Sustainable Clothing

Interesting article in today’s Guardian. My grandmother (born in the 19th century) never had her hands empty - she was always darning /repairing something. Does anyone else remember a time in the early fifties when nylon stockings were repaired? As a young child, I was always fascinated by the woman who sat in the window of the local dry cleaners with a special machine over which she stretched the nylons and picked up the stitches of the individual “ladders”. I’ve no idea what she charged for the repairs, but it shows how expensive nylons must have been to make it worthwhile repairing them.
I may be imagining this, but it seems to me there was a stereotype that French women only bought a few clothes but the clothes they bought were of quality and so they lasted and they rang the changes with accessories. I wonder if that’s true today?

I remember that too Sue.
Dry cleaners advertised invisible mending.
I still have a darning mushroom and darn things, cut down jeans to make shorts . Our neighbour is an excellent seamstress and has an industrial sewing machine, so she mends things like the garden parasols and Jim’s sailing gear.
He mends things in her garden and house in exchange.

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What I’ve noticed locally is quite how many people, some in the main town, some in the side streets, offer sewing services. It may be where we lived in the UK, but I’d never seen them there… :thinking:

Don’t you think that theses types of articles are a little bit like reinventing the wheel.Things that you do without thinking suddenly become " a la mode".
Similarly the recycling stuff.

It may be for the younger generation, but for folk of my age who saved their Christmas wrapping paper, brown paper, string and elastic bands, it is just the norm.
How many men have hoards of wood just waiting to be made into something?


Wood not so much but nuts and bolts offcuts of pipes, plastic drain fittings , kitchen cabinet fittings its a long list that I know that I have it somewhere.:grinning:

You only realise quite how many bits and pieces you have when you come to move house. My partner got rid of all his carefully hoarded bits of wood but the bolts and screws and pipe fittings and everything else came with him :smiley:
When I emptied the loft I found boxes and boxes full of fabric - some unused but many from clothes I made in the 1970s… :roll_eyes:

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I made a crochet throw from all my old double knitting wool balls and now I have been asked to knit a hat and I was sure I had some left, but it seems not.

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Quite often French people will buy off-the-shelf clothes and have them nipped and tucked to fit better. That’s what several of my friends do, and get things altered to revitalise them as well.

And the shop where I buy trousers will also make adjustments. The saleswoman has in the past suggested the trousers would be better if I did x…

Our local big town also has two haberdashery shops, which I think would be rare in an equivalent sized English town.

I noticed a lot of the alteration type shops in Edinburgh,more than in English cities

Our haberdashery closed down in Cluny.

That certainly used to be the case, generally, but obviously fast fashion is gaining ground here too.
I remember from the time I was a small child in the early 1970s (and subsequently) having to hang around at the couturière’s while my mother and great-grandmother had fittings or chose fabrics etc, and even when they bought things off the peg they were always adjusted, that still is the case, it is amazing what a difference it makes having something tweaked so it fits properly.
And you take things to the pressing etc. so they stay nice and can be invisibly mended if need be.
But possibly I’m not to be trusted since I still wear my old school games jersey and a raincoat (lovely blue-black Burberry barathea) from the 60s which was my great-grandmother’s and have been wearing my aunt’s old cast-off Barbour for 40 years!


I make sure a lot of wooden objects (and used to sell them to UK customers, q.v.) and darning mushrooms have become very popular over the last few years.


I remember darning ladders in stockings, a Sunday afternoon job for me and my mum

. I even still have the latched hooks we used.
I sew and darn things, knit and crochet and still wear my aunts handmade socks inherited in 1987!

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Sad, my first ever job was Saturday girl in a haberdashery (now closed). But I was in our local haberdashery in Riberac just yesterday…more expensive than online but worth the extra.

Absolutely ages since we were in Riberac.

The market is still going albeit a bit smaller, most shops that were open 2 yrs ago when we first came here are surviving.

It must have been 2003 when we were there.

Heavens Jane I’m impressed. I can’t remember where I was last week, let alone in 2003! :grin:

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I think there was a Casino in the main drag then, that’s gone but there are 4 supermarkets on the edge of town now! Not sure if much else has changed!