Repairing is revolutionary

I realise this statement is, at its core, fundamentally boring. That being said, it’s a phrase which I’ve been thinking a lot about over the past few weeks – perhaps because it really hits the nail on the head.

Consider this: you’re doing everything right. You eat well, you’re striving for a zero waste lifestyle, you buy your clothes second hand or ethically, you’re intentional with every last thing you purchase. But what happens when something breaks? Speaking from personal experience, when I rip/break/ grow out of an item of clothing, that’s that – at best it will turn in to a duster.

I think I can do a little better. The knowledge that I can simply go out and buy another pair of jeans is making life too easy for me. Clothes are readily accessible, often treated with no special value – they’re a necessity, not a treat (as perhaps they should be.) The idea that repairing might just be revolutionary really struck me over Christmas, when my eternally thoughtful boyfriend bought me a gorgeous dress from Ikuru.

The dress is pretty incredible, as you can see – the pattern is nuts and the cut is stunning. The signature of the lady who put my dress together is a beautiful touch, too (you can find out more about Ikuru’s story here.) It’s unique, and special, and without a doubt one of the most interesting and sentimental pieces of clothing I own. So when I worked out that it was definitely too small for me, no matter how much I breathed in, I wasn’t going to simply give up.

This afternoon I asked my grandma (a.k.a. the world’s most adept seamstress) if she could alter the dress to fit, and although she was a bit wary of the task, I’m going to keep ploughing on until I’m left with a dress that fits right and is made well. This is so against the grain for me, and I’m guessing for many others, too – imagine if we went to such lengths to ensure that all clothes were repaired, and didn’t just chuck them the day they started fitting weird? Being conscious about looking after clothes, treating them well and extending their lifespan is genuinely revolutionary – a real spanner in the works of the fast fashion machine and consumerist culture we live in.

What I love even more is how great a story this dress will have when it finally does fit. I’m hoping in a month or so, I’ll have another post to show you how this little project ended up! I’d love to hear any stories you guys might have about particular items of clothing you own – feel free to comment below or shoot me an email at tomorrowlivingblog@gmail.com.

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