There are so many answers to the question “Why Mend?” that I’m not sure I’m going to be able to cover all of them in this Mend It May mini-series, but I’ll do my best!
One of the reasons I love to mend, is the feeling of empowerment it gives me.
There is something incredibly satisfying, verging on smug, about mending things. Things that I would in another lifetime (pre My Make Do and Mend Year) have automatically assumed I couldn’t possibly mend myself, and would have thrown out with barely a second thought.
Things that now I mend regularly, and can’t quite believe I ever thought were too hard to even attempt.
I”m ashamed to admit it now, but prior to starting our Buy Nothing New year I had never even sewn on a button. I just assumed I wouldn’t be able to do it and that it would fall straight off again. As crazy as it sounds, I think I was a bit scared of having a go.
But I ‘bit the bullet’ and discovered that actually, mending things really doesn’t have to be that hard. And I discovered the satisfaction that a good mend can bring – sugru one referred to it as “The Joy of Fix”…!
But it’s not feelings of satisfaction that mending can engender, there is also a big sense of empowerment.
If I can fix on a button, and it stays there, that’s a lifeskill right?
And if I can fix on a button, maybe we can fix other things too.
Since popping my mending cherry, I’ve fearlessly attempted to mend pretty much anything, and my enthusiasm has worn off on hubby. Now he’s got the mending bug too. He’s fixed the washing machine, the dishwasher, the toaster and even the microwave (we were both more than a little scared of that one…)
The knowledge that we can at least have a go at fixing our own things when they break, is both empowering and reassuring.
It has become almost accepted nowadays that things are made to only have a finite lifespan, and are designed so that they can’t be mended. So accepted that a lot of us don’t even bother trying. Our first reaction when something breaks is to hit the net to google the cost of a replacement. We believe what we’ve been told by the very people who want us to keep buying more stuff.
Yes, a lot of things might be nigh on impossible to mend – there are somethings that aren’t even designed as sealed units, with no way to open them up and get inside), but not all of them. Some things that we might consider ‘disposable’ might just have the simplest of faults that can be easily mended, but we’ve become so de-skilled, and we’ve been told for so long now that it can’t be done, that don’t think repair is even an option, or at least not a cost effective one.
Mending is empowering because it means that we aren’t reliant on big brands, big retailers, big business.We don’t have to rush out to the nearest large store, or jump straight onto Amazon when something breaks. We get to take back the power. We get to fix it.
We get to keep our money in our own pockets. We get to learn new things, meet new friends, and keep stuff out of landfill. We get to hang onto the things that means something to us, whether that’s Nana’s old sewing machine, or a favourite jumper gifted to us by a now deceased loved one.
Mending allows us to do all of those things.
It is powerful and empowering.
And I for one, love it!
If you haven’t already, do come and join the Mend It May Facebook group-it is a very lovely place indeed, full of people sharing their mends, and helping each other out. It makes me 🙂
To stay up to date with all the Mend It May news, and to show your support for the magic of mending, take the Mend It May pledge!