Fashion is broken, but clothes are meant to be fixed: The Art of Repair.

The fashion industry will consume a quarter of the world’s annual carbon budget by 2050 The fashion industry is broken, but luckily, clothes are made to be fixed.

A report soon to be published by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, supported by fashion designer Stella McCartney, exposes the astonishing scale of waste. MacArthur and McCartney are calling for clothes to be designed with durability in mind, for them to be worn for longer and recycled and repaired rather than quickly disposed of. This is definitely a message we can get on board with.

To mend the broken fashion industry, we should look towards our wardrobes and ask: ‘What can we fix? What can be repaired?’

And remember: The art of repair is something we should cherish. Just look at these inspirational examples:


The term is derived from Japanese boroboro, meaning something tattered or repaired. Before the 20th-century, hemp was much more available than cotton and woven together for warmth. Boro was the means of repair,creating, and using up waste. Clothes would be stitched back together throughout generations, slowly evolving the garments over time. It is thought the practise extends from a Japanese worldview called Wabi-Sabi — which is centred on the acceptance of imperfection…because a fixed thing really is a beautiful thing.

Lisa Comfort | Sew Over It

Comfort is certainly an apt name for the owner of ‘Sew Over It’ — one of the best sewing cafés in London. It has large communal tables to work on, and Janome sewing machines aplenty. You can also borrow scissors, rulers, pattern masters, and a large array of sewing machine feet and other general sewing tools. The price is £6 an hour including unlimited cups of tea! They also hold classes to help you get started. A great place to stop by if you need a bit of a push, or a supportive community to help with your sewing repairs!

Radical knitting

Radical knitting expresses the idea that repairs should not be hidden like a dirty secret. Radical knitters use bold colours which highlight and celebrate their repairs. Check out textile artist Celia Pym’s radical knitting workshop to see her inspiring work in this realm.

Also, take a look at Woolfiller; created by Helen Klopper. It makes use of wool’s natural, unique properties. It has minute scales that can be opened when pricked with a needle, and will automatically latch on to each other, creating bonded fibres where there was a hole. We agree it is ‘simple, sustainable, and satisfying’.


There’s a phenomena in the Sugru fixing community; fixing, hacking and decorating shoes with Sugru. So common and successful are these endeavours, we’ve nicknamed them Shoegru. A typical shoegru fix closes those annoying gaps in walking shoes or wellies. Another popular choice is to add educational shoegru patches to shoes, to teach little ones about left foot and right foot. The possibilities are limitless. What will your shoegru look like?

Fiona Pullen | The Sewing Directory

Fiona Pullen is the founder of The Sewing Directory — she set it up to make it easier for people to find sewing supplies and classes around the UK. Through this organisation, Pullen’s been championing the make, do, & mend mentality, and has created a hub for sewers and wanna-be repairers to get together. The site also provides an array of handy how-to guides. Pullen celebrates the recent success of the industry, and describes that ‘People are trying to be less disposable. Now they would rather buy something quality and keep repairing it’. So head over there and get inspired!


This has gotta be one of the coolest winter clothing hacks. If the zipper to your favourite coat’s been knocked off, don’t consider for one second letting it go. Simply grab some Sugru and a humble old paperclip and attach it as shown in the pic.

For endless clothing hacks, fixing and repairing inspiration remember to follow Sugru on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram… and if you come up with an extra cool idea — #mySugrufix is the place to go.

Originally published at




What if it was easy for anyone to fix things? We invented Sugru Mouldable Glues to get a new generation fixing, making and improving stuff.

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What if it was easy for anyone to fix things? We invented Sugru Mouldable Glues to get a new generation fixing, making and improving stuff.

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