Make do and mend, new to you - a tale of recycled fashion

In bygone eras materials weren’t as readily available so everybody practised recycling in some form, whether unpicking knitted jumpers to knit into new, to shoppers bringing their own paper to wrap purchases. Housewives learnt to make do and mend and people did imaginative things with potatoes.

Recycling and upcycling is close to our hearts and with Global Recycling Day upon us, we’re looking to the 1940s for inspiration on what can be restored, repaired and made ‘new to you’ again...

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Re-invent your wardrobe

What’s already in your wardrobe? Do you know? Spring is the perfect time to take inventory and get the most from your clothes. Take time to work out which styles suit you and what works for your lifestyle right now. Style things differently – have a play and change up looks with accessories. Layer up, try a polo neck under a dress or a tee under a slip to get more wears and make your wardrobe work harder.

Make Do and Mend

Garments can be tailored to fit and you can make your own alterations – tune in to The Great British Sewing Bee and be inspired to learn a few basic stitches, take up hems and make simple amendments. We’re loving Tilly and the Buttons for tutorials. Or find a local tailor to take up and take in. They’ll also be able to rework necklines and replace zips inexpensively. Shoes can be taken to cobblers to be re-heeled and resoled, while bags and belts can be mended there too.  

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When it comes to your favourite glasses they too can be restored and revived with our restoration service. We offer both a polishing and reglazing service that saves frames from landfill and gives glasses a new lease of life. From oiling to polishing we remove scratches, general wear and restore lustre.

If you've scratched your lenses, had a prescription change or just want to change your lens colour we can reglaze your glasses.

Customising your clothes

Use embellishments and adornments to customise your clothes and make your mark. Additions of fringing, beads and vintage patches work a treat.

Try your hand at simple embroidery and add to denim, tees and shirts to update your current wardrobe. Check out Mollie Makes for inspiration.

Bear Shark Embroidery

Bear Shark Embroidery

Let it go

If you’ve worked out it’s got to go, host a clothing swap party with friends and go home with new threads.

If garments are beyond saving, recycle at your nearest Clothing Bank.

The Big Closet Clear Out is happening in March - see the Love Your Clothes website for more tips to get involved.

Shanna Camilleri on Unsplash

Shanna Camilleri on Unsplash

Remember loved things last.

If you want to chat about restoring your glasses or tell us about your latest recycling projects please get in touch, we’d love to hear about it.