Posts in guest writer
A mending tutorial

Writer : Brynna Hall
Photography: Brynna Hall

Illustration by    Sarah Lazarovic

Illustration by Sarah Lazarovic

The clothes that we choose to adorn our bodies with carry meaning. Before they reach the consumer’s hands there are stories behind where the material was grown, the factory in which the cloth was manufactured, and the person who sewed the garment together. As a fiber artist and consumer, my goal is to honor the meaning behind textiles and add my own designs into the mix. The illustration “Buyerarchy of Needs” by Sarah Lazarovic defines a new paradigm in our consumer-based society.(1) Since seeing it for the first time, I have copied the words down in my own journal and begun to implement the tenets that Lazarovic promotes. For my art practice I am habitually adding fabrics to my collection by seeking out thrifted finds and second hand materials. It has been relatively easy and inexpensive to purchase only second hand or material off cuts for my work. However, buying nothing and relying solely on what I have and swapping with others has taken a few extra steps. One of the ways I’ve been able to abide by the tenets Lazarovic presents and continue to produce new work is by learning how to mend.

Mending techniques have become an important part of my design aesthetic that it is an effective way to add visual interest and added texture to existing garments. I’ve mended a hole in denim step-by-step to explain one of my favorite mending processes. The mending, or darning style, that I depict is bound by a basic woven grid structure. Because I work with these supplies often I was able to use a needle and thread I already had. My thread is sourced from Offcut Basel, a second hand material and art supply store in my region.

Supplies:
1 Sewing Needle, Embroidery thread or light-weight yarn, Fabric needing mending

Step 1: Clear away any stray threads or ragged edges from the hole.Thread your needle without a knot but leaving a long end that you can weave back in later. Choose your darning thread or yarn. I’ve chosen embroidery floss that is thicker than the denim material because it is easier to see the process, but for invisible mends I recommend thread that is similar in weight and color to the fabric.

Step 2: I prefer to outline the edge of the hole with a quick stitch, this isn’t necessary with sturdy fabrics, but with fragile ones it provides a stronger foundation for the darning stitches.

Step 3: Beginning on the back side of the fabric and above the hole, pull the needle through to the front. Create a small stitch by sewing back through to the other side. Don’t forget to leave a long tail on the backside ~ I prefer to weave the thread back in when possible instead of making a knot that could disturb comfort of the garment ~

Step 4: After you’ve created a few stabilizing stitches above the mending hole, pick up the edge of the hole, going under the edge, thread through and end by going over the bottom edge of the hole. Create a few reinforcing stitches on the other side of the hole.

Step 5: Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you’ve created vertical lines of thread going across the entirety of the hole. The back side of my work has diagonal stitches leading me to the next row.

Step 6: With the needle on the wrong side of the fabric, I chose to make some stabilizing stitches on the right side before I start weaving horizontally over the hole. It is also possible to immediately begin weaving through to the over side without these stitches. Alternate the weaving pattern with each row as you go over and under every vertical thread until you reach the other end of the hole.

Step 7: Weave in the ends on the backside in a similar way to how you’ve been working on the front. Weave over and under a few threads and turn the needle and do the same in the opposite direction for security.

With this basic understanding of how to create a new woven structure where one is missing, feel free experiment, break the traditional rules, and add your own aesthetic to future projects. For example, to complete this project I chose to colorfully embellish the surrounding area with the simple running stitch that we learned above. This piece is a part of my collaboration with the German upcycling brand, Planet Stetten. We are designing a capsule collection that combines hand-embroidery techniques with screen-printed text that promotes the importance of valuing quality clothes that have been discarded in favor of fast fashion trends.

If you’d like to give it a go I recommend listening to a podcast or watching a documentary while working as mending requires time and patience. Here’s what I’ve been listening to as I work ~

Clothes and the Rest - An Ethical Fashion Podcast
The True Cost” Documentary now on Netflix
Plastic Planet” Documentary

If you are not interested in sewing or mending by yourself (it can be time consuming, tedious, and knot-inducing!) I encourage you to seek out artists and designers that will alter clothes for you. Ripso is a U.S.A. based platform that offers customizations to its customers by pairing them with a designer that specializes in their chosen customization. These few tools can extend the life of the clothes already in your closet and add a layer of personal value to your garments.

(1) Rivetto, L. (2015). Thrift, Make and Buy: The Top Levels of the Buyerarchy of Needs. Available here

tips for a mindful xmas

(inlace contributor)

writer: Laura Sulankivi
Picture: Ona Rihu

5 TIPS FOR MORE SUSTAINABLE, ECO-FRIENDLY AND STRESSLESS CHRISTMAS

The lights are twinkling all around and we  keep our fingers crossed wishing for the snow making its white magic on time. I’m adding cinnamon basically to every food I’m eating in these days.  It’s almost here again. The most wonderful time of the year. Christmas.

On the other side, it’s also known as the most consumeristic, unsustainable and wasteful time of the year. Personally, I used to love Christmas. I think back to the Christmas time in my childhood and feel warm and a bit giddy and sentimental too remembering my favorite ornament which I used to hang on our cozy spruce in the living room. I still do love the idea of being with family, having holidays and eating a lot of good food, but all the hustle and the dark side of the celebration causes me stress sometimes. And I have a suspicion that I’m not alone with this.  

mindful xmas

What could we do to make Christmas more sustainable, conscious, and enjoyable and minimize the environmental effects from the such a short period of time? Nobody is perfect, so don't stress too much. It's all about good intentions and being aware of how our acts and consuming are affecting our Mother Earth. These are my 5 tips for your Holiday season!

1.GIVE MINDFULLY

When we start to think about Christmas, it usually means that we start to think about the gifts. We start to ask our friends or family members what they would want for Christmas. They’ll say nothing. We’ll buy something anyways. Why do we give stuff just to give? In my opinion, the presents side of things should take over the place and just causes too much stress for most of the people. I mean, what we really want and need these days, is just some time together. Instead of buying stuff, you can always give non-material gifts. You can give experiences like festival or movie tickets. You can host a dinner for everyone, you can go for a trip. It can be just anything you like to do together.
In case you still want to give something, there is always a better way to do that! Organizing a Secret Santa is budget friendly and reduces the consumption since every person is buying only one present.
Another idea is to give something home-made, something made with love. This is something I personally like to do. Make your own peanut butter, or fill a recycled glass jar with home-made crunchy granola made from organic, fair-trade ingredients, and you. just. can’t. go. wrong.
Christmas is also a great place for spreading a certain message, as you may have known from our previous article presenting our wish list of conscious gift ideas. Give someone your favorite ethical makeup, vegan chocolate or piece of sustainable clothing. At the same time, you are not only putting your own money for something you believe in but also introducing new products to your friends and family. Who knows, and maybe next time in the store they’ll remember that brand or product.

2.WRAP PLANET-FRIENDLY.

Every year tons of wrapping paper is going to the trash after opening the Christmas presents, which is equivalent to cutting down tens of thousands of trees only for that one specific day. This time, look out for recycled wrapping paper or go through all the old magazines or newspapers to find colorful pages. Free your imagination for more personal looking gifts!

3.BURN PLANT-BASED WAX CANDLES.

The traditional, cheapest candles made from paraffin are not the best choice your own health or for the environment. Candles made from natural plant-based wax again, are more eco-friendly because they are smoke-free and biodegradable, made from renewable natural resource and a definitely better choice for especially people having issues such sensitivities, allergies or asthma.

Here is the link to our earlier article offering better alternatives, if you haven’t read it yet.  

4.CHOOSE PLANT-BASED AND CREATE YOUR OWN TRADITIONS.

Hopefully, you have found your way into a plant-based diet already, but if not, there is a lot of yummy vegan alternatives and possibilities to cook a greener Christmas dinner! You can also always give up the traditions that don't feel homely and create your owns. Fill the table with your favorite foods, whatever you like, christmassy or not. Because at the end of the day, Christmas time is for enjoying, and it really doesn’t matter what the people next door are having on their plates.

5.REDUCE FOOD WASTE.

I feel it a bit challenging sometimes to suddenly cook a dinner for an entire family when usually it's just two of us around the table. Go through your recipes and make some calculations and plan the dinner table together before,  and share the responsibilities to make it more enjoyable and relaxed for all. This is a simple way to shop smarter, keep the amounts realistic, and reduce food waste and save money of course!

 

vastuullisuus on chic - Karita Sainio

(inlace contributor)

Kirjoittaja: Meri Frig
Kuva: ida hanhiniemi

vuonna 2019 inlacemediassa tullaan näkemään uusia nimiä - olemme löytäneet ihania contributor-kirjoittajia jotka tulevat jakamaan ajatuksiaan ja antamaan inspiraatiota vieraskirjoittajina. Kiitos ihanasta tekstistä meri!

Karita Sainio on kirjailija ja vastuullisuuteen erikoistuneen pr-toimisto Sugar Helsingin perustaja. Hänen Hyvin Eletty -kirja on ”jokaisen nykynaisen must-have-käsikirja kestävään elämäntapaan.” Kirja on myös niin kaunis, että sen haluaa heti laittaa kirjahyllyssä paraatipaikalle. Selailin sitä taas uudestaan miettiessäni parempia joululahjaideoita. Kysyin Karitalta, mitä hän fiilistelee juuri nyt. Haastattelusta tuli ihana, inspiroitunut fiilis – kiitos Karita!

Karita 12 (1).jpg

Ihastuin kovasti Hyvin eletty -kirjaasi. Voitko kertoa kirjan sanomasta lyhyesti?

Kiitos Meri, ihana kuulla! <3
Olen työskennellyt vastuullisten brändien parissa viimeiset reilu t kymmenen vuotta ja Hyvin eletty olikin luonteva jatko edellisille projekteilleni. Oma missioni työelämässä on jakaa tietoa vastuullisista, päivittäisistä valinnoista synkistelemättä ja parempiin valintoihin inspiroiden. Kirjasta halusin tehdä helposti lähestyttävän (ja kauniin!) oppaan, josta löytää ne juuri omat vinkit oman arjen vastuullisiin valintoihin. Kirjan kautta oivaltaa, että vastuullisuus on oikeastaan aika helppoa.   

 Hyvin eletty -kirja opastaa kauniiseen vastuulliseen elämään. Miksi ”kauniiseen” ja ”vastuulliseen,” yhdessä?

Mielestäni vastuullinen elämäntapa on tyylikästä, älykästä ja puoleensavetävää. On luontevaa haluta hyviä arvoja ja niiden mukanaan tuomaa kauneutta ympärilleen. Sen sijaan, että vastuulliset valinnat jotenkin rasittaisivat, ne tuovat harmoniaa ja itsevarmuutta elämään. On voimaannuttavaa ottaa asioista selvää ja tieto myös helpottaa valintojen tekemistä.

 Mitä vinkkejä antaisit vastuullisuudesta viestimiseen, heille, jotka tulevat uutena tälle alalle? 

Aikoinaan päätin, että työskentelen ainoastaan vastuullisten brändien parissa. Silloin vastuullisuudesta viestiminen on oikeastaan aika helppoa, sillä se on sisäänrakennettu brändeihin ja viestiä ei tarvitse erikseen rakentaa tai päälleliimata. Monet vastuulliset brändit ovat laadukkaita, esimerkiksi kosmetiikassa raaka-aineet ovat aitoja tai ruokapuolella luomua ja ravintorikasta. Tällöin viestissä voi keskittyä tuotteen laatuun ja vastuullisuus tuleekin kaupan päälle, ikään kuin itsestään selvänä kivijalkana tuotteelle – tarinoita ei tarvitse keksiä.

Mikä on nyt ’bubbling under,’ eli jotain ihan uutta, vastuullisuuden maailmassa?

Mentoroin paljon uusia yrittäjiä ja selkeästi uusiobrändit ovat jo syntyessään vastuullisia – se itsessään tulee muuttamaan maailmaa jo paljon. Uskon, että juuri nyt on paljon kehitteillä esimerkiksi muovia, puuvillaa ja muita ekokatastrofimateriaaleja korvaavia vaihtoehtoja, zero waste -innovaatioita, lihaa korvaavia vaihtoehtoja ja uusia energiaratkaisuja. Vastuullisuus koskettaa oikeastaan ihan kaikkea. 

Mitkä eettiset tai ekologiset paikat tai brändit ovat juuri nyt suosikkejasi?

Uuh, herkullinen kysymys, näitä on niiiiiiin runsaasti! Tänään minulle tulisi mieleen Aida Impact, super elegantteja silkkikoruja valmistava, Suomeen pakolaisina tulleita naisia työllistävä brändi, Embrosé, uusi vastuullisiin lifestyle-tuotteisiin erikoistunut nettikauppa joka on pastellisävyissään kuin karkkikauppa, Duara, jonka kautta voi yöpyä Afrikassa tai Aasiassa osana paikallista arkea ja siten jakaa turismin rahaa kansainvälisten ketjujen sijasta kehittyvien maiden asukkaille, Magnesia jooga- ja hyvinvointifestivaali, joka laajenee ensi kesänä Suomenlinnaan, Supermoodin Youth Glo -sarja joka tekee iholle ihmeitä ja Kuuman herkulliset soija-cappucinot & letut. 

Mitä blogeja tai esimerkiksi Instagram-tilejä tykkäät seurata?

Juuri nyt huomaan seuraavani erilaisten startuppien ja vastuullisten brändien tilejä, benchmarkkaus- ja inspiraatiosilmällä, sillä työskentelen itsekin uusien liiketoimintakonseptien ja brändien rakentamisen parissa. Rakastan yrittäjiä ja uusia yrityksiä ja saan niistä paljon inspiraatiota!  
Muuten olen aika tarkka sisällöstä, mitä kulutan. En esimerkiksi juuri ollenkaan seuraa Instagramin Storiesia, vaikka se onkin viihdyttävää, mutta jatkuva höpinä usein vain kuormittaa aivoja ja on vähän turhaa muutenkin. Huomaan etsiväni ylipäätään elämässä syvempää viisautta somen alta, olen lopettanut Facebookin käytön ja ajastanut Instagramissa kulutetun ajan. Blogeja en oikeastaan seuraa ollenkaan, mutta suosikkeihin kuuluvat ystävien blogit kuten Visual Diary (ja Insta!! yksi parhaimmista), Anna Vihervaarasta, Ida365. Tottakai Sugarin oma media on lähellä sydäntä, ja Inlace, tykkään! :)