by Charli Cox

More so than ever does collaboration and understanding play a part in our community, and what better way to encourage locals to support locals in 2021 than for everyone to get to know each other a little better. For our monthly series, Community, we caught up with one of our volunteers, Margaret, who repairs some of our damaged Koha donations.

What made you want to donate your time to Koha?
Love the energy you provide Charli and wondered if my behind the scene skills might be of use, so decided to contact you.

What would be your top tips and tricks for caring for your garments and fixing them?
That's a loaded question, but for me: cold wash, line dry, hang inside out and avoid using a clothes dryer. Repair/mend/sew on that button sooner rather than later to avoid the issue becoming a huge problem.

How did you get into sewing, have you always fixed and repurposed your own clothing?
I grew up in a family where everything was homemade - all clothes including school uniforms, hats, shoes were mended, jumpers and cardigans knitted. Knitting and sewing for me were fun and a way of exploring creativity. I have always been a maker. I can recall hitchhiking through Greece and in need of a skirt, so purchased a beautiful cotton print and hand-stitched it - hippy days! Currently making a winter coat from an old wool blanket dyed with locally foraged leaves.

You see the impact that fast fashion has, with a large amount of barely-worn donations, some only with minor damage. In your option what’s the best thing we can do to lower our environmental footprint when it comes to our clothing consumption?
You are so right Charli, many of the clothes require only minor repairs to ensure the garment can be worn and enjoyed by others less fortunate rather than ending up in the landfill. Koha Apparel is playing a major role in ensuring the life of these clothes is extended. Not sure if anyone is doing this, but maybe a pop-up repair/mend venue might be of use where people can bring along their garments to repair and learn some of those old skills.