The United Repair Centre London (URC London) has opened in Haringey. The new centre is the result of a collaboration between social impact companies United Repair Centre and Fashion-Enter, with outdoor clothing brand Patagonia.
It will employ and train people who have challenges finding employment, such as those with refugee backgrounds, in high quality clothing repairs. With space for other brands to join Patagonia at the centre, its objective is transforming the apparel industry for the better.
The opening follows the success of the first United Repair Centre, launched in Amsterdam in 2022, as the result of collaboration between Makers Unite, Amsterdam Economic Board and Patagonia. United Repair Centre Amsterdam currently handles 30,000 repairs per year from brands such as Decathlon, Lululemon and Patagonia. URC London has capacity to perform 30,000 repairs a year by 2025.
Thami Schweichler, CEO and Founder, United Repair Centre, said: “The apparel industry has a bad reputation for the harms inflicted on the environment, and the people who make our clothes – but it doesn’t have to be this way. We must help customers keep their clothes in use for longer and practice conscious consumption in the future, if we are to have a living planet to do business on. And now, with the launch of URC London, we’re making it easy for responsible clothing brands to join the growing repair movement.”
Haringey-based garment production company, Fashion-Enter, has joined as partner, with URC London operating out of its existing facility and training the team in technical repairs.
With a focus on high social and environmental standards, Fashion-Enter had faced potential layoffs due to key retailers moving production to cheaper facilities abroad. Now URC London will protect 15 UK jobs and provide a bridge into the circular economy.
Jenny Holloway, CEO, Fashion-Enter, said: “Haringey in North London has a long history as a home of high-quality British garment manufacturing, but in the current market for cheaper production we could not maintain our high standards of quality or our ethical standards. We had to pivot the business quickly and be nimble! Now, we have an exciting collaboration to move into repairs. Our highly skilled team are absolutely delighted that they are contributing to a circular economy for fashion today.”
Strategic guidance from the British Fashion Council’s Institute of Positive Fashion and circular economy support from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation have been provided to URC London. It will initially provide repairs for Patagonia’s UK-based customers, with three additional brands lined up to join the facility in within the next 12 months, and space for more partners.
The partnership is part of Patagonia’s long-standing commitment to responsible consumption. Founded on an ethos of creating a quality, durable product, for the last 12 years, Patagonia has educated customers on why, and how they can prolong the lives of their clothes, through its Worn Wear programme. Patagonia offers free repairs, which can be requested through a newly launched Repair Portal.
Alex Beasley, Country Manager, UK, Ireland & Nordics, Patagonia said: “At Patagonia, we’re in business to save our home planet. But we know we can’t do this alone. With the launch of United Repair Centre London, we are looking to dramatically scale our impact and empower other clothing companies to move away from disposability and waste, and weave circularity into their business models.”
For more information about working with the United Repair Centre London please visit: www.unitedrepaircentre.com.