Enabling Repairability refers to the intentional design and production of fashion items that allow for easy and effective repair and maintenance. It involves incorporating durable materials, modular designs, and accessible repair services and resources to extend the life-cycle of fashion products and promote sustainable consumption patterns.

To enable repairability, fashion brands focus on several key aspects. First, they prioritize the selection of durable and high-quality materials that can withstand wear and tear. This includes using strong stitching, reinforced seams, and robust fabrics that are less prone to damage. By choosing materials with longevity in mind, brands create products that can be repaired and maintained over time.

In addition to materials, the design of fashion items plays a crucial role in enabling repairability. Brands may adopt modular designs, where different components of a garment can be easily replaced or repaired without affecting the overall integrity of the piece. For example, a jacket with detachable and interchangeable buttons or a pair of shoes with replaceable soles allows for specific parts to be fixed or replaced rather than discarding the entire item.

Furthermore, enabling repairability involves providing access to repair services and resources. Brands may collaborate with skilled artisans or partner with repair workshops to offer repair services for their products. They may also provide customers with repair kits, guidelines, or tutorials that empower them to perform minor repairs themselves. By facilitating repair options, brands encourage customers to extend the life of their fashion items instead of replacing them.

Moreover, a comprehensive approach to enabling repairability also includes considerations for the availability and accessibility of spare parts. Brands may maintain inventories of replacement buttons, zippers, clasps, or other components, ensuring that customers can easily obtain the necessary parts for repairs. They may also establish partnerships with suppliers or retailers to ensure the availability of these components for an extended period.

Overall, enabling repairability in the fashion domain involves a holistic approach to design, materials, resources, and services. By prioritizing durability, adopting modular designs, providing repair services and resources, and ensuring the availability of spare parts, brands empower customers to prolong the life of their fashion items through repairs. This approach promotes sustainability, reduces waste, and encourages a shift towards a more circular fashion industry.

Case studies

iFixit

Although not a fashion brand, iFixit is an online platform that promotes repairability across various user products, including clothing and accessories. They provide free repair guides, tools, and community forums to help individuals repair their own items. iFixit’s focus on repairability aligns with the broader concept of enabling repairability in the fashion domain.

Cotopaxi

Cotopaxi is an outdoor apparel and gear brand with a strong commitment to sustainability and social impact. They offer a comprehensive repair program for their products, ensuring that customers can continue using and enjoying their Cotopaxi gear for an extended period.

Nau

Nau is a sustainable clothing brand that integrates repairability into its design philosophy. They create durable garments with repair-friendly features, such as hidden zippers and accessible stitching, to facilitate easy repairs. Nau also partners with repair centers to offer repair services to customers.

Veja

Veja is an ethical and sustainable footwear brand that focuses on transparency and responsible production. While not exclusively a repair-focused brand, Veja emphasizes the durability and longevity of their shoes, encouraging customers to repair them rather than replace them when necessary.

Hackwith Design House

Hackwith Design House is a slow fashion brand known for its minimalist and timeless designs. They offer a repair service called HDH Repair, where customers can send their damaged Hackwith Design House garments for repair. The brand aims to extend the life of their clothing and reduce waste.

Askov Finlayson

Askov Finlayson is a Minnesota-based clothing brand that places a strong emphasis on durability and repairability. They offer a lifetime guarantee on their products and provide repair services for their garments. Customers can send their Askov Finlayson items for repair, ensuring their longevity.

Seagale

Seagale is a French brand that specializes in technical clothing for outdoor activities. They focus on durability and offer a comprehensive repair program for their products. Customers can send their Seagale clothing for repair, allowing them to continue using the garments for a longer time.

References

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/352897684_Repairing_Fashion_Cultures_From_Disposable_to_Repairable

https://www.futurity.org/fabric-self-heal-toxins-1211672-2/

https://help.patagonia.com/s/article/Repair-Process

https://consciousfashion.co/guides/textile-recycling-companies

https://www.berghaus.com/repairs.list