Agatha on her lifestyle of repair
Agatha is no stranger to the environmental scene in Singapore. She has been running her popular blog, greenissuessingapore.blogspot.com since it 2008 and has quite a number of following in the upcycling and environmental scene. Agatha focusses mainly on upcycled fashion and quite recently brought up the topic of repair.
When asked about how repair relates to upcycling, she says, ”I began to realise that all this while, when I was upcycling clothes like patching a decorative fabric on my jacket, I was actually already doing repairs. That brought me to think about repair as a way to prolong the life of your product before you dispose of it.
Her interest in clothes mending led her to join Sunday Morning Makers: Repair edition by Sustainable Living Lab. Spurred by her interest in learning how to repair electrical appliance and furniture, Agatha came down every Sunday to the Prototyping Lab @ National Design Centre where the trainings were held. There, she also shared with other volunteers her fabric repair techniques.
“What is interesting is that I began to notice that people repair in different ways. I may do a stitch to hem a certain way, and another person may do it differently. This exchange of knowledge is certainly one of the reasons why I keep coming down,” quips Agatha.
Not only is the learning opportunity great for her, the company and camaraderie of like-minded individuals also draws her to this weekly gathering. Together as Repair Coaches, they share the best practices and co-create what we have as Repair Kopitiam today.
Driven by the mission of spreading the repair culture, Agatha has taken the initiative to conduct Fix It Fridays, a gathering to repair fabrics with more specific techniques. Response from the participants gave her more insights about repair. All of them felt that repairing clothes is a relaxing activity. Also, it takes patience and discipline to set aside time to mend clothes. Despite the time consumed to repair, the result from the mending session is highly satisfying. For Agatha and her participants, it is not just about being able to complete their mending. Such life skills they have mastered are invaluable and useful in the near future.