Community repair: a pop-up alternative to the throwaway society

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RUDE Girl mending the purple check flannelette shirt at Mend It, Melton on 8 April, 2017

Us RUDE Guys will head off to Mend It, Melton [MIM] this Saturday 13th May, 2017. We are collaborating with a local organisation to deliver our community’s unique model of mend and make do.

MIM was launched late last year, with a small mending event, at our local railway station in Melton, Victoria, Australia.  The event this weekend is our second for 2017.  MIM has scheduled monthly events up until the end of the year.

You can check out all about MIM and see the photos and videos on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/menditmelton/

The re-blogged article below is recommended reading and validates why Rude Record is involved in the not-so-quiet repair revolution.  Beat The Man!!

Discard Studies

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Shutterstock/Fotos593

By Christine Cole, Nottingham Trent University and Alex Gnanapragasam, Nottingham Trent University

A not-so-quiet repair revolution is taking place in communities across Britain. Consumers, fed up with having to throw away broken phones, toasters and other appliances, are instead meeting to learn how to repair them and to extend the lifetime of their products. These repair “pop-up parties”, where like-minded people can improve or learn new skills in a supportive environment, can prevent still-useful products from ending up in the bin, while saving money.

Advances in technology and new applications, combined with faster product obsolescence, means that electrical and electronic equipment make up one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world. The growing demand for these products is also driving unprecedented levels of resource extraction to keep up with increased rates of manufacturing of everyday goods – something that the planet can hardly support.

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Flying Solo

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Because RUDE Girl is unwell, RUDE Boy had to go to the local Dream Big festival and promote a new local initiative titled Mend Melton [flyer above] without me.  He met up with Stephen Mack doing a bicycle repair demonstration.

RUDE Boy did tell me that he was complimented at the festival, on his vintage Levis’ #1 denim jeans.  The person thought the sashiko stitching had been done by machine.

 

 

Hopefully we will have more to post about Mend Melton ~ Fix It, Don’t Flick It, in the months to come.


RUDE Boy has been keen to get a VHS-C adapter or VHS camcorder, but was having no luck.  He then decided to explore transferring the VHS-C tape he had, into a standard VHS cassette.

The other day, I was rummaging around in the freebie bin at a local op shop.  In the bottom of the bin were quite a few VHS cassettes.  RUDE Boy rescued a couple of these for his project today.

Below is the link to our You Tube video, that sort of explains, what he wanted the old video cassettes for.  He ended up just needing to use one cassette for this project.

Beat The Man and avoid buying something that can be re-purposed, from what you have at hand [or that can be sourced elsewhere, without too much trouble].

https://youtu.be/hHxr_C3yoSA

Rags to Britches and Riches

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RUDE Boy loves these very old Wavezone shorts.  I do imagine any other guy wearing them for two summers, and then using the fabric as rags.  Or more than likely, discarding the shorts into the recycling bin because they were no longer ‘on trend’.

RUDE Girl even made a movie of these shorts this year.  It was sent it to Mr Wu CEO Wavezone in China.  The movie did not attract a response.  Never mind, it was not expected that I would get a reply.  I only hope it received a reaction of incredulous disbelief.

You can watch the first video here which was created for Fashion Revolution Day 2015.

RUDE Boy wears these shorts A LOT!!  Since the first video was made, he has worn more holes through the thinning fabric and previous patches.  For RUDE Girl, it has become like a quest to keep these shorts wearable, and out of the rag-bag.  I work at creating layers for durability and strength.  My inspiration comes from sashiko method of patching and stitching.

Here is the second video in the life of RUDE Boys Wavezone raggedy britches.  It explains how I have mended and patched them for the third time.

RUDE Boy, go Beat The Man [Mr Wu from Wavezone] and keep rockin saggy britches a la scavenger style! 

SAMSUNG

RUDE Boy loves his raggedy and rude britches

Scavenged Onesie

There’s nothing I’d never wear, really. I’ve worn pink spotty pajamas from a Goodwill store onstage before. This only happens when I’m having a small breakdown!  Marina and the Diamonds

 DSC04517Men’s garments in excellent condition scavenged from landfill for a guest blog feature about Scavenger Style in the coming weeks

In the book Shaping Sustainable Fashion, Sociologist Juliet Schor is featured as citing the cultural critic Raymond Williams when she says, ‘we are not truly materialistic because we fail to invest deep and sacred meanings in material goods.  Instead our materialism connotes an unbound desire to acquire, followed by a throwaway mentality’ (Schor, 2002).

RUDE believes its garment and textile scavenging is true materialism, where we connect and engage, not just with the garments’ qualities but the associated experiences of self-improvement, and with ourselves as human beings.  We agree,  that to be in a state of engagement and connection, people have to be active and able, to have access to the skills, tools and opportunities to use them.

Scavenger Style is partly about honouring and appreciating all that was involved in a garment’s original construction whether it’s of high or low quality.  There is no better experience for me [Karen] than to REuse or REfashion a high quality garment from the point of landfill.  This type of garment, even if worn and torn, has a quality that’s becoming rare to find, especially at landfill.  You feel like an archaeologist REscuing precious artefacts at a dusty dig site.  But more than that, you have to think like the museum curator who will eventually get the artefact.  For example, the curator will have to see the potential for display and/or for storage until the time is right for the exhibition.  This is not unlike discovering a garment and seeing its potential for REfashion and wearing.

What is mostly seen by RUDE at landfill is piles of  fast fashion, some only suitable for rags but most garments able to be washed and worn immediately.  This is where I have to think much more creatively about the possibilities for garment REscue, REuse and/or REcreation.  In this situation, I feel like Mother Teresa helping to provide orphans in the slums of Calcutta with a better life.  Saving fast fashion garments, in my opinion, is very much true materialism, and much more noble because these garments really are considered not worthy of REscue by many.  Hence the large amounts that are not even downcycled but sent to landfill.

This is where Scavenger Style is unique, compared to what is being promoted by other REfashion bloggers.  Scavenger Style really involves scavenging, like a seagull scavenges for its food.  There is no walking into clean consignment/vintage clothes or charity stores where all the goods have been picked over, sorted, colour coded and displayed for sale.  There is no going to a textiles’ wharehouse where garments have already been REscued and sorted for on-selling.  There are no styling blogs for scavengers, except Rude Record styling outfits mostly made up of garments and assessories direct from the point of landfill.

Scavenger Style involves getting down and getting dirty, beating off other scavengers, sorting through piles of unsorted stuff and haggling over price.  Many people complain of musty charity shops, well Scavenger Style is about accepting the odours of rotting household rubbish.  It is not for the faint hearted and/or those who prefer the thrill of shopping in consignment stores for high quality vintage, the cleanliness and organisation of charity shops and/or buying new at department stores.

And of course that’s not the end of RUDE’s scavenging story.  You get in your car to come home and your hands are dirty.  If you suffer with allergies you can be affected by the dust.  When you get home [after washing your hands] you have to immediately sort and start cleaning the scavenged items. This is work and takes time and effort.  You don’t have to do this,  but we do not leave anything lying around inside that is unclean.  And whether deemed clean or not, most garments are immediately sent to soak overnight.

At a time when charity shopping is on trend worlwide, RUDE has shifted its focus to an alternative source of secondhand shopping.  Come share a journey with us, that just may be on trend in years to come.

Check out my scavenged onesie and zipper replacement in this video.

Rude Record’s Facebook Page

By popular demand and with some encouragement from my Facebook group members at Bowerbirds Journal, including Mel our neighbour and prolific blogger here,  RUDE now has a Facebook page.  Thanks to you all for supporting Rude Record and for helping us get our unusual lifestyle journey to the masses.

Rude Record Facebook Page

We will repost all our blog posts to this page, usually one a week.  During the week we will sometimes post any little snippet of interest that may or may not tickle your fancy.  We look forward to reading and replying to your posts and comments that you may leave on our page.

Rude Record WordPress Blog

We attempt to schedule a weekly post every Friday at 9am.  We love to get your comments and always aim to reply ASAP.

DSC04446RUDE’s Danny modified and fitted an old showerscreen scavenged from point of landfill for $2.  He wears a REfashioned windcheater also scavenged from landfill.  All towels in photo were sourced secondhand.

Retro Recycle

“We live in a disposable society. It’s easier to throw things out than to fix them. We even give it a name – we call it recycling.”

Neil La Bute ~ American film director, screenwriter and playwright

This stool was lovingly REupholstered and then dumped at landfill, probably because its pair was broken.  Or maybe two new matching stools were purchased to replace them.  Who knows but it’s our good fortune to REclaim this stool.

RUDE purchased this stool for $1, and a couple of years later the glides for $1.  A $2 telephone stool comes in very handy.  REtro RElic REvival or the 3 Rs.

Poncho Play

It’s impossible to be unhappy while wearing a poncho! ~ Noel Fielding /Comedian

I [Karen] have a love hate relationship with ponchos, probably because I am a practical Capricorn.  It’s just difficult to do the housework, tend to the garden, go to the toilet, whatever, in a poncho.  And I never wore one in the 70s when it was on trend to do so, because I prefer to be an individual, and not on trend in any decade.

In the 80s I did not do big hair.  Not that I could because my hair is fine. Watching ABCs Grumpy folk RElive the 80s, I am now very pleased I have fine hair.  Looking back at my hairstyle in photos from the 80s, is not too REvealing of this awful fashion decade.  My children in these photos give my age away and not my hairstyle, thank goodness.

But I have always known what Noel Fielding the surreal humourist quoted above [and depicts in the 2nd video below] that there is something about wearing a poncho that makes you want to play. Funny discovery as I write this blog post, but my video of my REfashioned poncho [1st video below] is probably surreal humour.

As with satire, my humour is intended to expose particular norms and preconceptions rather than as pure entertainment.  It’s a way here to spread the message, that someone well over 50 years of age, can wear a child’s crochetted poncho as a skirt, and be delightfully happy [and video it!  Now that’s surreal].  And to promote that the poncho came from the point of landfill and was REvamped by me, certainly exposes preconceptions and norms about fashion such as who designs it, where it comes from and who should wear it.

Embrace Scavenger Style and beat the fast fashion trend  ~ Karen Ellis / Surreal Humourist