top of page

Time to Repair

"It is those of us who have been broken who become experts at mending"

A quote from Dr Steve Maraboli that many of us will be able to identify with. I know I can.

Hand stitching and mending clothes has become an art lost in time that apart from its practical benefits, allows the mender the therapeutic space to be in the moment, lost in joyful space and time.

As a business model though, clothing repair has been overlooked for decades. Many clothing repairers will have heard the customer say, 'It's only a bit of the hem needs turning up", It's just a small zip", or "All it needs is…" It's one of the only skilled trades where people are still working for less than minimum wage. This is often due to the other familiar statement, "I only paid £X for it" meaning that saving a garment with repair is simply not worth it unless you charge less.


One of the reasons I set up The Mending Circle was to help equip more people with the skills to repair their own clothes. A community group, free to attend, supplying everything needed to do so and sharing skills without charging. What still surprises people when they learn it is that I've received no funding for this. Without the support and kindness of our Community Together team, we wouldn't have a venue either. In fact, we first set up in local independent café's, as much to support their trade as fulfill our needs.


Don't misunderstand though, I've attempted to source funding, I just don't tick all the boxes - some by choice. As my business of over twenty years is clothing restoration, I won't give that up to become a CIC and I don't have time to run two different entities. It can be incredibly tiring and make for extreme despondency when the knock backs keep coming. This week alone I've had a couple and it hurts.


This isn't a pity post, far from it. I've learnt from experience another favourite quotation, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger", Nietzsche's words have played in my head many times. No stranger to hardship and illness I have survived in spite of them and with yet another biopsy result pending, I am damned if I'll let it drag me down. Furthermore, I will not use those setbacks as a springboard, my business is saving damaged clothing which I do using skills gained over thirty years. Adversity does not define me or my business.

What pains me is that despite fighting to keep a business going, run a community group voluntarily and help look after my family I still don't tick those funding boxes. When does viability count?


Maybe we shouldn't write blogs in hot blood. Perhaps I should let those expert at funding proposals run the community groups and return to keeping my business alive. Or could it be that Nietzscher was wrong and what doesn't kill you can still knock the stuffing out of you. I need a little time to repair.


Search By Tags
Follow Us
bottom of page