Repair Week: Rework your Wardrobe

Repair your clothes with these 5 hacks

Save yourself money and keep your favourite items in your wardrobe rotation with these super easy hacks.

Making textiles is massively resource intensive: it takes 2,700 litres of water to make a t-shirt, which is as much drinking water as 1 person needs for 2.5 years! If we all doubled the number of times we wore an item of clothing, we would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 44%. These hacks will help you repair your clothes, so you can wear them for as long as possible.

  1. Re-dye faded clothes. Favourite black jeans now grey? Jeans last for decades so there’s no need to buy a new, less comfy pair. Bring grey jeans back to life with black dye: it’s super simple to do and there are even dye pods you just chuck in the washing machine with your faded denim and they’ll do all the work.
  2. Kicks looking less than fresh? If the white soles are stained, bring them back to life with a toothbrush and washing up liquid, bicarbonate of soda, or diluted bleach depending on how stubborn the stains are. If you want to keep them looking fresh for longer, there are waterproof coatings you can add to trainers to protect them from future stains. Giving grubby white laces a wash makes a big difference in the overall look too.
  3. Blood on white clothes doesn’t have to be their death sentence. Start by soaking the item in cold water; cold is much better for getting blood stains out as hot water will ‘cook’ in the stain. Soak your item in cold water for at least an hour. Next, spot treat the stain with white vinegar and bicarbonate of soda, leave again for the natural chemicals to work their magic and finish with a cold wash in the machine.
  4. Trousers too long? You don’t need to know your way round a needle and thread for this one. Heming tape is a quick iron-on fix that allows you to create a neat professional hem in seconds. All you have to do is fold the bottom of your trousers up, with the hemming tape in between the fabric and iron over to fix in place.
  5. Shave bobbly jumpers. With wear jumpers will get bobbly, it’s a fact of life. If you’re not a fan of the lived-in look you can trim off the bobbles and loose fibres. There’s no need to buy a fancy gadget for this, your razor will do the job. Put your jumper on a flat surface and keep the fabric tight as you shave from the neck down. You’ll be amazed at how much comes off and delighted to wear your refreshed and stubble-free jumper.

If you don’t have the time to make repairs, you can support a sustainable business and get them to extend the life of your clothes. Here are our favourites:

Recycle for Greater Manchester