An international fashion research project exploring the 'craft of use'


To repair a garment and keep it in active service is to practice the skill of user-ship. It calls upon human senses to diagnose what needs to be done and the right emotional tone to carry it through. Stitching, darning, patching and remodelling oversee a subtle shift in the power relations associated with garments: for the work of mending, unlike the world of production, is about people not machines.

Use the same old things over and over

"I’ve had this skirt for a long time… since 2002. I love it and I keep closing the holes that keep opening up by patching them. I have another skirt too that has a complete rip down the back and I keep sewing it because I just don‘t want to get rid of it. This one just broke but all I do is fold it… It’s just very raw. This is by sewing machine, which is a recent thing but before that I just did it by hand. …When I really like a garment, I like doing it by hand. I haven’t bought anything new in a while. You have certain garments you buy and never use again and then I just keep on using the same older things over and over."

San Francisco - July 2012
Photograph by Paige Green

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