By Elena Picci
Now trending: Repair your clothes
How long do you love your clothes? Would clothes that will never end up in landfill be the solution we have all been waiteing for? We were getting used to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Renoon. Meet their brother: Repair. This is how you will adopt a repairing lifestyle.
Fashion has a large impact on our beloved planet. Excessive production and high amounts of waste are certainly part of the current unsustainable situation in the clothing world.
Will dresses that will never end up in landfill be the future solution we have all been waiting for? How can did the Fast fashion mindset driven by the need to buy something new every other day became the norm? How can we stop throwing away our clothes when they could actually be repaired?
That’s it: repairing instead of throwing away your clothes when they lose a button reduces your waste, pollution, carbon, and water footprint! By extending the life of your clothes by only an extra 9 months we actually reduce their impact by 30%!
In the end, eco-fashion is just a question of caring. Right? Caring about the people, the planet, and the animals.
To go the extra mile (without having to walk very far) we can take care of our clothes.
Clothes: the price includes…
First, a quick lesson in economics.
What do we expect to be included in the price of clothes?
Sure, workers need to get paid and it is really alarming when an item costs less than a salad. You need to shift your way of thinking from: ‘’My god it’s so cheap!” to “How much would that garment worker be paid?’’
That makes sense. Before an item is manufactured, raw materials must be purchased. Typically, the lower the cost of an item, the lower the quality of the material. Plastic based materials are usually the cheapest.
From the manufacturing country, the logistics hub all the way to the shops. Transportation has a cost both economically and environmentally (for once these two go together). Buying locally to improve local economy and avoid CO2 emissions due to transport can be a good sustainable solution.
As we can imagine all of the fixed costs of the brand’s offices, shops and departments (such as marketing and human resources) are all costs that need to be covered. Some sustainable fashion brands such as Everlane disclose their entire cost structure in order for you to decide how much you would like to give to their business.
These four points might be the ones that come in our mind when we try to analyze a price tag. However, something is missing. A service that is actually quite often included in the price of our clothes.
A few luxurious brands such as Givenchy and Celine do have customer service and usually offer a 2-year repair warranty. Others, such as Chanel, will have only offer one year of repairing service with very strict conditions.
How is it possible that a handbag purchased at €4,000 does not offer a lifetime repair service? Don’t we expect when purchasing this kind of item that it will last our entire life – and even our kids’ lifetime?
The issue might be that we don’t actually think about this service when we purchase clothes. We forget we could have it included in the price and most of the time we don’t even ask if it could be an option. Why is something so beneficial for us, for our beloved clothes and for the planet not in our day-to-day shopping mindset?
When did Repairing become so old-fashioned?
A study from the Colorado state University, explains different criteria that made us change our mindset and makes us more willing to throw an item even if it could have been saved.
Sad but true. Some skills have a hard time passing through generations. Would you be able to cook your grandma’s famous recipe? If there is a hole in your t-shirt would you be able to sew it? Today a third of UK citizens don’t know how to sew a button on (EU Business News). However, if we are able to begin yoga with Youtube videos, we could definitely catch up on a sewing tutorial. Therefore, this might not be the reason number one of why caring for clothes became obsolete.
Here we are. It’s time-saving to simply buy a brand-new item, isn’t it? Sometimes repairing might even cost more than just purchasing a new one. It is clear and we know it: Fast fashion discourages us to repair our clothes.
The “take–make–use–dispose” model we got used is unsustainable for our beloved planet.
Other criteria that made repairing so unwanted is the fact that this practice was linked to a low social status. Repairing clothes was sadly seen as a sign of poverty instead of a quality of craftsmanship.
These 3 criteria make it hard to believe we will one day have the time, the skills and the mindset to repair our own clothes. However, believe it or not, there is a solution. Remember those customer services we talked about earlier? Well, some sustainable fashion brands brought this service to a higher level with lifetime repairing services!
How much would you be willing to pay knowing an item if it could be repaired for life?
What to look for when shopping for clothes that include repairing services?
Slow fashion is probably one of the values that can make fashion more sustainable. It all starts by caring for what you have and purchasing clothes with the intention to never give up on them. Do you share this value? Here a few questions to keep in mind if you want to start your journey with the aim to purchase each item only once in your life.
#Where is the repair facility?
Will you ever take the time to drive there if needed? The best option might be a postal solution for you to send over the damaged piece of clothing and get it back as fresh as new. Other brands such as Closed Jeans, send you a repairing kit to have everything you need to fix your jeans.
#Is the brand sustainable over time?
When you purchase an item with the intention to get a lifetime of repairs, you might want to consider if the brand itself will last a lifetime. Experience talking here.
#Will I wear it all my life?
Will you love it until the end of time?
”Will you still love me when I’m no longer young and beautiful?” Lana Del Rey
Go for clothes that will pass the test of time. Look at that pair of jeans! Make them a piece you will cherish for the rest of your life. We can see you explaining to your grandkids how you were wearing them when you met grandpa.
Sustainable Fashion is all about caring
Love each piece you purchase with the intention to be there for them in good and bad times. Repair your items when they need it or simply purchase from brands that offer repairing services such as CLOSED and Mud Jeans.
Did you know Veja opened on June 25th a repairing, cleaning and recycling centre in France? If you don’t already own a pair, you might want to check out our Veja’s shoes selection!