The human urge to mend, repair and improve is nothing new – it has just been forgotten and gone untrained, buried under an avalanche of mass produced garments, hemmed with injustice, exploitation and emissions. In this short story of change we explore how the lockdown-induced renaissance in sewing, mending, making and doing has seen people take ownership of new skills, brought communities together and improved peoples mental and emotional well being.

During lockdown, many people found themselves confined to their homes. Social circles became significantly smaller and people were forced to function within just four walls. Many people found themselves working from home for the first time or on furlough. We all suddenly had more free time to do whatever they wanted, outside the rigours of work and social commitments, but less physical space to exercise it.

When faced with limits and restrictions, human imagination thrived as people chose to do things differently. And when provided with this impromptu abundance of free time, people not only adapted to and found inspiration in their immediate environment: they
also sought to transform it by embracing the practical and creative skills of repair.



This story is part of the Reset series – a collection of short downloadable stories that  look in more detail at over consumption and unnecessary travel. They consider some of the key messages and solutions that have become apparent during the pandemic that could help us make the rapid transition to a more sustainable future.

This guide has been made possible by the support of ClimateWorks Foundation.


2010s, 2020s