What’s on: How to get involved in London Repair Week 

Pic: ReLondon. 

It is estimated that £1.8bn worth of repairable items are thrown away in London every year. That’s why ReLondon, a partnership between the Mayor of London and the London councils, with an aim to reduce consumption-based emissions, has started London Repair Week.  

The initiative, which invites Londoners to gain practical repair skills and increase their use of repair services, was first launched in 2020, and has taken place annually since then.   

This year’s London Repair Week is running from March 11 to March 17, and will see everything from repair workshops to pop-up stores happen across the city and online. Here’s how you can get involved in Repair Week from the Eastlondonlines boroughs:

Repair Clinic – Love Your Clothes for Longer! 

When: March 16 and 17 – Cost: Optional donation 

Head to the Whitgift Centre with your clothing items that need to be fixed and get free advice from the Green Croydon Circular Economy team. Subject to staff, the team can also help you with some repairs in return for a donation. 

The Sewcial – Casual sewing and mending meetup 

When: March 14 – Cost: £10, with free spots available 

Make use of the fully-equipped sewing studio at Crofton Park Community Library and get help with repairing or upcycling your clothes. The social sewing session will give you an opportunity to become part of a sewing community and have fun in a relaxed environment.  

Genny’s Emporium Quick Tips Sewing Drop In 

When: March 17 – Cost: £3 

Genny’s Emporium is hosting an informative session about mending and repurposing your favourite garments as a way to reduce waste and foster a sense of community resilience. 

Upcycle Fashion Pop Up 

When: March 15 to March 26 – Cost: Free 

A sustainable fashion pop-up is coming to The Truman Brewery, and will bring together “upcycle fashion’s most innovative designers from the UK and EU”. More than 40 upcycle fashion brands will show their limited-edition collections and you’ll get the chance to meet the designers behind it all. 

Repair and Reuse Day 

When: March 23 – Cost: Free 

After Repair Week, Tower Hamlets Council is putting on a Repair and Reuse Day at Haileybury Youth Centre. The day will include events such as a kintsugi repair workshop, a fabric painting and upcycling workshop and bike repairs by Bikeworks mechanics. There will also be a clothes and book swap. 

Open Workshop – Make and Repair using reclaimed wood 

When: March 15 – Cost: Optional donation 

The community garden Garden of Earthly Delights is hosting an outdoor workshop welcoming people to come and fix or build things using reclaimed timber. The session is suitable for all levels and will begin with an introductory tool talk. The rest of the session will allow everyone to get on with their projects and work together to figure out how to best use or fix reclaimed materials. 

Hackney Repair Café 

When: March 16 – Cost: Free 

Bring broken clothing items or electrical devices (for electrical devices, book a slot) to Woodberry Down Community Primary School and get taught how to fix them by volunteers in the Repair Café. The workshops are suitable for beginners, and all materials are provided. 

Introduction to garment repairs & alterations (machine sewing) 

When: March 17 – Cost: £75 

A full-day class at Fabrications, on Broadway Market, will teach you practical and creative ways to repair and alter your clothes using a sewing machine. Basic sewing skills are advised, and participants will learn things such as applying darts and pleats, reducing volume and shaping a garment to your body, creating ‘extra volume’, and understanding how to take seams in or out. 

Creative Clothes Repair and Decoration 

When: March 17 – Cost: £25 

This workshop at The People’s Park Tavern will teach you how to repair clothing by hand in creative ways. Visible mending will be taught, and participants will be able to try Sashiko, a Japanese technique of reinforcing and patching worn areas on clothes. You can bring along items in need of repair, or get a swatch to practice on. All materials will be provided. 

Get to Grips with Simple Clothing Repair Skills 

When: March 13, 15 and 16 – Cost: £10 

An online workshop teaching beginners basic clothing repair skills. Get out some pieces of fabric, needles, thread, pins and scissors and start learning how to repair. 

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