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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RUDE Repairs

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RUDE has been travelling around this last week and we are still on the road.  This week’s blog post will be short and sweet.

Before we left home, we tried some Selley’s Shoe Glue which came highly recommended from a Byron Bay Shoemaker.  We have glued the bits needing to be repaired.  As yet RUDE Girl has not had a chance to test the repair on these boots which were scored from a neighbour’s GARAGE SALE for $4 total.  Check out the video below.

https://youtu.be/-BElu16Odkw

RUDE girl will mend anything, even old undies, with a bit of life left in them.  The $22 for these Bonds trunks is a bit over the top, so we try to buy up big when they are on special for half price.  These are worth framing at $22 but for $10 they are definitely worth mending.  Check out the video below.

https://youtu.be/SwboZcw0VYg

On our travels this week, RUDE girl scored a little round vintage sewing basket.

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Vintage Sewing Basket circa 1970s

I have seen these in Vinnies and The Salvos charity stores for $6 to $8, and not in as good as condition.  This little cutie cost $1 but it required a quick fix repair job, as explained in the video below:

https://youtu.be/cNIVPT4z96w
RUDE boy has worn a large hole through another pair of his vintage red tab Levi’s.  You may have read that US Levi stores and outlets are giving 20 per cent off vouchers for old jeans.  You can read more here.  If this incentive was in Australia, there is no way the Levi company would be getting RUDE Boy’s vintage jeans.  They are priceless and cannot be bought back.

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RUDE Boy’s priceless vintage red tab Levi denim jeans ready for sashiko mending.

I have unpicked the seams, so that when I return home next week, I can start to sashiko mend a third pair of RUDE boy’s jeans.  Check out the video below.

https://youtu.be/wk8OzEhG3aU

Beat The Man and repair!  It’s fun and very rewarding.

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.

Mindful Mending

“True economy consists in always making the income exceed the out-go. Wear the old clothes a little longer if necessary; dispense with the new pair of gloves; mend the old dress: live on plainer food if need be; so that, under all circumstances, unless some unforeseen accident occurs, there will be a margin in favor of the income.” P.T.Barnum

The above quote by P T Barnum of Barnum and Bailey Circus fame, reflects RUDE’s outlook on frugal living.  We love to mend and make do.  And also to REmake something unique and new to us.

To add our stamp on things that were once owned by others, and then discarded for us to find and treasure, brings us joy.  But why treasure stuff?  Well for us, its more about the resources, time and effort that goes into making things.  We acknowledge the final object is the sum of all the parts of a making process, and we honour these parts by REinvention and REuse of the object.

I [Karen] was recently inspired by my fellow blogger and mender Agatha Lee from Green Issues by Agy when she held A Darn Good Mending Cafe in Singapore.  A fun name for a mending cafe.

In this photo below, I have sashiko mended the crotch of a secondhand pair of jeans REscued from landfill.  For me, mending is a mindful and peaceful process.  It creates flow and has a frugal purpose, which makes for simple living joyfulness.

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