We're thrilled to share our new collaboration with Rebel Patch, a new social enterprise encouraging people to mend, repair, upcycle and (re)love the clothes they own by adding unique arts patches. We asked Lisa, the founder, to share a little bit about their work - check it out below, and find out how you can preorder your very own TFT patch!
What is Rebel Patch?
Rebel Patch is a brand and community that empowers people to engage with their clothes by repairing, upcycling and customising them. We Make limited edition art patches together with artists to bring their work onto clothes and into the streets, while at the same time, combating consumerism and throw away culture by extending the life of clothes.
How did you get started?
I started my journey about a year ago when I was tired of sitting in front of a screen 8 hours a day and wanted to do something with my hands when I came across an online course on visible mending. I devoured the course material and found myself darning everything I could possibly darn (socks, jumper, jeans, even sneakers!) and loved it so much I wanted to pass on the joy and held a visible mending workshop in my co-work.
The people who attended loved it and I felt like I had found my purpose - I wanted to get more people into mending and bringing back to life clothes they may have fallen out of love with. As much as I love darning it didn't feel particularly accessible to me so I started looking for other creative ways and solutions to make clothing repair and customisation easy and fun. I looked at what's out there and was pretty disappointed by the limited amount of things available. All the patches I could find were either really boring or cheaply produced plastic peace signs and smiley faces you'd only find on some ripped jeans of a 5 year old. So I set out on a mission to re-invent the iron on patch. I wanted to combine my love for repair with my love for art and had the idea of using patches as a medium for both. Wearable art so to speak. And that was how the idea for my limited edition art patches was born.
I have just launched the first collection with an incredible Malaysian illustrator and am looking to launch two more collections later this year. The patches will be as different as the artists themselves but I am hoping to inspire more people to up-cycle and repair their clothes by using the patches. The patches are sustainably printed in the Netherlands on organic cotton and then finished in Bristol, UK by a local manufacturer. I also teach people how to apply them and up-cycle their clothes by using patches.
Why is mending, repairing and patching important?
There is enough clothing in the world to dress the next six generations and an ever growing mountain of textile waste that pollutes the environment and negatively impacts local economies, especially in the Global South where a lot of waste gets sent to. To address these issues we simply need to buy less clothing and instead repair and value the clothes we already own.
What's one tip from you to our community to connect with nature?
Take your shoes off more often! Feel the grass between your toes and the ground beneath your feet. There are plenty of studies that prove the benefits of getting your feet on the earth and your hands in the soil - probably the most direct way to connect with nature.