Taking care of well-loved clothes

Photo credit: pina messina on Unsplash

The idea of starting Klädkliniken (‘Clothes Clinic’) wasn’t born on the spur of the moment. I have always been taking good care of mine and other’s clothes and some years ago I realised I could do it on a more professional level. I did not have the courage to pursue this idea then but here I am now, a couple of year later, with the company registered and the website in the making.

My paternal grandfather was a tailor. Both him and his wife passed away when I was a child. As a teenager I discovered the dresses and coats my grandfather had sewn for my grandmother. I had worn some of her silk dresses and chiffon blouses when I was in my late teenage years.

But my interest in clothes making started much earlier. I must have been about 8 years old when mother showed me some simple crochet patters. From then on I started to crochet and knit. I made clothes and accessories for my dolls and for myself. I remember how proud I was of my first knitted jumper; it was in warm brown colours and had detachable sleeves.

When I was a teenager I would alter my my dad’s shirts. Sometimes it was as simple as changing the buttons but other times I would go as far as decorating the whole front with glass beads. With a limited teenage budget this was the best way to keep my wardrobe updated and to stand out from the others.

I don’t recall when I started to mend clothes but it seems I have been always doing it. Being presented with a pile of clothes to fix has been an integral part of every visit to my mum’s or my sister’s.

There are many reasons why I have decided to mend clothes professionally. Firstly and most importantly, I am concerned about the huge impact disposable fashion has on the environment. I feel I need to do something and so this is my small step towards making the change. Secondly, I want us to rediscover handwork and craft, and to start appreciate skills that are getting forgotten due to the fast world we live in. And thirdly, repairing things gives me pleasure and the sense of accomplishment. To give an object a second life is a reward in itself.