You’ve heard the stereotypes about Millennials. They’re entitled, overly confident, and spend more time texting, Snapchatting and Tumblring than taking care of actual grown-up business at work. Unfortunately for those twenty-somethings hoping to overcome the stereotypes, a new bit of research isn’t helping matters: It seems Millennials are clueless when it comes to clothing care.
Researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia recently released a study of more than 500 American Millennials and Baby Boomers and found the former tend to lack the basic skills needed to make minor repairs to their clothing. Sure, Millennials must contend with yet another stereotype that paints them as lazy slackers, but the real loser in all this is the planet.
Instead of picking up a needle and thread to mend a minor tear or replace a missing button, younger generations are more likely to discard the item. When they do, chances are it will end up in a landfill (#badnews).
The study points to cuts in home economics classes as a reason for the skills gap. But … like … the internet. That sleek iPhone6 may not be thin enough to fit through a button-hole, but it’s brimming with video and blog tutorials that could show them the way. And that’s what Pamela Norum, a professor in the Department of Textile and Apparel Management and the lead researcher for the study recommends as well.
“I would say, now, if Millennials or any consumers want to maintain a more sustainable lifestyle and they miss those skills somewhere along the way, its going to be up to them to figure out how to get them,” she told the Huffington Post.
Here are a few of our favorite tutorials to bookmark:
- How to replace a missing button
- How to repair a torn belt loop
- How to fix common zipper problems on your jeans
- How to hem jeans
Now, in some cases, especially when it comes to repairing ripped denim, repairs may be best left it to a professional tailor or denim repair specialist. It’ll cost a few bucks, but it’s a much more planet-friendly option than throwing them out. At the very least, adopting more sustainable clothing practices could be a great way for Millennials to show Baby Boomer naysayers that not all the stereotypes are true.