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Make do and mend – à la française

  • by JW

France introduces a repair bonus for shoes and clothes.

What are your own tricks to make do and mend? Why not send in a nomination for a Sustainable Sidmouth Champions Award – by the end of the month!


We are being urged to repair stuff – for all sorts of reasons:

The ‘Make Do and Mend’ approach to clothing has seen a resurgence during the cost of living crisis, seventy years after the pamphlet bearing this title was issued to encourage frugality during the Second World WarThe cost of living crisis, coupled with a growing awareness about the environmental damage caused by the fashion industry, has prompted resourceful Britons to pick up a needle and thread and learn skills ranging from darning socks to sewing entire garments from scratch. Make do and mend makes a come-back – Sustainable Sidmouth Champion Awards

It’s all very well – but it can still cost.

The French government wants to make it easier – by easing the cost. As reported in today’s Telegraph:

France is going to pay people to have their clothes and shoes repaired instead of throwing them out in a push to cut wasteFrom October, the French can claim €7 (£6.40) for mending a heel and €10-25 for clothing repairs. The initiative aims to reduce the 700,000 tons of clothes thrown away by French people each year, two-thirds of which is sent to landfillFrance pays people to repair clothes instead of throwing them away

“From October, consumers will be able to be supported in the repair of their clothes and shoes,” secretary of state for ecology Berangere Couillard said Tuesday during a visit to the Paris premises of La Caserne, a hub for responsible fashion. She invited “all sewing workshops and shoemakers to join the system”, to be labelled by eco-organization Refashion. France to pay bonus for shoe, clothes repairs to cut waste | Inquirer Business

She said the government was committed to tackling “fast fashion” and sought to encourage consumers to buy more “virtuous” products and repair them, rather than buying new items. French to get bonus to make do and mend clothes – BBC News

In France, 3.3 billion pieces of clothing, shoes and household linen were put on the market in 2022, according to Refashion, which has been instructed by the government to support a more sustainable industry. France To Pay Bonus For Shoe, Clothes Repairs To Cut Waste | Barron’s

This follows on from France and other countries introducing a household appliance repair bonus: The repair bonus for household appliances will double on July 1 – and Germany and Austria implement repair bonuses – Right to Repair Europe

And the next target is plastic: Glass deposit: soon the end of plastic bottles in France? | Wire News

In the meantime, what are your own tricks to make do and mend? Why not send in a nomination for a Champions Award – by the end of the month! Enter the Champions Awards 2023 – Sustainable Sidmouth Champion Awards

The idea goes back some time in the UK of course: Make Do And Mend – WW2 1943 | Imperial War Museums