Genue Inc.
September 15, 2019

Mending Matters – Giving Old Clothes New Life

A recurring theme recently in the textile design world – both in fashion and interiors, is sustainability. It has been an undercurrent for some time, but it feels like 2018 was the year everyone started talking about it in earnest, and in the first few months of 2019 this conversation has only picked up momentum.


I know we have discussed the subject of sustainability in textiles a bit before on this blog – namely when we highlighted the NYC based startup Fab Scrap. But, if you’re interested in repurposing, reusing or extending the life of your clothing and other textiles before even thinking about mindful ways to dispose of them, then you are in luck because that’s what we’re going to focus on today.


Mending clothes used to be commonplace – something all of the previous generations learned how to do, and a well-loved piece of clothing could be mended over and over again. Within the last few decades though, mending has fallen out of favor and instead most people elect to buy new, cheap clothing. While short-term this is an understandable impulse, the increase in cheaply made, synthetic clothing is putting stress on our natural resources at unprecedented rates.


The good news is there is a renaissance of mending, lead not insignificantly by Instagram accounts dedicated to slow fashion and creative repurposing. Katrina Rodabaugh has made a name for herself revolutionizing the way we see mending our clothes. In 2013 Rodabaugh went on a self-imposed “fashion fast” instead of spending her time, energy and money on creative ways to repurpose, reuse and rethink the clothing she already owned. She calls this project Make, Thrift, Mend and you can read a little bit more about it on her website. In 2018 she published her second book, titled Mending Matters: Stitch, Patch, and Repair Your Favorite Denim & More.


I am personally making a renewed effort to mend and repair, and rethink my current clothes before purchasing more – specifically, using indigo over-dye for stubborn stains and jean mending are at the top of my list at this time. So take a look at Mending Matters, Rodabaugh’s Instagram or both!


Are you inspired to give new life to your own clothes, and try your hand at mending? Tell us about your favorite repurprosed fashion methods in a comment below!


If you’re interested in reading more about eco-friendly fashion and design, check out some of our other articles: our favorite recycled and repurposed products of 2019 and DIY ideas for upcycling old stuff in your sewing closet.


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