Through the Threaded Needle

Marium Durrani

Aalto University

Through the threaded needle presents an in-depth nuanced discussion on the practice of garment mending. Drawing on rich ethnographic data, mending is traced across four cities to explore what communal garment repair events can tell us about how menders perform, learn and sustain their practice. In bringing forth the complexities laden within the practices of menders, the notion of understanding through an examination of the interlaced and entangled relations between social and material forces is embraced.

As a backlash to the ‘throw away’ culture of fast fashion, recent years have witnessed the emergence of various public garment mending events in Western countries. Although academic interest in mending has been growing among fashion researchers, their focus has remained limited to an exploration of perspectives on mending in domestic spaces. Marium Durrani's work proposes to make a shift towards an examination of the processes undertaken to mend by studying existing off-the-grid communal mending practices that run parallel to mainstream fast-fashion systems. In so doing, the study highlights the broader implications of mending that need attention in the current sustainable fashion discourse and invites future research to actively challenge fast fashion dictates towards the practices of caring, inclusivity and stewardship.

228 pages
adhesive bound
17.6 x 25 cm