Keeping the love alive: your stories
Last month's challenge focused on the items of clothes that we love to wear, those trusty friends that bring back fun memories, always look good or just make you feel happy.
A report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation found that worldwide, the equivalent to one garbage truck of textiles is wasted every second. Last year in the UK alone, we sent over 300,000 tonnes of clothing to landfill. A recent survey found that 27% of people admitted to throwing away clothing because of a hole that could have been easily sewn up and 1 in 10 got rid of an item that had only been worn a few times because it felt 'old'. Making our clothes last for longer is one of the easiest ways to build a sustainable wardrobe.
We asked you to send us pictures of your loved items and share the reasons why, and challenged you to repair anything in your wardrobe that needed a bit of love and attention. You most certainly delivered! We picked three of our favourite stories below (never too late to share yours: @togetherstreet)...
"I love this dress! It's bright yellow, with a predominantly green floral pattern, short sleeves, a high waist, and finishes just above the knee. My parents kindly bought it for me in a retro shop off Brick Lane, in the summer of 2013; I was looking for a dress for graduation, and got a bit side tracked... I love it because of how bright and fun it is, yellow is my favourite colour, and you don't often find many yellow clothes about. The dress is from the 60s, and to me, the cut, the colour and the pattern evokes a youthful, heady summer of that Age; I feel like I've travelled back in time when I wear it. I also think it's handmade; there are no labels in it, but I'm not sure about this. It's fun to wonder who made it and why....it feels like the dress carries a mysterious story behind it."
I got this skirt as a Christmas present from Thought Clothing. It's in good condition, but I noticed one of the stitches come loose last time I wore it, and I was worried about it unravelling further. Inspired by this challenge, I took some time one morning and went over the loose part and a few other bits that looked a bit loose. I really love the skirt; I love skirts that fan out; I feel like they're really feminine, and they makes me think of the 50s. I have fixed the occasional item before, I even fixed the yellow dress in the summer past. But this year, I want to be more conscious about clothes, and fix and alter more things. So far, I had a pile of broken clothes and good intentions, this challenge helped with making this idea concrete and I hope to fix more things from now on.
I remember the moment well: almost exactly 14 years ago, I'd set out backpacking and had arrived in Bangkok on my own. Looking for a local and authentic experience, I headed to the vast Chatuchak weekend market to get a taste for the city. Passing the groups of stalls selling pets and tools and luggage, I found the clothing section. I was looking for the perfect t-shirt to remember my trip by. I passed over all the standard holiday trophies - the Chang beer t-shirt, the Coca-Cola in Thai script t-shirt. I stumbled across this one. I liked the colour, the logo, the cut. It was a tiny bit too small, but I hadn't found anything I liked more. I think it cost about £3 which felt was quite expensive for Thailand then, given you could buy the most delicious Pad Thai on the street for 7p. My t-shirt has travelled with me for 14 years. It has started a few conversations over the years and I've only ever met one other person with the same brand and he turned out to be my best man. It is getting a bit old and tired now, but I don't care. If you like it, wear it.
This is my trusty school bag, which I bought from Accessorize when I returned to University to start my PhD. I love the colour and style, but, as it's not too heavy-duty, I wasn't sure how long it would survive carrying around my laptop, gym gear etc. Turns out, it lasted longer than I thought, but after one year it was in desperate need of a repair job. I admit that I actually looked in the shops for a replacement, but couldn't find anything as nice - I'm SO glad I decided to fix it instead. It only took ten minutes, and I'll definitely try do this as my first line of treatment in the future.
I also have a coat which is now a bit of a vintage Miss Selfridge piece, having been bought in winter 2011. I only realised how old it was recently when I was going through old photos and was surprised to see it appear time and time again! I love it because it fits nicely and somehow doesn't seem to age - until recently, when two buttons fell off in the space of a few days. This sadly left the coat pretty unwearable, but I had just moved country and didn't yet have a needle and thread in my new flat, and so it sat on my coat hanger for a few weeks until this challenge motivated me to go sort it out!