This 70s Documentary Highlights The Power Of Repurposing Your Clothes

by: Well Made Clothes Staff | 3 years ago | News

Image: still from the Millstone Sewing Centre documentary. Image source

When we talk about the damage fast fashion has caused to the planet, throwaway culture forms an integral part of the conversation. While these retailers undoubtedly produce far more clothing than necessary, consumers are also complicit in the sense that cheap garments have come to be viewed as disposable. Which is why repurposing our clothes represents such a radical act now – as 70s documentary The Millstone Sewing Centre underscored more than four decades ago.

According to Appalshop, the short documentary directed by Mimi Pickering and Peter Tarzian in 1972 documents “a highly successful community action program during the War on Poverty.” The Millstone Sewing Centre saw elderly seamstresses use Office of Economic Opportunity funds and Salvation Army hand-me-downs to remodel clothing for poor families in two Kentucky counties.

In an age where many of us throw clothing away when it develops a small imperfection, this initiative proves the power of repurposing garments with life still left in them – whether for our own wardrobes, or for those in need. This ties in with Patagonia’s Worn Wear program and mission to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, while also providing compelling food for thought when it comes to throwaway culture in fashion.

You can watch a snippet of the film below, or view it in full over here.


If you liked this, then you might like to shop some of our well-made swimwear, made from upcycled fishing nets and other regenerated fibres:


This article reflects these values click to shop the value

This article reflects these values

Tap value for more information

Shop related categories