United Kingdom (London)
For many of us, a hole in a much-loved jumper sees it drift to the back of the cupboard and – too often – eventually chucked. Enter The Seam: an online marketplace for repairing and altering clothes. Their searchable map helps people who want clothes tailored, altered or reworked find people in their neighbourhood who can sew.
Launched by Layla Sargent in 2019, The Seam currently operates across London, UK. It’s here to give clothes a longer lifespan – knowing that ill-fitting clothes are less loved, and moth-eaten ones (especially those bought cheaply) are too easy to say goodbye to. This is especially important given that, as Layla points out, extending the life of clothes by just 9 months of active use reduces carbon water and waste footprints by 20-30%. Personalised alterations are also a way to bring back the joy of well-fitting clothes, for bodies of all shapes and sizes: or as Layla puts it, ‘made-to-measure, for the masses’.
A joy to wear, and a joy to make – as seamstress Berenice C puts it:
“I love when I get the chance to work with old and forgotten fabric and items. Most of my pieces are made out of reclaimed or vintage fabrics and end of rolls. This helps to create more sustainable and incredibly unique fashion. If you would like to turn an old dress into a one of a kind piece, have an old blouse you want to give a new lease of life or just want something special made to measure, then send me a text! I’ll be in touch and we’ll create the perfect piece for you!”
The Seam is about more than fixing clothes: it’s also about building relationships between people in places, like London, that can feel lonely. And it’s an inclusive platform for talented sewers of all stripes, bringing them employment without the need for a fancy studio.
AtlasAction: If you’re in London, search for a local sewer to fix or alter your clothes. And if you’re handy with a needle, add your profile to the map to be discovered by those in need of your talents.
Know of a project that’s transforming the fashion sector? Submit it here, and we’ll spread the joy by mapping it on the Atlas.
Nature-geek, urban forager and all-round wordy sort. Freelance strategist and writer for organisations that care about the future. Often found reading while walking.
Layla Sargent, Founder
This project has been selected as part of FashionFutures, a new content channel that maps the work of people transforming the fashion sector: the designers, craftspeople, social innovators, educators, community leaders and communicators. Atlas of the Future is excited to partner with Makerversity, with the support of The J J Charitable Trust and their network of fashion friends.