One of the most sustainable things anyone can do right now is to repair or mend existing clothes in their closet instead of replacing them with new clothes. But the problem is, because most people are extremely busy, or do not know how to sew, most consumers would opt to buy new clothes once their favorite blouse starts to lose a button or two.

With this issue unresolved, the discarding of "damaged" clothing proportionately affects the landfill situation. Additionally, it facilitates the planned obsolescence mindset that promotes wasteful consumerism.
That is why Sojo, a London-based mobile app, aims to make clothing alterations and repairs accessible to everyone, especially to Gen Z by introducing its users to local seamsters or tailoring businesses and delivering their items to be altered or repaired. After three to five working days, the order is returned to the customer as good as new.

In an interview, Josephine Philips, the Founder and CEO of Sojo said that "By making clothing alterations and repairs exceptionally easy, convenient and accessible Sojo can play a key role in our shift towards a slower and more considered approach to fashion."

By capitalizing on technology, giving the clothes a second chance becomes easier - like ordering food via your phone. After downloading the app, users enter their postcode and find a seamster in their area. The customer gets to choose the alterations or repairs they want and add them to their basket. Then, the customer selects when the item will be picked by the courier and dropped off using a bicycle.
Philips is consciously aware of the different repercussions fast fashion and mindless consumerism have on the environment. Sojo is critically aligned with Philips' ethics as she explains, "We're all about loving and elongating the life of clothes you already own by getting them repaired or altered (and WRAP says that if you increase the active use of a piece of clothing by 9 months it decreases its carbon and water footprint by 20-30%) and we hope we can help brands embed more circularity into their business models - reducing their returns (which have a high environmental impact) and increasing their commitment to sustainability with them offering repair schemes."

When asked about how to efficiently prolong the usage of one's clothing and how to be more mindful about fashion practices, Philips advises everyone that "It starts with education- you can't change your habits until you deeply understand why you need to or feel like you actually want to. So definitely follow as many slow fashion education platforms, commentators, and influencers as you can and then from there."
Circular fashion, clothes repairing, tailoring, sustainable fashion, sewing clothes, learning to sew
For now, Sojo is partnering with laundry service Oxwash and vintage clothing retailer Beyond Retro to make their services more decentralized. In the future, Sojo aims to empower freelancers who do specific alterations or repairs by giving them a platform in their app. At the moment, Sojo is only available in London, however, the team plans on expanding the coverage of their services around the UK.
Article by Phoebe Bulotano