Repair What You Wear was born from the realisation that basic skills essential for mending had disappeared from the UK curriculum and social fabric. As a trained Textiles teacher and former retail buyer, Ros Studd recognised that the loss of this knowledge had implications not only for household budgets - but landfill contributions and environmental pollution, too.
In the UK, we buy twice as much clothing as other European countries and often wear these items just a few times before discarding - often into the bin (read: landfill). With the rise of fast fashion and decline in average value, clothing consumption has doubled since 2000 and, sadly, many items are thrown away for want of a button or a few quick stitches. Clothing repair services are a great option for complex mends where you may lack confidence - but Ros estimates that around 80% of clothes can be mended using just three core stitches, and set up RWYW as a free tutorial site to make these skills accessible to all.
Fashion is responsible for 10% of global carbon emissions, so keeping clothes in circulation for as long as possible is a positive climate action - and mending does just that!
Many people don’t realise the impact that simply repairing and re-wearing their existing clothes can have on the environment: repairing a ripped pair of jeans, for example, would typically save over 10,000 litres of water¹ in comparison to buying a replacement pair. You don’t have to be an expert, and the mends don’t have to be picture perfect - but giving it a try and saving items from landfill can be one of the most eco-friendly choices you make as an individual. If you’ve ever suffered from the dreaded thigh split, it doesn’t have to mean parting ways with your favourite jeans - try watching this tutorial and see if you might still have a future together after all.
One of the key aims of the project is to empower people. The benefits of mending extend beyond financial and environmental incentives: with the skill comes a greater level of control over your consumption habits, and a sense of mindfulness (or mendfulness, as Ros likes to call it) due to the repetitive action of stitching and the focus it requires. In this moment in history where we are all increasingly glued to screens during lockdown and many are working from home, the act of repairing can provide a much-needed break - whilst achieving something you can be proud of.
Don’t let inexperience or imperfections stop you from trying: The site goes right back to the basics of threading a needle and sewing a button to help you get started. There are even left-handed tutorials for all core skills! New tutorials are posted each week - follow or subscribe below to stay in-the-know...