How does repair affect the value of clothes?

Kinga Zablocka is one of the Master students at OsloMet’s Master of Aesthetic Practices in Society (Fashion and Society), Department of Art, Design and Drama. Professor in Clothing and Sutainability, Ingun Grimstad Klepp, has been one of her supervisors on her Master’s thesis, Is it worth it? An exploration of clothing repair and value using wardrobe studies.

Kinga Zablocka has explored what garments are being repaired and why and how repair affects the value of the clothes.  Similar to the PhD in Change, Zablocka has interviewed couples and used wardrobe studies as the method.  Four Norwegian couples between the ages of 19 and 34 have explained how and why they have or haven’t repaired their garments and how repair affects value both before and after repair. This is therefore a dive into a younger generation’s thoughts and praxis which might be important for the future of repair.

The most significant barrier to repairing for those in the study was a lack of competence, in line with the work of Iryna Kucher and others. An important contribution of the thesis is that repair is not only seen as a technical problem but also connected to the value of the garments in a broader sense, where both wearer-clothing relationships and social and economic values ​​are included.

The low price of fast fashion could be used as an excuse not to repair a garment She contributes to both the knowledge of repair and clothing processes in general and ends her Master’s with a discussion of the findings related to the EU Textile strategy. Repair is not only an important part of clothing consumption, but also policy.

Kinga Zablocka has besides being supervised by Ingun Grimstad Klepp, also been supervised by Joanne Cramer, and is part of the Change project. Klepp is hopeful that it will be possible for Zablocka to continue with this work and research.

The photo was taken at the Master exhibit where Zablocka (to the right) let the public decide on some repairs with varying degrees of visibility. Does the repair contribute to increasing the value of the garment or not?