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? I definitely have, but no more!
Mending saves clothes from piling up in already overflowing landfills, and is one way of saying “no” to fast fashion and realising 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. Extending the life of a garment by just 9 months of active use reduces its carbon, water and waste footprints by 20-30% (WRAP, 2015). Mending is a great way to do this, as is buying second hand. So if you're concerned about the environmental impact of your underwear drawer, read on for six easy ways to revive your undies (and clothes in general!).
Iron on mending fabric
This invisible fabric is an easy fix to 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!