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Japanese Tradition Inspires Clothing Upcycling Trend

May 5, 2022

Japanese Tradition Inspires Clothing Upcycling Trend


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Mending, or repairing, torn and stained clothing can be good for the environment. The practice of visible mending, which emphasizes rather than hides the repair, adds creativity to the clothing’s sustainability. The visible mending trend has its history in the ancient Japanese tradition of sashiko, stitching geometric patterns into fabric in order to strengthen it. Listen to hear more about visible mending and the process of sashiko.

Listening Comprehension Questions

  • What is the shop owner’s attitude toward visible mending?
  • What are some examples of visible mending mentioned in the story?
  • Why might the sashiko artisan describe sashiko as “invisible mending”?
  • Who was likely to practice sashiko in ancient Japan, according to the story?

Discussion Themes

  • What are the benefits of visible mending? Explain using details from the story and your own ideas.
  • What do you do with your old or torn clothing? How sustainable are your practices?

Republished with permission form Listenwise.

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