Make Do and Mend

Make Do and Mend pamphlet

One of the Make Do and Mend pamphlets from WWII

Make Do and Mend came about when clothes rationing was introduced during the Second World War. The Ministry of Information published a pamphlet encouraging people to do whatever they could to extend the life of their clothes, from darning socks to washing nylons more carefully. This attitude went on to apply to everything and although they didn’t use the term, reduce, reuse, recycle became the ethos of the times.

This is a wonderful maxim to hold – it prevents wastage, encourages thriftiness and increases appreciation of the value of our belongings. These days, the make do and mend attitude isn’t just about mending worn clothes; it’s about stopping the disposable cycle of buying, throwing away and buying again.

From refurbished furniture to homemade gifts, everything means a little more if you’ve lavished attention on it. That table you spent 8 hours sanding and painting isn’t going to the tip any time soon is it? Or the t-shirt you made from that dress that didn’t fit? No one else will ever have one like it. And you never know, you might have fun along the way.

Furniture: repairing and refurbishing old or salvaged furniture can bring some wonderful pieces into your home.

Sewing: useful and beautiful. From sewing on a button to making a dress, skill with a needle is not to be sneezed at.

Tools: buying good quality and employing proper maintenance is the key to building up a set of tools that will last you a lifetime. Y’know, like your grandfather had.