Make do and mend, one of the major policies employed during the war, is being hailed as a key way of making it easier to survive the recession. People have become used to being able to pop out to the shops and buy new clothes, appliances, cars, carpets, and any other consumer products you wish to name. And not only because existing ones are worn out, but just because they fancy a change. Well change is here.
With less money in the system and many families restricting how much they spend, making do with what we have, and repairing goods where we can, has been suggested as one way we can get through to the other side of the recession. Sadly with busy lives, less people have the skills to repair clothes, darn socks, fix broken furniture or mend electrical or mechanical goods. Even less of us have the tools to do so anymore. So maybe what we need is a revival in learning skills to fix our own broken and faulty items to help increase their livespan, save us money and reduce the amount going to landfill all in one go.
Although the government’s solutions to ending the recession were based on methods of increasing public spending, reducing the amount of people buying new doesn’t have to be seen as bad for the economy. Demand for repairing existing items could increase space in the job market for people with the skills to mend our broken items, and as a result, provide new areas for people to train in and start new green businesses.
Many people would argue that if goods were made to last rather than being made cheaply, with products made with pride and longevity at their heart instead of cheap imports filling the shelves, we wouldn’t need to keep buying new all the time. But again it is consumer demand for lower priced goods that has contributed largely to the throwaway society of modern life.
As well as ‘Make Do and Mend’ becoming a recurring theme, another wartime way of thinking is sweeping the nation. The idea of ‘Dig for Victory’, where the nation was encouraged to grow all the food the country needed through back garden veg plots and utilising open spaces to produce food, has resurfaced as more and more people are starting to grow some fruit or vegetables in their gardens.
Although it may be a big change to the habits that society presently has, making do is easier than it first seems. And once you see how much money you can save, and get the feeling of satisfaction that comes from successfully repairing something and giving it a new lease of life, making do and mending will become something you don’t even need to think twice about.