Extending the Life of Textiles and Clothing

with our industry experts

Over the past 50 years, sewing and mending skills have dropped off the curriculum in schools. Thanks to the widespread availability of ready-to-wear clothing, consumers are more likely to discard and repurchase than find a way to bring their treasured garment back to life. Clothing today is consumed at an astonishing rate, leaving an as yet unimaginable footprint behind on the environment. In the UK alone, we send over 300,000 tons of clothing to landfill each year. (Source: WRAP)

How can fashion designers and brands increase awareness around these issues? How can they equip their customers with the confidence and skills to mend their clothing, to care for garments with longevity in mind, or to recycle responsibly, rather than simply discarding and buying new? In this Masterclass, we explore the various routes open to the fashion industry today to extend the life of clothing and textiles, reducing the impact of excessive production and consumption on the environment.

In this Masterclass, you will learn:


  • How to design and make clothing that lasts forever: panel discussion with The Seam, Selkie Patterns and Socko

    with Stephanie Steele
    Summary

    Consumer attitudes towards clothing today means that garments are frequently discarded and rarely repaired. So what can designers and fashion brands do to change this? Encouraging people to love their clothing and to better understand how to care for them is currently the mission of an ever-growing community of sustainable fashion industry members.

    In this panel discussion with Layla Sargent of The Seam, Emma Mathews of Socko and Alexandra Bruce of Selkie Patterns, we learn why extending the life of clothing and textiles is so important when it comes to sustainability, as well as their favourite methods for bringing consumers onboard with repair schemes and more considered wardrobe choices.

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  • Alternative repair methods: Visible mending and the beauty of the broken

    with Tom Van Deijnan
    Summary

    In the past few years, 'visible mending' has taken off as a craft in its own right, with workshops teaching the technique popping up everywhere, from our favourite retail stores to museums and galleries. Tom van Deijnen, who is better known as Tom of Holland, has been repairing clothes all his life and understands this beautiful, but also highly practical craft better than most.

    In this Q&A with the textile artist and visible mending expert, we hear Tom's take on how repairing in this way can encourage greater connections with our clothing and discourage throwaway culture in an era of Fast Fashion.

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  • Extending the afterlife of clothes with takeback schemes

    with Jack Ostrowski
    Summary

    Takeback schemes aim to reduce fashion waste by both providing an alternative to landfill for unwanted clothes and changing consumer mindsets towards recycling. 

    Jack Ostrowski, CEO and founder of the world's first digital takeback scheme reGAIN, knows a thing or two about the current state of fashion waste. With 15 years of experience in the industry, working with some of the biggest retail giants, we were thrilled to have the opportunity to get Jack's take on circular systems, re-educating consumers of fast fashion and how he approaches sustainability in fashion with an entrepreneurial mindset.

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  • Microfibres and Extending the Life of Textiles with Cora Ball

    with Rachael Z. Miller
    Summary

    Recent studies have shown the frightening impact of washing clothes on the environment, through the shedding of tiny plastic particles, or microfibres, into our water streams. The plastic fibres that make up synthetic garments come loose when subjected to a range of conditions in the washing process, from heat, to water, to the momentum of the spin cycle.

    Addressing this problem with a practical solution is Rachael Z. Miller, who is the co-inventor of the world's first microfibre catching ball: the Cora Ball. We were so excited to get the inside scoop on how to get the best use out of the Cora Ball as well as hear Rachael's take on how designers and consumers can work together to extend the lifespan of clothes.

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Interviews


Technical Tutorials


Past Events



Additional Reading