‘Bring sewing back to life’: BHF seek to inject energy into forgotten old trade

A survey published on National Sewing Machine Day has revealed more than half of people in the North West are uneducated in a trade they were once renowned for.

Leading UK charity British Heart Foundation released the statistics revealing 55% of the North West’s population perceive sewing to be a skill lost in today’s generation.

Nearly 50% of residents have to rely on their mothers to mend their clothes whilst 14% had to seek their grandparents help.

Approximately 60% of North West citizens stated they were unable to sew confidently or at all, with around 30% relating they were never even taught how to sew.

The results from the poll demonstrate the severe lack of sewing skills present in today’s society.

In an attempt to combat this, the BHF-organised Big Stitch campaign from July 1-31 is encouraging shoppers to pop into a BHF store and put their hands to use – expressing their unique fashion flair through the lost art of sewing whilst contributing to fund lifesaving research into heart disease.

“We want to bring sewing back to life,” said Allison Swaine-Hughes, retail operations director at the BHF.

“Clothes can be transformed so easily and cheaply, so we are really looking forward to seeing what the thousands of style seekers across the UK can create throughout July.”

Findings of the research have also served to highlight the concerning quantities of clothing waste being generated each year.

Over the course of the previous year approximately 26million items of clothing were discarded or donated in the North West alone due to a minor flaw which could easily be rectified.

Residents in the region have been estimated to spend over £130 million fixing or tailoring clothes via professional services whilst £300 million has been expended on replacing items of clothing due to an easily repairable fault.

Despite these disheartening results – which seem to indicate the loss of a traditional art form – 59% said they would be willing to learn this money-saving/resourceful practice.

The BHF ‘Big Stitch’ campaign allows people the perfect opportunity to either embrace their sewing skills or learn an easy way to inject a flare into their wardrobe.

“Making alterations, adding buttons, trims, embroidery, and other decorative items to your BHF purchases is a great way to update your wardrobe this July,” said Jax Black, senior costume technician at London College of Fashion.

Image courtesy of Windell Oskay via Flickr, with thanks.

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