Translated with the help of Lucie Battaglia. Thank you Lucie!

Learn more about sustainability in textile Subscribe to our Newsletter

Oh no, there is a hole in my linen pants! Now, should I throw these away? Should I do nothing and let the hole grow over time? Is it possible to fix it? Yes! And it’s easy when you know how to do it, but what if you have never repaired clothing before? Ironically, I work with a company that makes clothing, yet I do not know how to repair a small hole. In fact, I am the only person in the company who doesn’t know how to sew. I could very well ask my colleagues, but not everyone has access to this expertise. And for the purpose of the article, I‘m on my own.

Well, I do have a little experience. I have awkwardly sewed buttons before, but they stayed on. Also, last fall, following an attempted leap out of a moving vehicle, I had to repair a small hole in my hemp jeans. But it wasn’t very well done… This time, I’ll try to do something professional to make it both practical and aesthetic.

A good part of sustainable consumption is determined during the purchase of clothing. The fibres, dyes, prints, or country of origin all have an impact on the environmental footprint of a garment. Thereby, the other part is indirectly linked to the garment lifecycle. The longer one uses his or her clothing, the less he or she buys new pieces, the smaller the environmental impact. A piece of clothing will last longer or shorter depending on the use that is made of it, how it’s washed and how it’s looked after. So, I made a hole in my pants. It’s a shame, but that’s life. In a sustainable development perspective, I’ll do my best to make the pants last as long as possible.

Fil et aiguille1. Find the right tools

The first step is to find needles and thread. In my case, it was very easy. Our workshop is filled with needles and threads. But everyone can easily find sewing kits at big retail stores or online at very affordable prices (under $10).


2. Learn

Next, develop the necessary expertise. More and more, when I’m looking for a way to do something I’ve never done, I try to find a video tutorial. There is a growing number of videos on the Internet that show how to do all sorts of things. And I just find that easier than going through an owner’s manual or how-to articles. For me, the best way to learn is through imitation and seeing someone else perform the task. Recently, a company that provides instructive videos on repairing clothing for beginners has contacted us to share their video. You can check out their website and watch their videos (in French) on the Gaia & Dubos website. But there are tonnes of videos about repairing clothes. Just type fix holes in pants on YouTube.

Apprenez à réparer vos vêtements

3. Do it

Comment réparer déchirure de pentalonThe third step is to put knowledge into practice. I performed my repair at the same time as I watched the video. If it goes too fast, I just pause the video. It did not take much time (5 minutes). The end result is not perfect, as I could have chosen a darker thread (like the colour of the pants) and there is a loop somewhere. But for me, as they say, “it does the trick.”




To conclude this repair experience, it’s not really the result that counts, but the gesture. It’s a small gesture, but every little bit helps and builds up. The combination of several small actions by many individuals will eventually make a difference.

About the author Ugo Dutil: I grew up at the ecovillage “La Cite Ecologique” from 1 to 11. I decided to go back and live there when I was 25 years old. I like this way of life that allows us to prioritize human relationships over material possessions. I’ve been working with Respecterre since 2013. Voluntary simplicity and responsible consumption, especially in textiles, fascinates me.

Learn more about sustainability in textile Subscribe to our Newsletter

Comment réparer un trou dans son pantalon