Breaking the Fast Fashion Cycle
Committing to sustainable models of fashion consumption doesn't only mean shopping with sustainable companies with quality goods, there are two other major tenets of the commitment to decreasing the harm Fashion Industry does to the planet: buy pieces second hand (don't sleep on EBay and The Real Real) and maintaining your pieces.
Yes, just like a car, your clothes need special maintenance if they're going to last you any amount of time. When they ask for it, take pieces to the cleaners instead of washing them then having to throw them out when your machine shrinks, transfers dyes or ruins your garments. Clean your shoes, use trees or news paper to ensure that they keep their shape and loose the odor, so you don't have to buy a new pair as often. And mend pieces when they rip, don't just go and get another $20 pair of jeans.
There are a number of denim brands run by bearded men in cuffed jeans and wing tips sans socks that do denim repair around the country. And they're fine. But if you want your jeans to look BRAND NEW without being able to tell work was done, take them to Rain at Indigo Proof. Hands down, the best denim repair in the United States. No contest.
What Is Darning?
When clothes get holes, the yarns that make the fabrics itself have been worn down from friction which means that a sewing machine won't be enough to fix it- you can't simply sew the hole shut because there is no longer anything to sew.
Many people use patches to replace the lost fabric when repairing jeans, but they don't look that great. I mean, people aren't nicknamed Patches because of how elegant they look. (see this song, too).
Similar to patches, darning replaces old fabric, but it is woven into place, essentially creating fabric where there is no longer fabric. With certain fabrics, this can be done by hand, but there are special machines for this process with denim.
Like I said earlier, there are certainly services, likely in your area, that offer darning, but from what I've seen, it is all very conspicuous. The amazing thing about Rain's work is that her stitching blends so well into the existing fabric. She's a true master.
So! if you have denim you need repaired, join me on her wait list and let's become those people that have (and wear) jeans for decades.
And! If you are ready to move on from a pair, instead of throwing them out, donate them to an organization that will do something great with them. Madewell make it easy to recycle your denim- just drop off in store!