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Sew Darn Good

It may come as a surprise to learn that 60 per cent of Brits don’t know how to sew – which may not seem like a big deal, but in the era of fast fashion and throw-away culture, it’s a much needed skill we should all learn. Not only is it a therapeutic and a creative hobby, but knowing your way around a needle and thread is one way to live more sustainably and find value in clothing. Button fallen offa dress? Sew it back on. Trousers too long? Hem them. Repairing, adjusting and patching up garments are far better solutions than resorting to chucking an item when it no longer suits us. Amy Harris promotes this resourceful attitude through Sew Darn Good, her website and sewing workshops and here she shares her stitching story, alongside an upcycled dress project.

I have been sewing since I can remember. My gran taught me how to knit when I was really small and I continued doing creative things like that at primary school. By the time I was 13, I decided that I wanted to be a fashion designer and train at the London College of Fashion. At secondary school, I was lucky to have an inspiring textiles teacher who introduced me to upcycling and taught me about some of the negative impacts of the fashion world. She spoke about sustainability, which was quite unusual for that time, and that gave me a really early introduction to this area of fashion. Yet at university I became disillusioned with the industry. In my final year, I created a sustainable collection, but no one seemed interested, and I couldn’t see a future in a line of work so against my values. This is not to say I was a perfect consumer – I struggled with the lure of fast fashion and it took me a long time for my actions to fall in line with my ethics.

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Be Kind
September 2019

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