Sustainable Living: Mending for Mindfulness

  • Mata Traders
  • 12 Jan, 2021

As we continue to practice social distancing in this surreal season, we do so out of concern for one another. We care for the health and well-being of our neighbors, coworkers, and loved ones. For much of the population, this means extended periods in our own living space.

While at home, many of us are rediscovering the regenerative peace and satisfaction from baking, gardening, and other domestic-care activities. One practice making an epic comeback is mending and darning, the practice of caring for our clothing through fixing holes and repairing hems rather than disposing of a garment. Extending the life of our clothing does more than decrease our dependence on fast fashion - it's an excellent practice for sustainable living, diverting items from landfills and reducing consumption of new products. Mending clothing also offers powerful mental and physical benefits akin to meditation and is an important method of caring for our clothing long-term. 


Whether you’re already a mending enthusiast or a first-time stitcher, we’ve rounded up some resources to jumpstart your mending practice. 

Tips for Beginning the Sustainable Practice of Mending

The Conscious Closet by Elizabeth Cline

She’s a friend of the Chicago fair trade scene, a fashion industry expert, and vocal activist for better labor conditions and environmental practices in the fashion industry. Her second book, The Conscious Closet, has excellent step-by-step tutorials for darning and basic hand stitches to get you started on your mending journey. Plus the rest of the book is packed with resources for upping your conscious closet game. 

Tickover - Instagram account

Bryony showcases lots of thoughtful hand stitching, offers darning tutorials, and plenty of embroidery inspiration while advocating for better working conditions for garment and supply chain workers. 

Visible Creative Mending - Instagram account 

As a contemporary knitwear designer and creator, Flora highlights her love for color with visible mending that steals the spotlight. Her account is full of visible mending tutorials, darning kits, and a playfulness surrounding garment wear and tear that will put a smile on your face.

Bookhou - Instagram account

If Arounna’s book, Visible Mending, is any bit as fascinating as her Instagram account, we’re in for a treat. Whether you’re a fellow thread lover or just looking for some informative (and soothing)  how-to videos, her skills will whisk you away to a simpler time when clothing lasted a lifetime and fiber arts and home crafts were king. 

Mending Matters by Katrina Rodabaugh

Katrina is a slow fashion icon, artist, and homesteader living in the New York countryside known best for her ‘make do and mend’ social media campaign. She’s passionate about sustainable textiles and visible mending, and her website is an absolute treasure trove of information on everything from sashiko stitches to natural dyeing with food scraps. So whether you’ve been hoarding avocado pits to try your hand at natural dyeing or searching for the right way to sashiko, you won’t go wanting here. 

Kate Sekules - 

Kate’s website offers concrete tutorials and a wealth of inspiration to dive in and tackle those tricky mends, as well as a healthy dose of bravery. She advocates an attitude of ‘mendfulness’ - the mindful, meditative experience of repairing garments to create one-of-a-kind artistic masterpieces. Your creative bravery and imagination will run wild with Kate’s encouragement. 


So, while you’re looking out for your community by staying home, care for yourself and your clothing by making mending one of your sustainable living habits. 

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