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A Top Sustainable Tip from the Dairy Diary: Make Do and Mend

This Christmas, we’re delighted to once again be working with our friends at the iconic Dairy Diary – geniuses not only creating easy and absolutely delicious recipes, but top tips for the sustainable lifestyle, too. Check out their fantastic and gift-worthy 2022 diary for more.

Fixing is back in fashion! Growing scrutiny of single-use culture means that our relationship with what we own is in flux. In the face of environmental concerns, the wartime concept of ‘Make Do and Mend’ is enjoying a renewed lease of life across the country.

The phrase ‘Make Do and Mend’ was coined during the Second World War, when the government introduced a campaign of the same name. The aim of the scheme was to motivate the country to reuse and repair their existing clothes so that fabric production could be pivoted to produce military uniforms and other wartime essentials. Advice in the accompanying leaflets also included tips on how to make clothing coupons go further: in Britain, rationing of clothes, fabric and wool began in 1941 and would last until 1949.

Tutorials taught thrifty citizens how to prevent moth damage to clothing, darn holes in socks and make clothes for children from adult garments. As a result, handmade and revitalised clothes were commonplace in 1940s Britain: men’s suits were turned into skirts and jackets for women, jumpers were unravelled to obtain spare wool for darning socks, and garment exchanges helped parents clothe their growing children.

This helpful feature from the 40th anniversary edition of the Dairy Diary is packed full of useful information on the ‘back-in-vogue’ culture of repairing possessions. It teaches us about using repair cafes, how to mend anything and everything rather than sending fixable items to landfill. Be sure to order yourself a copy of the 2022 Dairy Diary to learn more about this trend, and a few for your friends as Christmas presents!