So I heard from Madewell about the sweaters I’ve spent all winter mending! And I totally want to show you what they had to say…but first, let’s check in on the sweaters (you can see a video version of this on instagram if you want to see some of this in more detail).
I bought these four sweaters from Madewell in the fall of 20222. By the spring of 2023, every single one was in tatters. Let’s run through them.
I first showed you the green one in January. It’s the one that was unbelievably covered in pills after just one wear (posts about that here and here and here). As predicted, the gleener was a temporary fix. The sweater started pilling again immediately. After a few more wears, it has a hole in the elbow and another starting under the arm.
The one with the small orange darn is the first blue one I fixed, back when thought this fabric was substantial enough to be worth darning (posts about it here and here). Even though I was careful to extend my patch well past the original hole, you can see it’s now worn through just below the patch and the other sleeve has a hole of its own. Clearly it needs more substantial (and thus even more time consuming patches) to be functional.
The one with the yellow mend I never even bothered to show you because I was so sick of dealing with them by time it came up. But again we have elbows going and this time a shoulder seam that just dissolved while I was wearing it.
The one with the large orange mend is the one I’ve been working on recently (posts here and here and here). Now that I know how awful this fabric is, I realize the elbows need giant patches like this because anything smaller and the fabric around the patch just falls apart the next time you wear it (meaning the three other sweaters each also need that amount of work if I want to keep wearing them). But even reinforced elbows aren’t enough to save something this poorly made. The fabric is so insubstantial that the neck seam on this one just came apart the very next time I wore it.
So that’s four sweaters, all bought from Madewell in fall 2022, all from their ‘recycled cashmere,’ which they tout as being “better for the planet, better for its people.” And they’re all covered in pills, sporting holes at the elbows, and coming apart at the seams by spring of 2023.
Next time I’ll show you what Madewell said when I told them about the problems with these.