Have you ever been sad that you couldn’t wear a piece of underwear anymore because it ripped, got a hole in it or was damaged in another way? Well there is a way to reuse and save items from landfill, and a bit of mending magic can go a long way! In the coming months we’re planning some mending workshops at our Y.O.U Oxford shop, so look out for our new monthly events timetable soon. In the meantime, this blog post shares ways to mend and revive your undies!
Mending saves clothes from piling up in already overflowing landfill sites, and is one way of saying “no” to fast fashion and appreciating how much work actually goes into each and every piece of clothing. It also leaves you with a good feeling about wearing something you put work into – it’s your accomplishment!
Did you know? Increasing the lifespan of clothing dramatically reduces its original environmental footprint. Research by WRAP found that extending the average life of clothes by just nine months would save £5 billion in resources used to supply, launder and dispose of clothing.
Mending is a great way to do this, as is buying second hand.
Our underwear is created with longevity in mind. We created a garment care guide to help you get the most out of your undies, but we also recognise that they'll sometimes need a bit of TLC. Here are some tips to help you revive your undies (and clothes in general!).
Iron-on mending fabric
This invisible fabric is an easy fix for a small hole or tear in your fabric. No need for needle and threat, an iron will do! Carefully read the instructions of the iron-on fabric you buy – they might not be suitable for all types of material – and you might need a pressing cloth to avoid leaving any visible marks. Iron-on mending fabric is really useful to have around and can be bought easily on the internet.
Another way to get around sewing is by using fabric glue. You can mend your underwear either by gluing together the two ripped sides or by adding a small piece of fabric. When adding it to the outer side of your item, you can add a fun shape, but make sure that the fabric glue dries invisibly! Again, very easy to find online!
If the hole in your underwear is not too big but can’t be mended by the no-sew methods, or you simply want to practise your sewing skills, you can use a bunch of different sewing techniques, such as zigzag, whip or ladder stitches to fix the hole. You can use a similar approach if you want to reattach a strap!
Why not add a little detail to your undies, such as a button or a bow? Instead of simply closing the hole, you can add something decorative and unique, if the location of the hole is suited for that. Or if your bralette is wearing out, how about strengthening the fabric with some patches?
If you don’t have any patches or buttons on hand, you can also simply use your needle and thread to make your underwear more unique – enter darning stitches. This method is especially useful if the hole is a little bigger, but there are also a range of techniques that can make the hole disappear.
Darning can take a bit of skill, so if you're interested in learning more then check out Socko - a fab sustainable socks company that also runs darning workshops.
Save My Knickers
Save My Knickers is a great stain removing powder that successfully removes blood stains from underwear (or clothing, bedding etc) so you can confidently wear your favourite Y.O.U undies every day of the month. Save My Knickers is really simple to use and adds no more than 60 seconds to your normal laundry routine. All you’ll need is: a tube of Save My Knickers, a teaspoon and a cup of fresh cold water. You can read the full steps here. Save My Knickers has been tested on a wide variety of fabrics without impacting on colour and it can be used on all colour-safe fabrics.
Would you be interested in attending a mending workshop at our Y.O.U Oxford shop? Or do you have any ideas for other themed workshops? We’d love to hear your thoughts, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
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