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Reducing Expenditure and Waste: Making a Difference, Stitch by Stitch

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Reviving the Art of Clothing Repair: Reducing Waste and Saving Money

Anna-Marie Janzen, the owner of Reclaim Mending, is on a mission to bring back the practice of repairing clothes instead of discarding them. Growing up, Janzen learned the craft of mending from her grandmother and now aims to revive interest in this sustainable practice. With the rise of cheap clothing, mending has become less common, but individuals like Janzen are working to change that by reducing waste and potentially saving money.

The Importance of Clothing Repair

While mending services have always existed, there is a growing interest in the practice as the true costs of fast fashion become better understood. Initiatives such as offering compensation for clothing repairs in France and app-based repair services in the UK are gaining traction. Given that Canadian households spent an average of $3,344 on clothing and accessories in 2019, repairing items can lead to significant savings and reduced waste.

Learning the Basics

Professional repairs may make financial sense for higher-priced items, but for everyday clothing, learning the basics of mending can be more cost-effective. Janzen and many others across Canada offer lessons to teach individuals how to repair their own clothes. Libraries, community centers, and online resources like YouTube videos and books also provide opportunities to learn this valuable skill.
Visible Mending: A Sustainable Trend
One emerging trend in clothing repair is visible mending, where stitches and patches become part of a new design on the garment. This technique not only saves clothes with rips or holes but also adds a unique and personalized touch. Visible mending has gained acceptance in Quebec, although resistance still exists in some countries where repaired clothing is seen as a sign of poverty rather than eco-responsibility. In conclusion, the clothing industry's waste problem is increasingly recognized, and the practice of repairing clothes offers a sustainable solution. By embracing mending, individuals can reduce waste, save money, and create unique, personalized garments. The revival of this lost art brings us closer to a more eco-conscious and mindful approach to fashion.

The Impact of Clothing Repair Revival on New Businesses

The resurgence of the art of clothing repair, as championed by individuals like Anna-Marie Janzen of Reclaim Mending, presents a unique opportunity for new businesses. With the increasing awareness of the environmental and financial costs of fast fashion, there's a growing demand for sustainable alternatives.

Opportunity in Sustainability

New businesses can tap into this demand by offering clothing repair services or workshops teaching the basics of mending. This not only aligns with the trend towards sustainability but also provides a cost-effective solution for consumers who spend significant amounts on clothing and accessories.

Embracing Visible Mending

The trend of visible mending, where repairs become part of the garment's design, offers another avenue for business innovation. By offering services or products that embrace this trend, new businesses can cater to consumers seeking unique, personalized garments while promoting eco-responsibility.
Overcoming Resistance
However, it's important for businesses to be mindful of cultural resistance towards repaired clothing, particularly in regions where it's associated with poverty. To overcome this, businesses can focus on educating consumers about the eco-responsibility of clothing repair and its role in reducing fashion industry waste. In conclusion, the revival of clothing repair presents both challenges and opportunities for new businesses. By aligning with this trend, they can contribute to a more sustainable fashion industry while meeting consumer demand for cost-effective, unique garments.
Story First Published at: https://financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/cutting-back-on-spending-and-waste-one-stitch-at-a-time
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