Clothing Repair Services and Classes
The mountains of clothing waste are growing by the day - more often than not, hidden from our daily lives in the deserts of Chile or the streets of Accra, Ghana. But have no doubt, those are our old clothes. Fast fashion is one of the biggest causes of the obscene and increasing amounts of clothing waste, and we sure can (and should) boycott the biggest culprits like H&M, Zara etc, you’ve heard it all here before. But we can also help by rethinking the fast fashion mentality that all of us have been influenced by over the last couple of decades; especially, thinking of our clothes as disposable. One of the best ways to counteract throw away culture and keep your clothes lasting longer is to repair and alter your clothing - something you can do yourself or by tapping into a local expert. With that in mind, we’ve made this list of the best services and classes for clothing repair and alterations as recommended by our community.
Fixing Fashion believes that all knowledge should be free for everyone. That means their mission is to share their research and development online with their audience. The Fixing.Fashion platform provides a library of knowledge on how to repair, upgrade and care for your clothes through easy-to-follow video tutorials and diagrams suitable for beginners and more experienced sewers.
We have partnered with co-founder Alicia Minnaard to offer a selection of Fixing Fashion repairs and redesigns right here on PARO. Just pick the repair you like and send your items to Alicia to work her magic. This service is available within the Netherlands.
Founder of SASHIKODENIM, Pey, believes that repairing not only saves the world from more waste but it also creates unique pieces of wearable art, in the case of sashiko reparis; a one of a kind pair of jeans. Creating these pieces of denim art in order to take action against the fast cycle of ‘use turned to waste’, Pey specialises in the traditional Japanese mending technique ‘sashiko'. This involves repairing jeans, by hand, one stitch at the time. The focus and dedication needed to repair and alter denim with this technique is what makes it a head-turner. A unique piece of wearable art.
NORWAY & BY MAIL
Based in Norway, Studio Mend is a design studio specialising in bringing treasured pieces back to life. Their mission is to increase awareness of repairing and mending garments, as well as inspire consumers to use their clothes for longer. Their repair work is minimalistic yet playful, regularly inspired by the shapes of nature. Colour is one of the studio’s big passions and their work often balances between the composition of the fault and using the mend to enhance the overall quality of the item through visible mending. Studio Mend offer repair workshops locally and Norway, and an international repair service.
On PARO we offer a limited edition collection of one-of-a-kind repaired luxury garments from Studio Mend, as well as mending kits, so you can recreate Studio Mend's darning techniques at home!
Learn the art of Boro in an online workshop, Romor Designs. Boro (more accurately ‘Boro boro’), means ‘rags or tatters’ is the art of repairing fabric using scraps and stitching. Boro work follows the British wartime tradition of ‘make do and mend’ and was used out of necessity in Japan, due to extreme poverty and the scarcity of textiles, to prolong the life of clothes and bedding. The classes are suitable for complete beginners and you'll learn everything from the history to practical application fo the techniwue on your garments.
De Steek comprises the merging of I am Nold (who ran sewing workshops) and PULP (an organic and surplus fabric pop-up shop). Based in Amsterdam, their founder, Natalie de Koning, aims to provide everything you need as a sustainable textile/fashion maker. Their cafe hosts sewing lessons, workshops and courses, while their shop sells beautiful organic materials and sewing supplies.
AMSTERDAM FASHION ACADEMY
Amsterdam Fashion Academy is a boutique fashion academy - a hub of small-scale, personal, student-centred learning in a supportive environment. They foster the individual needs and talents of each student making sure that they each get the support and assistance they require to develop their talents to the full. A cultural and social hub where everyone knows, helps and inspires one another. They offer full time bachelors degrees here, as well as part-time, 3 month fast-track courses and summer courses - these include Fashion Design & Business, Fashion Styling, and Pattern Cutting and Construction.
THE DENIM DOCTOR
The Denim Doctor offer selvedge denim jean clothing repairs and alterations. Priding themselves on offering you a superb personal service, whether thats for an old pair of worn out jeans that need restoring or repair work using denim in the knee, crotch, pocket areas, or modifying new jeans, with colourful patchwork using funky material, coloured denim, what ever you fancy! Based in Manchester they also offer a mail service so you can end your denim for repair if you're not local.
BLACKHORSE LANE ATELIERS
Blackhorse Lane Ateliers combine tailoring innovation and heritage construction to make jeans of the highest quality. One of their key values is connectivity. This relates to our physical and emotional connection with each other, but also to our clothing. In order to ensure that you continue to love and wear your garment for a life time, Blackhorse Lane Ateliers offer a denim repair and alterations service... whether your jeans were made there, or not. They even celebrate the well worn and repaired BLA jeans that pass through their repair service in their fades and fixes gallery.
The founder of The Seam, Layla, grew up in Birmingham and later moved to London. After her dressmaker grandmother had altered and repaired her clothes throughout her life, she struggled to find a professional to alter her clothing once she moved to the UK’s capital city.
In 2019, she founded The Seam in Hackney before rapidly expanding across London. The Seam is currently getting ready to launch across many locations throughout the UK.
Craven College hosts a one day course, teaching students to upcycle an old piece of clothing or fashion accessory. Using simple dress-making skills, students are taught how to design and make a new item from old clothing. With existing fabric, planning techniques, cutting skills and hemline adjustments are carried out. By repurposing old garments, students are able to save money, as well as learn new skills to take into their everyday lives.
Make Town are Hackney based textiles & craft studio providing a creative space to engage with making. Lead by Brooke, who has over 15 years of practice in the textiles industry; qualified in fashion design and garment construction she will help you make things with precision and pride.
Learn and practice sewing, knitting and weaving, with monthly meet ups, kids clubs, beginner friendly classes - whatever your experience level. And for those who prefer to craft alone, you can pick up some quality supplies to work at home. Look out for the membership programme launching in 2022!
Sew Pretty was opened by Katya back in 2013. After discovering crafts and sewing in her childhood, Katya went on to study at the College of Fashion Design and started her own clothes label shortly after graduation. Sew Pretty is a way to share her passion for dressmaking and sewing to inspire others to learn this wonderful skill. Sew Pretty offer a bridal alterations service, as well one to one classes and as group courses for beginners, more advanced sewers and specific pieces like skirts, curtains and bags.
THE KHY SEWING SCHOOL
The KHY Sewing School on the borders of the London boroughs of Bromley and Lewisham. The sunny South East facing studio is situated in a Beautiful and Historic Mansion in spectacular parkland.
They specialise in Teaching both absolute beginners and more accomplished projects like soft tailoring and coat making. They also have a thriving sewing Hub for Kids and teenagers, afterschool courses and holiday workshop programs. Many of the programs use waste fabrics, encouraging everyone to Re-cycle Re-use and Re-purpose, especially the Kids and Teens projects. As we as mending and garment restoration, repurposing yarns and other textile media to form new classes that speak to a new generation of Sewists.
THE ZIP YARD
Originating in Ireland in 2005, The Zip Yard have grown into a franchise with 20 shops all over Ireland. They offer alterations for both every day and special garments by trained professionals you can trust, quickly and efficiently, in clean modern premises.
SEW IN BRIGHTON
Make & mend clothes, sew original gifts & homewares and enjoy a fun, satisfying & relaxing hobby at Sew In Brighton. They offer In-person classes, courses and workshops are on most days of the week in their bright, spacious & fully equipped sewing classroom in central Hove - with a few online class options as well. With options for all experience levels, the friendly and relaxed sewing classes and workshops, from experience teachers cover everything from how to use a sewing machine, to crochet and pattern making.
WIEDER & WIDER
Wieder & Wider (Again & Against) stands for creative reuse, repurposing and upcycling. They believe that sewing opens a new world of creative possibilities. Your clothes are no longer easily disposable objects, but rather a playground for new ideas. This changes your relationship with clothing, understanding fabric quality, and better informing what you buy. They offer small group sewing classes in English - teaching the sewing skills and the understanding of clothes making needed to create your own timeless pieces and to repair, restyle and upcycle the clothes already found in your closet. As well as sewing kits and gifts that enable you to practice sewing in your own home.