Url: https://www.johnlewispartnership.media/news/johnlewis/12012023/the-rise-of-make-do-and-mend?brand=johnlewis

The Rise of 'Make Do and Mend'

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  • Sewing, stitching and dyeing  are popular with John Lewis customers
  • ​Classic denim jeans being revamped, with a 24% rise in sales of colour dye
  • Dressmaking accessories and repair kits also top customers’ shopping list

John Lewis customers are being resourceful and finding ways to give old clothes a new lease of life - with dressmaking, repair products and general haberdashery seeing a recent resurgence. 

Hailed as “The Refresh Effect”, we’re seeing a strong growth in sales of craft and repair products - including patches and repair tape - which are up 61% compared to last year. 

Darning needles are flying off the shelves, suggesting that socks with holes are no longer thrown out - and we’re rediscovering skills that our parents and grandparents would have used to save money. 

Clothing colour dye is up by 24%, with black and navy dye proving particularly popular - suggesting the nation is taking it upon themselves to give their pre-loved and fading jeans a new lease of life. 

It appears others may be trying their hand at a new craft, with dressmaking accessories, such as thimbles, dressmakers chalk and pattern-making accessories up 15% year-on-year. 

Safety pins (+21%), tape measures (+14%) and knitting needles (+6%) are all seeing growth too as customers dust off their sewing kits ready for the new year. 

Susan Kennedy, Haberdashery Lead for John Lewis, said: “We’re certainly becoming a nation of craft lovers. Whether they’re looking to rejuvenate their clothes, or have been inspired by the likes of Tom Daley’s knitting efforts last year, we’re seeing more and more customers turn to sewing, stitching and knitting. 

“It’s a trend set to continue and we’ve recently launched some fantastic kits for new starters - from embroidery and stitching to crochet and knitting.”


Contact Details:

For more information please contact
Louise Dean - Senior Communications Officer
[email protected]


About the John Lewis Partnership

The John Lewis Partnership owns and operates two of Britain's best-loved retail brands - John Lewis and Waitrose. Started as a radical experiment over a century ago, the Partnership is now the largest employee-owned business in the UK, with over 80,000 employees who are all Partners in the business. The Partnership is purpose-driven, existing to create a fairer and more sustainable future for our Partners, customers, suppliers and communities. Our Purpose not only inspires our principles, drives our decisions and acts as our guide to be a force for good, it steers us to do things differently and better - all in service of creating a happier world for everyone and everything we touch.