In August 2013 I started my fast-fashion fast, Make Thrift Mend, and abstained from buying new clothing for one entire year while I focused instead on making clothing, buying secondhand, and mending garments. This was an attempt to focus on sustainable fashion while creating a process-based, social practice, art project embracing slow fashion and slow textiles. From this project grew my love of mending and my technique to use Sashiko stitches, Boro inspiration, and to embrace the creative opportunity in repair. This allowed me to make my wardrobe less perfect and more personal.
As part of Make Thrift Mend, I was awarded a grant to teach sustainable fashion workshops online. Soon after, I began teaching Sashiko Mending workshops throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. To my surprise, the mending workshops sold out quickly and the interest continues to grow. This work is part of a contemporary movement called “visible mending” or “creative mending” or what I like to call, “modern mending”. But it’s inspired by the Japanese embroidery work of Sashiko and the Japanese mending work of Boro though it’s through a contemporary lens. Mending embraces slow stitches and traditional handwork but it’s also disruptive to the fashion treadmill and encourages what I call, “Mendfulness”. Read more about my thoughts on this work in this blog post here about mending, here about wabi sabi, or in my article Mendfulness published in the Mend issue of Taproot magazine.