Put on a Patch

Learn how to mend your own clothes


Extend the life of your favourite clothes by mending them and put on a patch!

The clothing industry

Making clothes takes lots of energy and resources:

In 2017 people in the UK bought 2.1 billion items of clothing or shoes — that is an average of 31 items for every person in the country.

It takes about 7,500 litres of water to make one pair of jeans. That is about the same amount as you would use for 100 baths!

The fashion industry is responsible for 8% of Global greenhouse gas emissions.

But 85% of these clothes eventually end up in landfill or get burned even though they could be recycled or reused.

What can we do?

We all need clothes to protect our bodies, keep warm and to look nice! But one thing we can do is make sure our clothes last as long as possible. Patching our clothes when they have holes, or sewing up rips will not only make our clothes last longer but it also gives us a chance to express a little of ourselves in what we wear.

Put on a patch

Find something that needs mending. Perhaps a pair of trousers with a hole in the knee. Or maybe a jumper where the elbow has worn through.

Choose an awesome bit of fabric to make your patch. Perhaps someone in your house has a store of fabrics you can look through? Or maybe you have another item of clothing that has come to the end of its life?

jeans with a hole and a patch

Cut your patch a bit bigger than the hole in your clothes. If there is a good print or image on the patch fabric, you could think about where the centre of your patch lands to make best use of this.

Use a running stitch to sew around your patch and reinforce your fabric. Try experimenting with stitches to see what effect you can get.

Take it Further

Find out about other ways to mend your clothes. Repair what you wear has some great tips to get you started. And visible mending has loads of inspiration to elevate your repairs from the purely practical to the beautiful.

You could use up some more scraps of fabric with Teddy’s Upcycled Togs. Or think about plastic reuse with Plastic Bottle Crafts.

Climate & Ecological Emergency

This is one of our collection of activities that will help you to better understand the climate and ecological crisis and our part in it, as well as supporting you to raise your voice in calling for action to be taken against it.

Activities & Resources

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