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Crafting for the future with remote repairs
Join us as we step into the workshop of Remote Repairs, the Melbourne-based outdoor and lifestyle goods repair service behind our durable new Canvas Collection. In conversation with Ray and Leroy, the father-son duo at the heart of this family owned-and-run business, we discuss the importance of low-waste manufacturing, creating products that last and increasing the lifespan of your wardrobe.
'We started as a niche repairer for the hardcore outdoor enthusiasts that had received very little support from manufacturers when something broke, tore or was otherwise damaged in Australia’s harsh environment,' explains Ray, the Repair Tech Chief of Remote Repairs. Their specialist skills in prolonging the lifespan of even the most durable outdoor goods soon allowed Ray and his team to expand into a full warranty repair service, working with some of the adventure industry’s leading brands.
Remote’s recent involvement in the production of our hardy Canvas Collection was a natural progression, as we collectively sought to create a range of products that could withstand the elements and hold up on life’s journeys. “We are real supporters of Australian manufacturing, so having R.M.Williams supply great quality, Australian made canvas for us to use in this project was very important. The designers were great as they spent a lot of time ensuring that the sizes could translate onto the canvas rolls with minimal waste.” The result is a range of goods that are not only built to go the distance, but are kinder to the planet too. “After almost 900 items manufactured, our total fabric waste was less than a cubic metre. Most of this was forwarded on to a local textile recycler, and some remains with us as feedstock for future repairs. All the fabric will remain inside the circular economy - something we strive hard to achieve.”
The shift towards a more circular business practise is not just something happening behind closed doors; it’s a noted change of direction in the way that we all shop, consume and discard products across many industries. “We know people are now more inclined to have a much-loved garment repaired when its torn, or the zipper blows out. Rather than purchase a new item, many people even wear their patch as a badge of honour, knowing they have just got another potential 5 years out of their favourite puffer jacket.” It’s a refreshing take on the subject of clothing and textile waste, which can often feel like an uphill battle.
Ray’s ambition to continue 'doing great things for people who need something fixed or made for them' is an honest mission that will no-doubt inspire future generations of crafters, including son Leroy who is following closely in his footsteps.
‘It’s great to be able to work with Dad in a rewarding job where I’m always kept on my toes.’
And when it comes to practical advice for prolonging the life cycle of your favourite clothing and footwear, Ray’s message is simple: don’t throw it out. ‘Ask the questions. Can it be fixed? Do I really need a new one? Can I donate this if I don’t need it? Everyone just needs to think about where things go when they’re done with it. Do you want to bury it in the dirt, or give it a second life?’
The Canvas Collection, created in partnership with Remote Repairs, is available now.