable supply chains can help to make them take action.

On a personal level, using the clothes and products we already own and repairing them when they’re broken can help save resources. Sign up for our newsletter to find out more about our clothes mending workshops, including a free monthly virtual mend-a-long.

For more information on COP26 The Yikes Podcast has a great episode explaining what COP26 is and why it’s important to keep climate change on the agenda. We also like Pebble Magazines 5 key take aways from the event.

Autumn Clothes Mending Events

Have you started wearing your winter clothes and noticed they need a bit of TLC? We have arranged lots of clothes mending workshops to help you those jumpers, tights and socks darned, jeans patched and hems repaired.

31 October | ‘Fix your Knitwear’ workshop at Woodfield Pavilion

Join us for this workshop to pick up some new sewing techniques that will help you to repair and refresh your tired knitwear. Save a jumper Save the planet!

Tickets are £15 per person (plus booking fee) and includes a small kit of 4 x needles, a selection of yarns (3 woollen yarns and 2 cotton yarns) and a ‘How to Darn’ instructional card.

1 November | Fast Fashion Therapy at home via Zoom

  • Join us via Zoom with your mending and a sewing kit.
  • Sign up for our newsletter for the Zoom link, which will be sent a few days before
  • The session is free
  • It isn’t a formal teaching session, an hour to encourage us all to get our clothes mended.
  • 7:30 to 8:30pm

6th November | Sutton Japanese Boro Workshop

Set in the unique Tudor setting of Whitehall Historic House, this workshop will help you mend and up-cycle old or damaged clothes. The workshop will take you through the basics ‘visible mending’ techniques to leave you feeling All materials and kit will be provided in the workshop.

8 + 22 November at The Create Place

A regular sewing workshop at The Create Place in Bethnal Green Eleanor and Sarah are on hand to help you repair and upcycle your clothes, practice techniques on examples or bring along your own clothes to repair and alter.

6:30 to 8pm – Free

Email us to book your place

15 November at The Remakery

A regular sewing workshop: Eleanor and Sarah are on hand to help you repair and upcycle your clothes, practice techniques on examples or bring along your own clothes to repair and alter.

£3.50 book via Eventbrite

View all of these events and future ones on our Calendar

Big Green Weekend & Tooting RepairFest at Woodfield Pavilion

We’ll be joining forces with the Woodfield Pavilion, in Tooting Bec Common, to host some workshops as part of their Big Green Weekend and Tooting RepairFest on the weekend of 30th and 31st October.

The first workshop on Saturday 30th will be a ‘Collaborative Protest Coat’ workshop, where we’ll be asking people to take part in stitching a community protest coat using the slogan ‘Repair for our future!’. The workshop runs from 12pm – 2.30pm and it’s free to attend, you can find out more details and sign up on Eventbrite here.

The second workshop on Sunday 31st will be a ‘Fix your Knitwear’ workshop where we’ll be covering a range of visible and invisible mending skills that can be used to repair holes in jumpers, tidy up ragged cuffs, or cover stains including basic darning, Swiss darning, and some ‘quick fix’ techniques. The workshop runs from 1pm – 2.30pm and tickets are £15 (plus booking fee) including a small kit to take home with you, you can find more information and book your ticket on Eventbrite here.

Check out to find what else is going on for Woodfield Pavilion’s Big Green Weekend over 30th and 31st October.

We’re also working with Tooting RepairFest, which celebrates and promotes local fixing and mending, launches this week! Full details, including how to book events (and a link to a map of local repair businesses) HERE