Sustainable decisions: Trust in the hands and know-how of the repairers

COLLINGWOOD-NORRIS DESIGN, United Kingdom

“I’ve never thrown away sweaters lightly,” admits Flora Collingwood-Norris, a knitwear designer who works in the Scottish Borders and whose CV includes catwalk pieces for Christopher Kane and a range of lambswool accessories. From the sweaters his dog chewed, his idea of ​​“visible mending” took shape and grew into a tailor repair shop, DIY tutorials, workshops and a book. “Every hole becomes an opportunity to draw something new,” she explains, talking about moth damage or worn elbows that she repairs with colored inserts, sometimes even decorative elements. “I see my work as a tailor-made service.” Whenever he has time for repair work, he shares it in his newsletter. Prices from £40 for a small hole, elbows from £150 each. collingwoodnorrisdesign.com VICTORIA WOODCOCK

TOAST, United Kingdom

Toast Repair is a free repair service (within certain limits, for example, reupholstery will incur a cost) that allows you to restore elegance to any Toast item, no matter how old it is. The repair specialists – based only in selected UK stores – offer a quality service, from sashiko repairs and touch-ups to decorative wall lights. Customers often prefer visible repairs that honor the vicissitudes of a worn garment and make it a unique piece. A separate collection – Toast Renewed – includes a range of damaged or returned garments that the tailor repair team has creatively redesigned using traditional techniques. toa.st/pages/toastrepair JS

SOJO, London

Launched in 2021 by 25-year-old entrepreneur Josephine Philips, the fashion technology platform and app offers a chance to find ruined and forgotten clothing across London. The door-to-door service offers repairs and dimensional alterations for individuals and brands and, to be even more sustainable, has recently partnered with zero-emission courier Spedal. sojo.uk CHARLENE PREMPEH

Sojo’s lab. © Celia Hodgson

EVA JOAN, New York

A studio that celebrates creative mending: “A process that makes clothing more personal,” says Eva Joan co-founder Emma Villeneuve. In addition to a simple moth hole repair ($15), this shop offers all kinds of mending, tailoring, and patching: recent projects include a cable sweater with a large embroidered appliqué on the shoulder to creatively repair damage, or personalized name tags and decorative repairs to a vintage bomber jacket. “There are thousands of ways to improve something, it just takes commitment and initiative,” explains Villeneuve. 28 Jane Street, New York, NY 10014; evajoanrepair.com JS

THE SEAM, Great Britain

It’s a bespoke tailoring service founded in 2019 by Layla Sargent and has just announced collaborations with Net-A-Porter, Mr Porter and The Outnet. Alison Loehnis, interim CEO of Yoox Net-A-Porter, explains: “Everything is designed to ensure that the items customers buy from us can be carefully stored for many years.” After a virtual consultation, The Seam connects Users with local tailors with prices starting from £3. Most services are completed in less than ten days. Theseam.uk JS

SHOES, BAGS AND LEATHER GOODS

ARTBAG, USA

For more than nine decades, this Upper East Side institution has been a must-see for high-society ladies—from Jackie Onassis to Elizabeth Taylor—who wanted to revitalize their lives Birkins. Rising rents forced Artbag to move to Florida last year, but its success continues: Thanks to shipping service providers, bags from customers from all over the world are delivered here. 927 N. University Drive, Coral Springs, FL 33071; artbag.com HM

L’ATELIER DE JEAN, Paris

Monsieur Jean works on the elegant Rue de Bellechasse. It accepts shoes of any kind – brogues, stilettos or biker boots – and returns them in new condition. The service is worthy of a true luxury craftsman and the prices are right. 23 rue de Bellechasse, 75007 Paris; +33 1 45514577 IK

FRATELLI CHIESA FOOTWEAR ACCESSORIES, Rome

Fratelli Chiesa’s store carries leather polish in every color ever made. It’s an art shop for leather goods lovers, and the owner gives lots of advice – for example, recommending mixing polishes if you can’t find the right shade. Repair belts, jackets, bags and shoes. Buckles and rivets clink on the shelves and wafer-thin sheets of soft leather and suede lie folded on wooden shelves. Viale Furio Camillo 29, 00181 and other parts of Rome; fllichiesa.com CAMILLA BELL DAVIES

JIM’S SHOE REPAIR, New York

Jim’s has been operated by the same family in the same location since 1932 and is a piece of New York history with a wonderful vintage 1930s cash register. The team claims to be able to refurbish any model of worn and damaged shoes, bags and jackets, and can even repair a shoe bitten by a dog. 50 East 59th Street, New York, NY 10022; jimsshoerepair.com HM

COCONUT, London

This shoe repair shop in Finchley was opened by a Greek family in the 1970s. Since then, customers have been bringing their worn shoes here to give them a new life, relying on Kokos’ traditional rigor but also on his intuition and innovative spirit, such as the processed leather toes or the colored rubber soles. The workshop was the first to bring high-quality Italian creations to London and then became the church’s authorized shoemaker. Craftsmen wear worn leather aprons and display polished brogues and boots on mahogany shelves. 72-74 High Road, London N2 9PN; coconut.co.uk CB-D

L’ÉPÉE DE CUIR, Paris

L’Épée de Cuir in the 5th arrondissement of Paris repairs all types of bags. It is the address that solves age-old problems, such as the wheels on a suitcase that no longer turn or a strap that has come loose due to too much strain on a bag. No matter what type of bag it is, whether an old vintage model or a new, elegant Saint Laurent: the price is always the same. 6 rue de l’Épée de Bois, 75005 Paris; lepeedecuir.fr I K

KPA SHOE REPAIR AND SERVICES, London

Run by Ajit and his sister-in-law Pardi, it’s the place to bring luxury bags and suitcases to deftly repair broken zippers or wobbly wheels (among the brands they specialize in: Gucci, Mulberry and Burberry). . The level of preparation of the team’s craftsmen is a guarantee that the suitcases they pick up will not break or their heels will give way in the middle of the trip. 10 Station Approach, Northwood HA6 2XN; kparepairs.co.uk KATE CHAPPLE

MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

STAIRWAY TO KEVIN, London

Kevin Bourque works at the top of a staircase on Denmark Street in London. He primarily repairs guitars, but his Starway To Kevin accepts all types of instruments from customers all over the world. One month he’s repairing an African kora, the next a balalaika or a banjo. Bourque’s laboratory would once have been surrounded by the somewhat run-down studios where the Kinks, David Bowie and the Rolling Stones recorded their first records. Open by appointment. 5 Denmark Street, Second Floor, London WC2H 8LP; stairwaytokevin.com CB-D

Kevin Bourque in his Stairway To Kevin workshop on Denmark Street, London. © Lesley Lau

HI-FI

THE AUDIO CENTER, Croydon

The Audio Center is a place of pilgrimage for anyone who wants to repair their beloved Revox cassette deck, Betamax video recorder or other old hi-fi device. Alfonso Camisotti opened his business in the early 1970s, when buttons were big and valves opened smoothly. It continues to breathe new life into these old devices, even after fifty years of honorable service. theaudiocentre.com RHODRI MARSDEN

LAMPS

CLIVE LEE, Cornwall

Clive repairs lamps, as he has done for years in his riverside workshop overlooking Fowey Harbour. Cornwall 42 years ago and he likes to think there isn’t a lamp he can’t fix, from French chandeliers to ship lights. It’s worth stopping by the store just to see the 4.5 meter long steamer outside the window or to ask him the most bizarre request, which he will definitely answer in the affirmative (he even boasts that he can work on a steam engine). steamboatclive@hotmail.com; +44 07890-867 519 FG

OF ALL

SELFRIDGES, UK

Available in the London store and online, Selfridges Repairs Concierge is a multi-service shop for the repair of shoes, accessories, jewellery, glasses and gadgets. Just tell us the problem and you will be redirected to the right place. Repairs Concierge works with Sneakers ER (which brings trainers back to life and repairs soles; also available in Selfridges Trafford and soon in Birmingham), Apple Repair, Timpson’s, Barbour Re-Wax and The Handbag Clinic. The Denim Studio can alter jeans, but as with other services offered, the item must have been purchased from Selfridges for the repair. selfridges.com

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