Hi, Anna! Tell us a little bit about yourself. When did you learn to sew, and why did you want to work at Aiayu?
I learned about garment repair while studying traditional crafts like knitting, sewing, and embroidery in my bachelors program. I’ve always loved to work with my hands, so I was attracted to this kind of work because it’s very hands-on and isn’t behind a computer. I was drawn to Aiayu because I knew I would get to work with items that are well crafted and made from beautiful materials – which makes a big difference in the repair process.
How does our repair program work?
It is complimentary to get your Aiayu product repaired for up to five years after purchase. In short, it’s two years for cotton styles and five years for knitwear. If it’s been longer than than that, we kindly ask that the customer cover the cost of shipping. You can either bring the item to the Aiayu store you bought it from or purchase the repair service shipping fee in our webshop and send it in.
Once I get an item, I evaluate what it needs, and then I do my best to fix it! Thankfully, we receive a lot of doable repairs like small holes or snags, which are very satisfying because I know the repair will give the garment a whole new life.
What is your favourite part of your work and why?
My favorite part of my work is how tactile it is. I get to use my hands every day and touch all of these amazing materials. Who wouldn’t want to touch llama wool all day? I also love the quiet and stillness of my work, I have my own little space in the office where I can sit and focus on the repair that I’m doing.
Why do you think it’s important that people get their clothes fixed?
We are in an age of overconsumption where we treat our clothes as completely disposable. It’s easy to disconnect from the reality that so many hands, hours, and resources go into the making of our clothes when you see the finished garment hanging in a shop. But we can’t afford to ignore this anymore, as our obsession with having something ‘new’ has come at a huge cost for our planet and the people who make our clothes.
This is why we need to slow down and start taking care of what we have. Repairing our clothes enables us to buy less and use what we already own for longer – which is so important from a sustainability perspective. But there also needs to be a culture shift, so I’m hoping that teaching people about garment care and repair will inspire them to value their clothes more.
What are some tips you have for people in terms of making their favorite Aiayu product last?
Buying a high-quality garment made of a long-lasting natural material is already a good first step. But after that, my advice is to treat clothes like your second skin. That means washing them gently in not too warm water with a gentle detergent and air drying. You wouldn’t wash your face in boiling water with harsh soap, so treat your clothes the same way. Also – this tip works for both etiquette and garment care – keep your elbows off the table. One of the most common repairs I do is worn-down elbows on a sweater or a top. To avoid that, try to not rest your elbows on your dinner table or desk as much.
Do you have any advice for people wanting to learn how to repair their clothes?
My best tip is to just start somewhere. Fix something small first, like a button, and then move onto to bigger things. Also, be gentle with yourself as you learn. You need to have a lot of patience and a willingness to try. Lastly, watch a lot of YouTube videos on DIY repairs – seriously, there are a million videos out there explaining how to repair something these days and it is a great place to start.