Well, this year has panned out totally different from our expectations, and to yours I'm sure. Here at ReJean we have taken time to reflect and reassess our goals for the year ahead and what we want ReJean to be going forward.
In the midst of all this craziness, the ‘pause’ that has been forced upon us has given many of us time to think, reflect and maybe ‘create’ a little more carefully or intentionally.
Since ReJean launched in May 2018, we have been really focused on establishing a brand of lust-worthy products made from 2nd hand materials. Something that exceeds the expectations of ‘upcycling’ and, we hope you'll agree, we’ve achieved just this.
As creatives, taking the time to stop and think about our ‘why’ is so important. It can be quite easy just to keep working without taking the time to re-evaluate, adjust and check on our goals and motivations- have they changed?
Looking back, March and April felt like a ‘wholesome’ beginning to the Lockdown. Everyone was baking sourdough or banana bread or fermenting kimchi or the likes and many found some sense of comfort. Going through our belongings, surrounded by an infinite amount of stuff we didn't really need anymore, we started using our hands again and lots of people got in touch with us about repairing and mending and how to do it.
During Lockdown, we found the time to get into hand-stitched repairs and developed an ever so slight obsession with the art of traditional sashiko, and boro mending. One thing led to another and in an attempt to ‘pivot’ we launched the ‘isolation mending club’. Our intention was to encourage people to look at what they had in their existing wardrobe, find that favourite, old faithful pair of jeans or that iconic denim jacket that might not have had an outing for a while. Maybe all they needed was a little bit of TLC, so we decided to share our know-how and give you the materials to do just that.
In the lead up to this year's Digital Fashion Revolution Week at the end of April, we, like everyone else, we're getting to grips with Zoom and the daunting idea of creating video content. We participated in some great conversations and started our IGTV mending series. We found joy in the slow art of visible mending and got thinking about how we could carry this on, post lockdown. One of the ideas we discussed during an FR panel discussion ‘facing fast fashion’ was the idea of designer mending or designing your own repair.
Siobhan proposed the idea of customers bringing their most loved garments to a local designer and working with them to redesign the garment using the art of repair.
So we decided to do just that.
And so the ReJean Repair shop was born.
Orsola de Castro once said ‘The most sustainable garment is the one already in your wardrobe’
This sentence gets thrown around constantly by ethical fashion bloggers and Fashion Revolutionaries, and it couldn't ring truer. A great line to remember should you suddenly find yourself in H&M or Primark about to succumb to the temptation of fast fashion on your local high street.
We got thinking about the concept of ‘new’ and how we could encourage our audience to challenge this. To think ‘Repair’ before ‘Replace’. This is our aim with the Repair shop.
Repairing is elevating
Repairing is breathing new life into something once loved and cherished, so much that it needs some attention, so we are asking you to let us give that care and attention to your most loved garments that may have seen better days.
We will be focusing primarily on Denim but will always be open to discussing repairs on non-denim fabrics. We just might need to have a chat first.
So when we talk about mending what do we actually mean?
Mending can take on two forms Visible and Invisible.
Invisible Mending is an unobvious repair that tries to remain invisible to the untrained eye. This can be hand-stitched or machine stitched usually a thread that matches your garment.
Visible Mending is celebrating your garment and repairing the affected areas with contrasting patches and stitching. The repair is obvious and is designed to stand out.
Either way, we think that repairing your clothes is a revolutionary act! It says your care and respect your clothing. It says you don't deal in fast fashion and you don't mindlessly replace garments after the slightest show of wear and tear.
The art of mending really started in Japan, where traditional techniques such as Sashiko and Boro originate. Sashiko stitching is beautiful in its simple and repetitive form. A basic running stitch repeated in a way that darns and reinforces affected areas but also celebrates the wear and tear of the garment. You can choose a contrasting stitch colour to make your mend standout or opt for something less obvious and more discreet. Both are equally as beautiful and functional.
So we hope you will check out our new Repair Shop initiative and try to think, Repair before Replace as we move forward into our ‘new’ normal post lockdown life.
We hope you are just as excited about this new initiative as we are. Please get in touch and let us know what you think? Go and find that favourite pair of jeans that have seen better days and let's talk REPAIR!
Tell us about your thoughts and reflections, we would love to hear from you in the comments or drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org
Lots of love,
Siobhan & Marie x