I have a broken button. The 4th down on the shirt I’m wearing is broken, cracked in two, with each piece remaining attached by the merest of threads.
When I get home I’ll unpick the spare button attached to the label, remove the broken button and sew on the spare button. Yes, I can sew. Well at least enough to put a button on a shirt.
Hang on, that’s not right!
What I meant to say was that, when I get home, I’ll take the shirt off and chuck it in the bin. I’ll buy a new one at the weekend, maybe two, and a new jacket, maybe even a pair of shoes. Yes, that’s what I’ll do.
It’s what we do, isn’t it. Consume. Hoard. Discard.
I remember learning to sew on a button at school. Home economics it was called, we made all sorts of useless rubbish, a felt pencil case and I’m sure we even made a stuffed toy hippopotamus.
Further lessons in practical matters were picked up at Boys’ Brigade, although none of them were based on sewing.
Yet today I fall all too easily into the modern society trap of ‘if it’s broke, don’t fix it’. So much easier to discard what is broken and buy in a replacement.
I wonder if the credit crunch will impact that, not only the amount of cash available to purchase new items but being able to go to a store that sells what you need? Where, in your average small town high street, would you go to buy a button? Hardware store? Haberdashery (if they have one), Woolworths?
Anyway, such considerations are scary and horrid so best not to dwell on them, and it’s not MY fault these businesses are closing, they should’ve been more careful with the amount of debt they were running up. Shouldn’t they.
So, the act of binning this shirt with the broken button is actually me doing my bit to help the remaining stores. After all, if I fixed it then I wouldn’t need to go and buy a new one, thereby stimulating the economy. Yes, I’m certain my £7 will make a world of difference to Primark.