BHF exposes UK sewing skills shortage to launch The Big Stitch campaign

13 June 2017        

Category: BHF Shops

Around six in ten (57%) Brits say that sewing is a skill that is being lost in today’s generation, with half of Brits (50%) having to ask their mothers to help fix their clothes.

These surprising statistics have been released on National Sewing Machine Day (Tuesday 13 June) by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) for its Big Stitch Campaign.

Taking place throughout July, The Big Stitch encourages consumers to pop into a BHF shop, buy an item(s) and inject their own fashion flair to it to help fund life saving research into heart disease.

Nearly six in ten (59%) of people polled revealed they are unable to sew confidently or at all, with over double the amount of men (33%) unable to sew compared to women (15%). A third (33%) of people reveal that they were never even taught how to sew. The absence of sewing skills in today’s society mean half of Brits (50%) have to ask their mothers to help fix their clothes and around a fifth (16%) ask their grandparents for help.

A quarter of those polled (23%) can’t even sew on a button on properly, around four in ten people (37%) cannot alter the length of their trousers and a quarter (25%) cannot mend a rip in their clothes. Around a fifth (16%) said that if they lost a button, they would buy a new item of clothing instead of fixing it.

However, all is not lost as over half (55%) of Brits wish they could sew and six in ten (60%) are willing to learn the money-saving skill, including over half (55%) of all men. The BHF’s Big Stitch campaign gives people the perfect opportunity to either put into practice their sewing skills or learn how easy it is to personalise their wardrobe. For a whole month, style seekers will be encouraged to put their own stamp on their wardrobe by visiting a BHF shop and personalising items bought in-store by practising sewing and dressmaking skills.

Hear from the experts

Jax Black, Senior Costume Technician at London College of Fashion, said, “It is great to see the BHF championing sewing and dressmaking skills. Making alterations, adding buttons, trims, embroidery, and other decorative items to your BHF purchases is a great way to update your wardrobe this July.

Allison Swaine-Hughes, Retail Operations Director at the BHF, adds, “As the largest charity retailer in Europe, we want to bring sewing back to life. It always amazes me to see how clothes can be transformed so easily and cheaply, so we are really looking forward to seeing what the thousands of style seekers across the UK can create throughout July. All of our customers will be helping us raise £100 million to invest in heart research this year, so visit your local shop, buy an item and inject your own style stamp on your clothes this July.

Want to brush up on your sewing skills?

Why not brush up on your sewing skills this July and get involved in The Big Stitch with the BHF. By visiting one of around 720 BHF charity shops across the UK, buying an item and adding a touch of individual fashion flair to it, you can save money and help support life saving research in the fight against heart disease.

Find out more about The Big Stitch