• VictoriaFauve

#Projectimplementation - The Good Shop Repair

Last year was mentioned the 'Don't Despair, Repair' initiative... In 2020, it shifted to become 'The Good Shop Repair, Renew & Recycle' project, under the wings of The Good Shop. Indeed, in 2020, I was happy to co-implement and co-create The Good Shop Repair with Imiloa Collective and The Good Shop. The Good Shop Repair is on a mission to revive the local Mauritian repair industry by making it easy, convenient, efficient and effective to fix your broken items.

A little bit of context first: The Good Shop is a social enterprise in Mauritius with 3 second-hand shops that enable the employment of people who face barriers to employment. The sales of the 2nd hand items also fuel a bursary used to send kids to school. And of course, this helps to reduce waste and save natural resources by offering to the local community the opportunity to buy amazing 2nd hand items. The Good Shop Repair started by creating employment by repairing the textile items donated to The Good Shop, items with a little hole or missing buttons that wouldn't be able to be sold in the shop if left as such. Once repaired, the items would go in the shop to be sold: saving even more items from the landfill while creating employments! The clients from The Good Shop were then invited to bring their own textile items to be repaired in the shop; a seamstress was now everyday on the shop floor. To put the seamstress and her sewing machine in the shop encouraged a reflection on sustainability and repairs, as it attracted everyone's attention and questions. Client items, once dropped in the shop, would be repaired within 1 week; the client would then come to pick it up. A few 'repair stations' outside of the shop also took place; in shopping malls for example, in the hope to once again encourage a reflection on sustainability and our throw-away culture. There too, clients could bring their textile items to be repaired. To continue to raise awareness, workshops on 'repair skills' were also organized, for the general public or directed to corporates. These workshops taught how we could, all of us, give a second life to our items: for example by teaching basic sewing skills to repair our fabrics, or how to hide imperfections on our clothing items with embroidery! These workshops were collaborations with local creatives, in order to support those who were already promoting this repair culture as well as to support local creativity and 'know-how'. These local creators also helped to repair a few textile pieces creatively, hence crafting unique fashion items from items that would otherwise have been discarded.

In 2020, since launching in August, The Good Shop repaired more than 125kg of textile items donated to The Good Shop Mauritius; in addition to many client items. In these few months, just from items that would have otherwise gone to waste, were created 1 full-time job and 3 part-time jobs, as well as collaboration with local creatives. This is only the beginning though; and while these numbers might seem anecdotal, the awareness is created. We can't wait to see how this project will continue to grow in the next few years ! Follow this adventure, here: The Good Shop Repair