Years ago I watched my grandmother mend a cardigan she had worn already for 30 years and it lasted until she passed away. It inspired me to start repairing clothes too and over time I learned more techniques and enjoyed the satisfaction of a saved garment more each time. I fantasized how cool it would be to teach those techniques to others; they could save their garments too, they could save the environment, the could save money, all while looking really stylish. But, unfortunately I’m not a very good teacher… Luckily, I am a product designer so my plan became developing a dummy proof toolkit to get you started too!
Over the time of 3 years I developed the wooden tools that you can now find in the Wimpy kit. They are made of beech wood and biodegradable. It was pretty hard to get them produced as I wanted and Corona slowed down the process terribly, but I think they came out pretty nice and most importantly they serve their functions well.
sustainable wool choices
The kit also comes with some needles, instructions and several supplies. Browsing for the most sustainable options was really nice. I chose the extra strong sock yarns from Schoppel Wolle with wool, flax and biodegradable polyamide for darning. As many people will use the yarn to darn(repair) socks, it was important to me to have a very strong yarn. Most sock yarns have some part of polyamide in their composition. This is not to bully mother nature, but to create socks that last even during harsh circumstances like walking. The same goes for mending yarn, it’s possible to mend with many types of yarn but this one by Schoppel with Biodegradable polyamide works very well and delivers a double sustainable result.
For the wool I chose to collaborate with Koperdraadje by Lia Rozendaal. She dyed wool from sheep in Kinderdijk, the Netherlands into several fun colours. This wool can be used to mend with the dry felting technique, more about that later or watch this video now.
The box and instructions were designed by Lauraine Meyer. I thought her powerful style is a perfect match with the kind of friendly activism I had in mind for Wimpy. Lauraine is used to protesting and educating others with cartoony and fun illustrations on several topics but mostly feminism, she is currently finishing a book about feminism for teenagers.
The Wimpy boxes are handmade by a family business in Portugal. All artwork is printed on 100% recycled paper in the Netherlands.
Together with Marcel IJzerman I made a bunch of videos to explain all the techniques in a visual way, because understanding needle work from paper can be pretty tough.
In my next posts I will write more about the specific techniques and I will show you some inspiration…