We must make amends in our relationship with our clothes. How about investing in quality garments and mending our clothes when necessary? That way, we can extend the life cycle of our clothes, reduce our consumption, and ensure that less goes to waste. Caring and mending is an act of resistance in a fast fashion system. But how should we do it? That is what we are going to unveil here.


Back in the day, the value of garments was perceived differently. Garments were designed to last, and consumers understood they were paying a fair price. However, the fast fashion movement has made clothes disposable, and waste is pervasive throughout the industry as a result of overproduction, overconsumption, and inadequate end-of-life solutions.

Additionally, essential skills that extend our clothing longevity have vanished, as sewing and textile education are out of use, both in schools and at home.

This combination has left us with no ability or desire to make our garments last.


Caring and mending are good on many levels

We should always take good care of all our garments and, before replacing them, try to mend them as best we can. This behaviour is both good for our purse and the planet, and it can also be a great mindfulness activity.

Perhaps a defect is an opportunity to learn something new and exercise our sustainable practices. So, let’s just stop discarding clothes so easily and start valuing all the work someone put into producing our clothes and all the natural resources spent on their creation.


But how should we care for and mend our clothes?

Before repairing comes prevention

First rule: we should always store our garments without stains or odours.

Second rule: the garments should be stored with space between them so they can breathe and last longer.

Attention to some practices. Some people like to cover clothes with plastic, thinking they are protecting the pieces, but in fact, this practice is not ideal. This is a very favourable environment for insects to appear and can also leave the clothes yellowed.


Labels are our best friends

The composition labels are not our enemies, quite the opposite. We must keep them, read the care instructions carefully, and preserve them to consult the information whenever necessary.

It is also important to remember that, for a garment to be recycled, the composition label must be on the item so that the composition can be checked.


We probably don’t need to wash our clothes so often

We often wash our clothes without needing to. Just because we used an item doesn’t mean we have to wash it. Let’s check: did the item become dirty? Have any odours? If not, let’s let our garment be. The more we wash our clothes, the more they deteriorate and the more we pollute, as microplastics leak into the water and impact ecosystems through our laundry too.

We should only wash our clothes when necessary. Let’s begin spot cleaning instead, and when it is really necessary to wash our clothes, let’s do it responsibly. Careful laundering is a key part of taking care of clothing. Using cold water makes a difference in reducing how much the clothes shed and minimising energy use. We should also make sure all the loads are a minimum of three-quarters full, as this reduces the friction between garments, which reduces shedding.


How to iron correctly
  1. Confirm the information on the garment composition label to ensure that it can be ironed, and then set the ideal temperature.

  2. Always iron clothes inside out to ensure greater durability.

  3. Use the steam function when ironing, it works best with most fabrics.

  4. Some fabrics require the use of a minimum temperature when ironing, such as silk or viscose. Fabrics such as cotton or linen can be ironed at higher temperatures.


How to remove stains
  1. Act quickly to avoid letting the stain age. The longer the stain remains on clothes, the more difficult it will be to come out, especially when the stain dries, because it mixes with the fibres.

  2. When using a specific stain remover, test it first on a less visible part of the garment. Some products can burn the fibre and damage the clothes.

  3. Mixing the soap with a little baking soda makes a natural and effective stain remover that works on most fabrics.

  4. When we are not sure what caused the stain on our clothes, we should go to a dry cleaner to remove it as best as possible.

  5. Do not place garments in the drum before treating stubborn stains.


How to replace a button

Normally, garments that have buttons are sent with an extra button in case we lose some.

In that case, we will need: scissors; sewing thread; measuring tape; button.

Now that we have everything we need, let’s do some work:

  1. Thread the needle and place the button.

  2. Go through each hole to make a square.

  3. Go through the side of the button and wrap the threads three times.

  4. Secure it by looping through the back thread.

  5. Tie and snip.


How to repair clothes

Normally, mends are simple sewing practices that do not require great manual skills or large equipment.

Since we have lack of sewing and textile education at school or at home, we can dig into YouTube, for e.g. There are countless videos and tutorials on the subject: how to hem trousers; how to close a hole; solutions for clothes that are too tight or too loose… we can find everything there!


How about transforming clothes?

We can have a new garment without purchasing it from a store. We can create something new with something that would otherwise go to waste.

Breaking with this planned obsolescence is liberating. We come to understand that our clothes can have multiple uses and can be transformed from trousers to bags, shirts to skirts, or dresses to blouses.