Guest blog: LOIS HAZEL
How annoying is it when you notice you’ve torn a small whole through your favourite dress? Or one of the buttons on your blazer comes loose?
Although it can be daunting, repairing a faulty or damaged item is a great way to extend its life, save you money, and do your little bit for the planet along the way. You'll also give it a unique touch, turning that tear into a cute patch that makes your piece unique. Sometimes these repair jobs end up telling such wonderful stories about the garment’s life - giving it so much more personality than when you first bought it.
You don’t have to be skilled in mending to become a great repairer – there are so many resources out there to help you. Your local alteration business usually offers repair services, as might your local dry cleaner. You can also offer to buy that skilled friend of yours dinner, or even do a skill trade with them in exchange for them fixing that pile of faulty clothes you have at home.
At Lois Hazel we offer repairs on all LH garments, so you can also check in with the brand you purchased it from to see if they offer this too.
You could also easily teach yourself how to sew a simple button or mend a tear by jumping online and checking out some tutorials. Why not get your friends together one night (via Zoom of course), open a bottle of vino, get them all to bring a piece or two that they want to mend, and you can all learn together? Not only will you fix those pieces that have been languishing in your wardrobe, but you’ll have fun in the process!
Another great option is altering. We often keep those pants that are slightly too long, or that dress that is slightly too tight, but end up being disappointed every time we put them on and stop wearing them all together.
Altering your clothes to make sure they fit you like a glove can make that piece infinitely more valuable to you, and spark so much joy when you put it on. And over time, as you change shape or your clothes get a bit scuffed from use, you can do it again, bringing back that new clothes feeling.
If your favourite trousers that have become a bit scuffed at the hem, you could take them up slightly to become more of a cropped style, giving them a second life. You could even replace that scuffed hem with a contrast fabric to give it a completely new feel. Consider adding an extra panel into that skirt that has become a little too tight, or taking in that dress that has become too big but you just don’t want to see it leave your wardrobe.
Just because something doesn’t fit you the same way it did when you first bought it, doesn’t mean it needs to go.
So next time you go to throw away that shirt of yours that has a small hole in it, or a skirt that has a tear, have a go at mending or altering it so that you will wear it again, and again and again.
If you really don't think your garment will work again for you, there are few more stops before it needs to hit the trash.
Why not drop your pre-loved clothes at a consignment store? There are so many great ones out there, but two of my favourites are Goodbyes (formerly known as Recycled Boutique) or Mutual Muse. You can also have a go at selling them on Facebook marketplace, ebay or even on a selling group like Pennylane Selling. Why not earn back a bit of pocket money for pieces you don’t really wear that much but are still in good condition? A much better option than just tossing them out.
Clothes swaps are also a great way to extend the life of your garments. You can go to one organised by organisations such as Global Fashion Exchange, or organise one yourself with your friends. It’s such a great way to breathe life into garments that were starting to gather a bit of dust in your wardrobe.
Consider donating your clothes to a good cause. There are so many great organisations out there that are needing donations to help continue to do the good work they are so passionate about. One such charity is Dress for Success, an organisation that empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing them with professional attire that they may not be able to access themselves.
So next time you are throw away some of your pre-loved clothes that you don’t wear anymore, have a think about if you could mend, alter or even earn a bit of cash back by dropping them off at a consignment store.