Futuremenders is fun and deadly serious art activism. It sidesteps the traditional art world, cutting to the real business of art in an age of crisis – to futureproof our lives. It prepares us for barely imaginable but plausible futures where forgotten skills are vital for survival. Futuremenders is the lifelong project of UK artist Jonnet Middleton who took a pledge in 2008 to acquire no more clothes, ever. The monumental scale of the Futuremenders mission is to subvert our addiction to short-term shopping by spreading the joy of making and mending together.
Jonnet Middleton is a mending activist working to bring about the Age of Mending. This is a lifelong mission starting with a pledge in 2008 to consume no more clothes ever. The existing clothes in her wardrobe at that time are the clothes she must clothes herself with for the rest of her life through careful wearing and mending. What for others is a terrifying challenge, is for Jonnet both easy and liberating. She runs pop-up mending shops to encourage people to discover the joy of mending and to create spaces in which mending skills are shared on the high street. Her goal is to shift attitudes about mendability so that people become aware of our complicity in throwaway culture and start to find ways to mend.
Jonnet Middleton is a PhD candidate at Highwire doctoral training centre for radical innovation in the digital economy, Lancaster University. She has a first degree in Ethnomusicology (Queen’s University Belfast), a Masters in Art Practice and Education (Birmingham City University), along with a background in fashion design, prison education, ethnomusicology and Spanish TV presenting. Her PhD aims to collectively bring about ”The Age of Mending”.