Today we’re delighted to bring you a guest blog from the wonderful one-woman whirlwind behind the awesome blog My Make Do and Mend Life – Jen Gale. This month Jen is working on a super exciting project which aims to ‘get mending trending’!
Over to you Jen!
Thanks so much lovely Stitched Up team for letting me hijack your blog to come and let your readers know all about Mend It May!
Mend It May is a month long celebration and exploration of things mending, with the aim of getting us all tackling our mending piles and having a go.
I read on the Repair Café website recently that “lots of people have forgotten that they can repair things themselves, or they no longer know how”, and I think that’s so true. Since the end of the Make Do and Mend era during and shortly after WW2, manufacturers and retailers have been on a mission to sell, sell, sell. And repair doesn’t allow them to fulfil that mission, so for years now they have been telling us that things are too hard to repair, and too expensive. And some manufacturers have even been actively designing their products specifically to make them un-repairable. We have become a society where it is seen as quite ‘normal’ to treat our clothes and appliances as disposable, and somewhere along the way we have lost the motivation and/or the skills needed to mend our own things.
I’m hoping that Mend It May will go someway to tackling some of those issues. I want to start conversations around mending, and why it’s important; to motivate people to make a start; and to signpost people to the resources and information that they need to get mending.
Mending is hugely important, and for too long now it has been lurking in the shadows of it’s more popular relation, Making.
But actually, mending is making. I hadn’t really got that far in my own thoughts about mending, but I was tweeted this fabulous blog post, and the last paragraph really got the cogs in my brain whirring:
“Mending is an integral part of a thoughtful life that values resources, not an afterthought or something to be shoved in between fresh starts. It is making. Making anew, making useful and beautiful again, making meaningful, making whole. It’s all making.”
How wonderful is that?
Mending allows us to save things from landfill and prolong their life, and in doing so, saves the resources that would have been needed to make a new ‘thing’. But more than that, mending allows us to reconnect with our things, and I like to think it can also act as a gentle protest against our consumer culture. A way of kicking back against the seemingly endless influx of ‘stuff’ into our lives, and saying “No” to the constant demands from retailers that we buy more, more, more.
With the rise of Repair Cafes and pop-up community repair events, it really feels like there is the start of a Mending Revolution afoot, and I hope that Mend It May can be a part of that.
If you like the sound of Mend It May there are lots of ways to join in and get involved!
The Mend It May Facebook group is proving to be a wonderful community, advising and supporting each other, and sharing mends.
Over on Instagram I’m posting a daily photo prompt-simply follow me (@makeandmendlife) or search for the #menditmay hashtag to join in.
And lastly, you can sign the Mend It May pledge, and get mending in May!
Above all, just make a start. Pick one thing. Have a go. And you’ll be surprised just how easy it is.
Thanks Jen! We hope some of you are inspired to tackle some mends this May. We certainly are – you can see photos of some of the things we’ve been mending on our Instagram. Come join us!