2021 Sustainable mend-along

If we want this planet and its resources to last we need to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. What better way than to DIY it? By mending and maintaining what we already have we can reduce what we buy. If we keep our things in shape we can reuse them for years to come. As a last resort - recycle, or upcycle! :recycle:

And doesn’t it feel good to mend what you once created to be able to use it longer?

And we don’t have to stop at the handcrafts either. I’ve darned storebought socks and mysterious holes in cotton t-shirts. I’ve needle felted holes and worn patches on machine knitted garments. It’s win-win really. I can use the garment some more, and the mend makes it more interesting since I don’t have the skills for truly invisible mending and tend to go for visible mending.

Jump on the sustainable band wagon!


Links to tutorials and inspiration

Instagram accounts

theorispresent https://instagram.com/theorispresent?igshid=g7ywu4s3sj7y
If you have ever wondered where all those second hand clothed go. Sadly, some of it might end up on a beach or landfill in Ghana.

ajabarber https://instagram.com/ajabarber?igshid=3w04ajglb13y
Writes about sustainable fashion, and on her Patreon she also helps people buy better. A lot of inspiration and food for thought on the instagram too.


Monthly challenges

January challenge - Quit fast fashion
Broke after the holidays AND still in lockdown? Now’s the time to quit fast fashion. Alter what you have or buy it used.

February challenge - Visible mending
Sashiko? Embroidery? Kintsugi? Big happy patch in a contrasting color? Make the mend what the garment/item is all about.

March challenge - Pretty up the leftovers
Raid the fridge or your craft stash and make something awesome from leftovers.

April challenge - …
Nothing to see here…

May challenge
You know that one item that’s been sitting in the mending pile. Yes that one. Go deal with it!

June challenge
Ever tried mending something you are currently wearing? Fix it before it becomes a bigger issue.

August challenge
Sort the mending pile/basket/what have you and try to decide on an order to do things in. What would you like to have mended first? What can wait? Are there items you can fix at the same time?

September challenge
Maintain what you have! Wash your clothes before putting them away for the season. Freshen up your furniture. Give your wooden utensils some love. Take care of that stain before it becomes permanent. Whatever needs some extra love and care right now.

October challenge
Fight the mending-pile. Pick up that long neglected item and fix it. You can do it!

November challenge
Beyond mending? Can you repurpose it, or use that item to mend another?

December challenge
Festive mending! Decorate the mending pile with tinsel, do some holiday inspired mending, or something completely different?


THanks for putting this together! It’s always so inspiring!

In the last year or two I have seen “refuse” added to “reduce, reuse, recycle” as the first line of “defense”! Like, don’t take a bag at the store or choose the thing with less packaging or just don’t buy the thing you don’t need/won’t use. NEATO!

Does this along include non-textile/fiber mending? Wood, metal, etc.?


I need to do more mending. I did some last year but it was mostly just keeping pace with repairing the holes my dogs put in my sheets :woman_facepalming:

This year I am doing a low buy challenge for myself (as well as hoping to streamline more of my life) so the mend along will be perfect.


I really like the January challenge…I was looking on the internet to replace a lot of my tops because they are too big…I keep buying a size I used to be years ago out of habit. It will be a bit more work, but taking in the side seams should not be that big of a deal on most of the items…I think I will do it after I wear the piece and put it into the laundry…otherwise, I will chalk it up as something to do next time…I am really bad about buying in multiples with things I love and in reality, I probably wear 10% of my clothing most of the time…this kind of headset has to be changed…challenge accepted…no clothes purchases for a few months!


Yay thanks for starting a new one! This year I want to be more mindful of maintaining my work gear, because I can be really hard on it. If I take the time to clean, re-glue, and wax my leather work shoes I bet I can get another season out of them! And I could try to add more waterproofing to my raincoat instead of getting a new one.


I really like the idea of this craft-along. I’ve never taken part in a craft-along but this one sounds like a good one to start with.
I often mend hubby’s clothes and of course those of the kiddos. For the kids we try to buy mainly second-hand. They grow way too fast :sweat_smile: What about my clothes :thinking:? Well, since I hate shopping for clothes anyway I wear things until they fall apart. Sometimes I turn them into something new for the kids.
We have a small clothing shop in the neighborhood that offers a free mending service for their jeans on a regular basis. It’s really popular here.


I’m currently patching a pair of my husband’s “quaranjeans” with the Metallica patches he got in the late 90s. (after sewing them onto stabilizing backs from one of my high school pairs of jeans so they’ll stand up to more wear)


We’ve got a little shop for unpacked goods in our neighbourhood for two years now and it makes you aware of how easy it is to reduce waste, especially plastic. I’m re-using jars to refill them there. It’s so convenient. Also you only buy the amount you actually need of something.


There’s A LOT about pandemic stuff that’s been hard. A LOT. But one thing that has been really hard on my morale is all the waste. Like, not bringing my own bags with me to pretty much all my shopping is the biggest for our life which is pretty home-centered. Then seeing all the paper towels used to disinfect shopping carts, counters, card readers, etc. Extra water and such for extra hand washing. Best practice for sanitation feels like worst practice for the environment.


January challenge - Quit fast fashion

Does losing a few pounds so my jeans still fit me and I don’t have to buy a bigger size count?


I feel you on this, 100%.


I grew up in a mending home, so it’s deeply ingrained, but my mending stack itself is ridiculous! Maybe this will be the boost to get back into the groove. I’m in!


I’m definitely in, my “play jeans” are giving me a run for my money with all the visits to the mending pile but I’m determined to keep them in the rotation until spring because I can comfortably wear long johns under them and we go outside to to play everyday (and it’s winter in New England). I’ve been in a low/no buy phase for a while just wearing stuff out and not replacing anything that I don’t really need. I’m working on getting my belongings to the sweet spot of “enough” and curating what we have.

Thanks for setting this up!


I’m glad so many of you want to join in!

Absolutely! No craft discrimination here.

I found a missing button that’s come loose from a favourite shirt, so now I can fix it. I just need to decide on thread color… I don’t think I have an exact match.


I’m like this too! I hate shopping so instead I’d rather wear my clothes until they wear out. The clothes I wear in my spare time are frequently handmade by me.

My work clothes (office, fairly formal) used to be an issue, because those have to look really nice. I try to mend them invisibly, but once there’s visible wear I can’t really wear them to work anymore. At that point they’re still very far from wornout but they’re not practical enough to wear around the house. Think pencil skirts, fake silk shirts etc. Pencil skirts are especially awful because I rip them all the time.

But work from home has solved that problem. Our dresscode for online meetings is a lot more casual. Some people actually show up in a hoodie with messy hair, that’s not the impression I want to give people, but anything with a collar + ponytail is fine now. I wear much more durable materials like jeans and corduroy now. This has reduced my mending by at least 50%! I hope this will stay the same after the pandemic. I haven’t worn heels in almost a year and it’s great to wear comfortable shoes.


Does mending dog toys count? Pilots favorite fox toy finally came apart last night. I was able to grab the squeaker before he got to it and set it aside. He tore a pretty good hole in it and got a lot of fluff out. I had to wait until he was sleeping this morning to quietly mend it. I wanted a thick thread so I used button thread and all I had was black and I used some stash fiber fill. I had to get a thimble so I could get through the reinforced fabric. I guess I’ll see how it holds up.



It most definitely counts in my book! My little cat is constantly ripping the stuffing out of his toys but if I try to throw them out, he goes looking for them and cries…his favorite now is a star shaped one that needs repaired…I hope his next kitty box of toys has some more durable items!


I still have about four blazers from my working days…like you said, now that I am working from home or retired, where would I wear them? One that is particularly hard to give up is a silk designer one that I paid a lot of money for…but as my sister said, the money is already spent, so whatever I do with it, it doesn’t bring back the money…a sunk cost! I wonder if there is a way to make them more casual or just let them go? I really hate cutting them for just the fabric as I know I won’t use it…maybe it is time to donate, but do people dress that formally for any job anymore?