Repair Week at 109 Fleet street

repair week festival

With almost 100 people joining the Launch Event of London National Park City’s Visitor Centre at the end of January and more than 100 visitors from all over London throughout the month of February, we knew that we needed to capitalise on this interest by structuring the many events we’re playing host to into what we’ve dubbed Festival Weeks. These weeks are designed to bring focus to some of the many aspects that make up the wider National Park City vision as summarised in the Charter of the London National Park City produced in July 2019. 

WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP

The first of these weeks was a partnership with ReLondon, Participatory City and the Fabric Lab from Dagenham, East London. Relating to decision-making, sharing, learning and working together – this Repair Week was a fantastic kick-off of our Festival Weeks programme.

Now in its 4th year, Repair Week is a platform developed by ReLondon as “an annual celebration of repair throughout London”. Acting as a platform for support, promotions, and matchmaking between repairers and venue hosts – the ReLondon team were wonderful partners. In this instance, we played hosts to our friends at Participatory City who also generously acted as Headline Sponsors for the Festival Week. Participatory City have been doing incredible work in Barking & Dagenham with the Every One Every Day project over the past 7 years. As part of this work, the Fabric Lab collective of local residents has grown to take on a shop space in the Dagenham Heathway shopping mall dedicated to mending, repairing and making fabric items all while teaching others. 

SOCIAL FABRIC 

The Fabric Lab team held multiple events as part of Repair Week at the London National Park City Visitors Centre. The first was a ‘Sew & Mend’ workshop which was attended by our fabulous Trustee, Tim Webb, and the wonderful Lizzy Woods from ReLondon as well as a fantastic group of participants who got stuck in and transformed a huge amount of textiles. The weekend event saw a Clothes Swap extravaganza transform the Visitors Centre space including a visit from Matilda Prescott of ReLondon. As the saying goes, ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’ and in this instance, clothes were re-homed and given a new lease of life in the fight to reduce textile waste.

In ReLondon’s recent report London’s Fashion Footprint they note that “in 2019, London consumed 154,600 tonnes of clothing and got rid of 142,700 tonnes. This equates to a huge 48 items of new clothing on average being acquired per person per year. Of the 142,700 tonnes of clothing discarded by Londoners in 2019 (around 44 items of clothing per person), over 40% ended up in the waste bin where 90% is lost to energy from waste/incineration and 10% goes to landfill.” With groups like Fabric Lab teaching participants in events like this how to swap, mend and repair treasured items, this tide can begin to turn. 

WHAT’S NEXT 

With 32 attendees throughout the week we hope this is just the beginning and we wanted to share ReLondon’s call out for those that may have missed Repair Week to take a look at their Repair Directory to find year-round repair services near you. And if you’re inspired to suggest a themed Festival Week yourself, do please get in touch and we can look to start those conversations. See you down at the Visitors Centre soon!

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