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Rethinking the Garment Life Cycle – Repair Resale Recycle


Key players on the high street are rethinking their business models in a bid to address environmental concerns. 

Balancing growing consumer awareness in sustainability with the desire for ‘newness’ has seen the high street adopt new strategies including rentals, refurbished or upcycled, and resale. H&M are encouraging their customers to rent that special party dress and to recycle any of their old garments in-store, while Selfridges offers preloved, rental and repair services to help close the loop on waste.

H&M Recycle

At Fashion-Enter Ltd (FEL) – the FC Designer Workspace has already got on-board with the concept and runs monthly Repair and Upcycle workshops for local residents in north London. FEL actively encourages upcycling and the use of existing textiles throughout their educational courses and advises up-and-coming brands to adopt sustainable practices from the outset.

FEL will be running a series of bespoke recycling, upcycling and repair classes at their shop the FC Designer Collective during London Repair Week 20th – 26th March. The FC Designer Collective on Fonthill Road serves as the public-facing shop for the FEL and the FC Designer Workspace, and along with stock by local designers it is equipped with industrial machines and a highly experienced stitching technician. Here, locals are also encouraged to ‘have a go on the machines’ as well as utilise the excellent repair and alteration service. 

London Repair Week launched in 2020 and each year it has grown and become an overwhelming success. Over the course of previous Repair Weeks, organisations ran numerous hands-on repair sessions, online tutorials and discussions with those at the forefront of the repair movement. The aim? To give Londoner’s practical skills and encourage greater use of existing repair services. 

FEL’s Top Tips for Sustainable Fashion Lovers in 2023:

1 – Buy preloved or secondhand

2 – Learn to repair and upcycle

3 – Check the label, try to stick to one fibre, mixed fibres are harder to recycle

4 – Shop local, support independents and Made in the UK

5 – Clothes swap with family and friends

6 – Always recycle – there are many places to do this

7 – Only buy new if you are sure the item will gain plenty of wear

The FEL team are excited to encourage clothing repair and recycling in their community. A big thank-you to Islington Council for making these classes a reality.

More details on the repair classes will be posted in due course.

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