To celebrate TOAST Renewal, author and journalist Katie Treggiden led a conversation exploring mending, reuse and repair through the lens of sustainability, culture and storytelling.
In celebration of TOAST Renewal, we invited Katie Treggiden, purpose-driven writer and keynote speaker championing a circular approach to design, to lead a conversation with four panelists on the importance of repair and reuse through the lens of sustainability, culture and storytelling . The discussion with Katie brought together leading menders, researchers and designers. Visible mender Tom of Holland; author of Kintsugi: The Poetic Mend, Bonnie Kemske; renowned textile artist Celia Pym; and Seetal Solanki – materials researcher, designer and author of Why Materials Matter joined us for a lively panel discussion, which you can watch below.
Our panel discussed their own perspectives on the functionality of repair, artistic approaches to repair including the Japanese art of kintsugi, the importance of forming relationships with our belongings and the acceptance of natural life cycles. Tackling challenging questions such as how mending and the conversations around repair might help to nudge us toward the behavioural and systemic shifts required if we are to tackle the environmental crisis.
Katie Treggiden is a purpose-driven writer and keynote speaker championing a circular approach to design – because planet Earth needs better stories. She is currently exploring the question ‘can craft save the world?’ through an emerging body of work that includes her fifth book, Wasted: When Trash Becomes Treasure (Ludion, 2020), and a podcast, Circular with Katie Treggiden.
Bonnie Kemske is an artist, researcher, and former editor of Ceramic Review. She completed her undergraduate degree in religion before travelling to Kyoto to study the Zen Buddhist art form of the tea ceremony, where she discovered her love of ceramics. In 2017 Bloomsbury UK published Bonnie's book, The Teabowl: East and West. Told from her personal perspective as a ceramicist and tea student. She is also the author of Kintsugi: The Poetic Mend and has a PhD from the RCA.
Celia Pym is a teacher and a nurse, but now works as an artist, exploring damage and repair in textiles. Since 2007, she has been working with garments that belong to individuals as well as items in museum archives, she has extensive experience with the spectrum and stories of damage, from small moth holes to larger accidents with fire. She was shortlisted for the Woman’s Hour Craft Prize and her work is held in the permanent collections of the Crafts Council UK and Noveau Musée National de Monaco.
Tom van Deijnen, otherwise known as Tom of Holland, is a Brighton-based self-taught textiles practitioner, founder of The Visible Mending Programme, and a volunteer at the Brighton Repair Café. He is passionate about gaining a deep understanding of the material qualities and traditional techniques, uses hand-stitching for making and mending contemporary objects, exploring the boundaries of when the life of a garment starts and ends.
Seetal Solanki is a materials designer, researcher and writer; a translator of materials with the aim to humanise them. Author of Why Materials Matter and Founder and Director of Ma-tt-er, a relational practice focused on building and bridging kinships between ourselves, materials, the immaterial and virtual. Seetal is also a fellow at Hereford College of Arts.
Community is at the heart of TOAST, and we believe our best path forward isn’t as a singular voice but a collaborative one. We would like to thank the panel for their brilliant insights, observations and contributions. We are delighted to share this conversation with change makers and representatives engaging with the circular economy, bringing you meaningful dialogue on what the humble act of mending things we own might mean for ourselves and the planet.
TOAST Repair is our free repair service that brings new life to your worn TOAST garments. Bring any TOAST clothing item in need of repair to any of our shops and we will discuss the creative mending options available to extend the lifespan of your garment.
Music by Leon Jean-Marie and Christin Rauter, from the Summer track of Slow Sound.
Image: Laetitia Pineda-Plate: repaired by Catherine Nicolas