This Clothes Shaver Breathed New Life Into My Wardrobe

My tired jumpers look like new again.

Honestly, it’s life changing is a regular series where we talk about the weird and wonderful possessions we can’t imagine life without. Think of it as an ode to the mundane, bizarre and, sometimes, wholly unnecessary products in our lives.

At the beginning of 2019 I vowed not to buy any new clothes for 365 days. Like many people, I’d watched enough David Attenborough shows to know mindless consumption and the fast fashion industry are helping to ruin our planet. Plus my partner was starting to get really annoyed at my takeover of our shared wardrobe space. I needed to act.

The answer seemed obvious - make do with what you have already and stop shopping. Sounds easy right? Indeed I’m lucky in that I already have a home full of wonderful clothes so I shouldn’t be short on choice. But I quickly learned when you wear the same clothes over and over on rotation, even the best quality items can start to look a little worn around the edges.

Instead of letting this push me back towards the shops and into the arms of new items (that inevitably in time would also get tatty – so short sighted Soph), my mum suggested I try a clothes shaver (or clothes de-bobbler) to reinvigorate the old clothes and make them look new again.

The de-bobbler, more commonly known as a clothes shaver, is essentially a small rotating blade inside a plastic casing. When you wave it over your clothes it neatly (and safely) removes the build up of bobbles or pulled threads, making it all look new again. And with very minimal effort.

My mum bought one for herself a couple of years ago from John Lewis and has waxed lyrical about it. Given she is a woman protective of her wardrobe I knew she wasn’t about to let any old machine fire a razor blade over her clothes. So I opted for the same one, feeling confident it wasn’t going to unravel them all, tear giant holes or any of the other horrifying visions I had of the experience.

I have to say for a gadget that costs less than £5 I didn’t have high hopes - maybe it would get rid of the worst offenders but the item would still likely look tired and worn. But it worked like magic - I was blown away. A cardigan I’d stopped wearing to work because it looked like I’d been dragged through a hedge backwards (not an aesthetic I’m going for) looks brand new.

Now I know then notion of fixing clothes is hardly a revolutionary concept - my grandma almost eye rolled at my enthusiasm for this gadget - but for millennials who have grown up with fast fashion on a conveyer belt that was both cheap and highly accessible, the idea of spending money on fixing old things rather than on a brand new thing, is somewhat novel.

As I get older and have the privilege of being able to spend a little more on clothes than my teenage Saturday job afforded, I want to buy fewer items and invest in those that I do - natural materials, sourced ethically and in an environmentally friendly way. And of course, I want those items to last. No one wants to spend money on expensive clothes and have them disintegrate before their eyes leaving you with an empty wallet and wardrobe.

Step forward the de-bobbler - for the cost of a coffee I now have a means of making sure my clothes go the distance. And if we look after the items we have already we don’t need to keep buying more. Surely that’s something we can all get behind?

Clothes shaver, John Lewis, RRP £4.50, although prices may vary

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