NEW BEDFORD (WBSM) — If you have a pair of jeans that have an unintentional rip, a favorite shirt that’s missing a button or two, or a jacket you’d like to hand down but that will no longer zip, have we got the event for you.

On Saturday, April 20, the Greater New Bedford Regional Refuse Management District is holding its first ever Free Clothing Repair Day.

The event is taking place from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the entrance of the Buttonwood Park Zoo in New Bedford.

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“We’re always working out any waste reduction actions that we can take, so we have this cool clothing repair day happening, and it is ‘Party for the Planet’ day (at the zoo) as well,” said Meg Hebert, Waste Reduction Coordinator for the Greater New Bedford Regional Refuse Management District.

Residents of New Bedford and Dartmouth – the two communities that make up the refuse management district – can have up to two items of clothing mended per household. That could mean repairs such as mending or replacing zippers, replacing buttons and reversing shirt collars.

“If someone has a winter jacket and the next person in the family could wear it except they just can’t get that zipper fixed, this is the perfect opportunity for New Bedford and Dartmouth residents to get that zipper fixed and get that coat in use, extend its life so it doesn’t end up in the landfill, and it keeps it local, too,” Hebert said. “So it’s a really great service to the community.”

Tailoring services can be expensive, and this is a chance to have those services for free. Mending will be done by menders from Bushwood Tailors Opportunity Shop, Maypole Weavers and Duphily Designs.

“We are so lucky to have these talented tailors right here,” Hebert said. “It’s just this really cool win-win situation.”

There is a sign-up required, which can be done online.

“To help the event move along smoothly, we do have a sign-up,” Hebert said. “In the notes, if you can put any notes about your pair…list the size, the type of zipper, as many details as possible, then the menders will do the best they can to have what is needed.”

In addition to mending clothing, anyone who has worn-out textiles or clothing can also drop it off at the event on Saturday.

“The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection does ban clothing from disposal since there are better options for that. Even if you don’t want to get something fixed, you can donate your textiles,” Hebert said.

She said donated textiles – clothing, footwear, bedding, towels, curtains, fabric, even stuffed animals – have to be clean and dry.

“Even if they are stained and ripped, they can be turned into wiping cloths, carpet padding or insulation,” Hebert said. “There’s always a better use for these items.”

The forecast for Saturday does call for periods of rain. In case of too much rain, the event will be shifted to April 27. If that happens, it will be posted on the Greater New Bedford Regional Refuse Management District website.

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