March is For Mending - A Hashtag Project



We're very excited to host our annual hashtag project for its third year! We hope you'll join us on social media and post your mending projects and stories using #marchisformending.
Everyone who posts using the hashtag will be entered to win a prize pack of mending-related goodies at the end of the month! Read a little more about our inspiration for the project below.

Mending is an incredibly powerful, peaceful, and useful practice. These days we are bombarded by trends from the world of fast fashion, but at a terrifyingly high cost: A cotton t-shirt requires roughly 700 gallons of water to produce, the production of polyester emits roughly 1.5 trillion pounds of greenhouse gases annually, and on the consumer side, one garbage truck full of textiles is thrown into the dump per second. Every. Single. Day.

So it's clear that even if many of us are turning to sewing or knitting our own quality pieces to try and escape the overwhelming cycle of clothing industry waste, or at the very least being as conscious as possible about the sustainability of the supply chains of clothing we buy, it's simply not enough. I like the way Celine Semaan Vernon puts it into perspective in her article, "Understanding Sustainability Means Talking About Colonialism":

Whenever I’m asked this question [about sustainability being prohibitively expensive] I am reminded how the mainstream Western perspective on sustainability is focused on one small part of the problem, while ignoring most of the larger important global issues. Yes, clothing production with a priority to limit environmental and human-rights problems is much better than standard fast fashion (and is usually more expensive), but in fact sustainability is a spectrum, and doing less damage is still doing some damage. So you can’t solve sustainability by simply buying things. The game here is about reduction of harm, not binary solutions.
— Celine Semaan Vernon, SUSTAIN/ABILITY via The Cut

Whether we've spent our own time making - or our hard-earned money buying - beautiful, quality clothing, or we have pieces that survived the fashion cycle to become long-worn favorites, it's always a bummer when they become damaged and it's often hard to think of throwing them out. But you don't have to! Learning to mend your favorite pieces has so many benefits - financial, emotional, environmental - so if you've never tried it before there's never been a better time to start. All the techniques you need are a quick internet search away, but if you want a more hands-on approach be sure to check out our Boro Japanese Mending Class on March 24th!

Mending your clothes may seem a little old-fashioned; we tend to think of grandmas darning socks or old men with elbow patches on their sweaters, or colorful squares sewn to the holey jeans of farmers. But mending in this modern age is in itself a big statement. It is, first and foremost, an environmental statement - a proclamation that you care about where your clothes come from and where they're going, and that you want to have a say in it all. Even if you mend completely invisibly, you know it's there, that you took time and care, and you didn't contribute to the ever-increasing problem that is garment industry pollution and waste, doubly so if you mended a handmade garment.

It's also a fun fashion statement if you choose to mend visibly. Visible mending has so many beautiful, artistic forms, and it is often seen in mass-produced items as a way to add visual interest, such as sweaters that already come with elbow patches or those expensive designer jeans full of holes, patches, and wild stitching. You can mend even the tiniest of holes with a contrasting thread to add a pop of color, or spread elaborate sashiko-style embroidery far beyond the edges of the hole and back it with a fun fabric to make the garment completely your own. Darning knits in contrasting yarn can also produce a beautiful bit of interest, turning a flaw into a feature.

Lastly, it can be a peaceful political statement. Hand stitching has always been known for its meditative qualities, and in these times of political turmoil finding an act of peaceful mindfulness that's also good for the environment is a wonderful statement. Taking time away from the screens, the noise, and the fast pace of everyday life can give you time to ruminate on what's really important - caring for your self, your immediate environment, and the planet. Not to mention the benefit of being able to vote with your dollar, and not throw out piece after piece only to replace them with ever lower-quality clothes which we've been forced to accept as the norm. Your wallet, your heart, and the planet will thank you!

So have we convinced you to try it yet?! We sincerely hope so! Make it part of your spring cleaning ritual; pull all those pieces out of mothballs (or your regular rotation - we've continued to wear many things that have a few battle scars), and show them some love! And don't forget to hashtag so we can see! ^_~