A clothing repair hub will be taking over a disused shop in Lewisham Shopping Centre encouraging everyone to get involved in making, mending and all learn about all things textiles and sustainability.
The Clothing Repair Station will be open every Friday and Saturday 11 – 5pm from March for six weeks. Members of the public are invited to come along and learn how to mend their garments for free.
Hosted by local professional sewers and makers who will teach you how to mend your clothes using a variety of techniques.
All materials and instruction will be provided and you can bring something to mend or use given materials to learn and practise a new skill.
The space will also feature an exhibition of patchwork artworks, Patched Together was made by Lewisham residents during last year’s lockdowns, featuring over 700 patches each hand made by the local community, this is the first time they will all be exhibited together.
As well as interactive displays featuring mending techniques, facts about fast fashion.
The space will be home to range of sustainability and community centred events including a slow fashion market day, Queer Craft meet ups, childrens’ handmade clothing fashion shows and more to be announced in the coming weeks.
The Clothing Repair Station has become a collaborative effort by local mending enthusiasts.
Headed up by Brockley-based sewing social enterprise Make Mee Studio CIC and Madeline Tanoto, also known as Mads Do & Mend.
They were both successful in gaining different pots of funding from Lewisham Council ERDF (The European Regional Development Fund) Town Centre Small Grants Fund, and Shapes Lewisham Creative Happening Fund.
For Madeline the project weaves together creativity, mending, and community conversation; aimed at bringing people together, improving mental health, and offering a small practical response to our rising living costs. She states that
“Mending is a simple and low-cost handskill that we can use to mend clothes.
By undertaking those quiet tasks we have time to reflect and process the complex world we are living in.
The last two years have both pulled apart our social fabric and knitted us together in a brand new way. Repairing can be an act of self-care and resistance to a throw-away culture and a small act of rebellion.”
Jaime Greenly, co-founder of Make Mee Studio felt
“With Lewisham being the Borough of Culture this year and one of the key themes being ‘climate action’ we knew we had to do something fashion related that would make a big impact in a really public place.
When we approached the shopping centre with our idea and they put us in touch with Madeline who was asking them if she could do something similar, we knew if we pooled our resources we could make it even bigger and better.
The aim is to create a vibrant, approachable and informative, community space where everyone feels welcome and comfortable learning tangible ways they can reduce their environmental impact through their clothing choices and feel connected to their community.”
The pop up will be taking over Unit 21, the former Discount Luggage Store in Lewisham Shopping Centre.
Mend Clothing Repair Station will be hosting the repair station 11am – 5pm on 18-19 & 25-26 March & 1-2nd April
Make Mee Studio CIC will be running the remaining mending workshops on weekends throughout April and beyond, evening events, childrens workshops in the Easter holidays and much more.
If anyone would like to volunteer their time at the shop, has a workshop idea or event they think would fit they are welcome to get in touch with Make Mee Studio. [email protected]
All ideas welcome.