Spend a few months at Universal Works HQ and it’s likely that you’d hear Co-Founder, David Keyte, referring to an inspirational book or two. Tir a’Mhurain (translated as: Land of Bent Grass) is one of these books; a collection of black & white photographs taken by Paul Strand and his wife Hazel during a three month visit to the Outer Hebrides in 1954. Capturing the remote rural life with a no-frills brilliance; children stand shyly next to weather-worn parents and young crofters squint at the camera in dungarees and darned jumpers. There are tank tops, rolled-up sleeves, well-washed aprons, scuffed elbows. All worn with great dignity and pride, a stark contrast to the fast fashion and excessive consumerism we have experienced in recent years.

 

 

Let’s admit it, many of us could pull our socks up when it comes to looking after our stuff. In 2022 more than ever, there should be no valid reason to relegate something to the back of the wardrobe (the first step towards landfill) just because it’s looking a bit tired. Why not twist your melon on the notion of newness and think about repairing it instead?

Here at UW, we believe wholeheartedly in the art of visible repair as a great step towards prolonging the life of garments, the cornerstone of our approach to sustainability. For us, stuff worth wearing, is worth repairing. When we began trialling the Universal Re-Works: Visible Repairs service last year it was with a mission in mind; to be a part of the clothing repair revolution by encouraging people to view visibly repaired clothing as something to be worn with a pride akin to that seen in Tir a’Mhurain.

 

Shown here are two examples of previously damaged UW garments, re-worked and given a new lease of life through visible repairs techniques by our Re-Works Partner Gay at Soul and Flare. 

 

The odd tear, a random hole, that threadbare collar – aren’t these just the hallmarks of the things we love? Why not re-work these blemishes into the badges of honour they deserve to be? Earlier this year we took a step towards making that a reality for our customers and ran a pilot scheme offering a visible repair service to a handful of lucky people. The service utilises techniques such as visible stitching and up-cycled leftover UW. trims and fabrics to repair some much-loved but slightly tired looking UW garments. The result; re-worked totally unique pieces with a new lease of life and some happy customers.

Mission Accomplished? Almost...

  

Above is seamstress Gay from Soul and Flare our Re-Works partner. The damaged goods are assessed by an expert and they will consider how best to repair the garment keeping in mind the original brief from the customer.

 

We’ve spent the last 10 months gathering feedback from participants, speaking and listening to our customers to consolidate their thoughts and use our findings to review and finesse the process internally. It’s with great joy that we are now able to officially launch the service to all customers from Friday 21st October 2022.

Available both in-store and online, the Universal Re-Works: Visible Repairs service sees us continue to partner with local artisans to breathe new life into old things and marks a new chapter in our responsibility pledge. It’s a service that we are extremely proud to offer to our customers.

 

Head to our landing page to access the Re-Works: Visible Repair Service and find out more

Peace, Love and Soul.

Team UW