In the west, there has long been a culture that encourages people to spend, spend, spend. This culture has come to Turkey too. The ‘make do and mend’ lifestyle has long been forgotten. Or has it? In Fethiye there is still a proud tradition of fixing things rather than binning them.

Fix it, don’t ditch it

Many of us have become used to living in an increasingly throw away culture. Fethiye, however, is a fine example of a town where, rather than throwing things away, people still have the option of getting them fixed. In Fethiye there are many Mr (and Mrs) Fix-its.

tailor fixing a pair of trousers
tailor fixing a pair of trousers

These days, regardless of wealth or need, people are encouraged to think that everything has a limited lifespan. As soon as something goes wrong, breaks, or looks slightly worn we have to replace them, without ever thinking about repairing, mending or fixing them.

In other words, it is becoming increasingly acceptable to throw things away rather than fixing them.

Cool to be frugal

Now we are beginning to think about the problems of waste, recycling and reusing, so perhaps it’s time to think again about the culture of make do and mend.

In Fethiye it’s refreshing to see that the make do and mend mentality is alive and well. There are many shops and atelier doing a brisk trade fixing, mending or altering things, giving our possessions a few more months or years of life.

Make do and mend isn’t history

If you’re old enough to remember the days when every kitchen had a drawer for brown paper and lengths of string, or have a relative that was around during the 1940s and 50s, you will also remember the days when people darned socks and turned collars on shirts. Getting the most out of something was once a way of life and at last it’s one that is becoming popular again.

Don’t trash it – fix it!

There are shops and atelier in Fethiye that can fix most things. There is no need to throw away a much-loved article of clothing, utensil or appliance, as someone in Fethiye will do their level best to repair it and for a very reasonable price.

Visit your local sew-and-sew

If your jeans need a new zip, your jacket lining is torn, or your coat needs a new look, you can visit one of Fethiye’s tailors.

Fethiye: where make do and mend is an optionThey stock loads of zips, buttons and fabrics and are the tailors able to quickly and economically make the necessary repairs or alterations. They can copy designs too, if it becomes necessary to completely replace the garment.

Cobblers to the rescue

Boots, shoes and sandals become comfortable and much loved over time and it makes sense, if the uppers are still intact, to have soles, heals and stitching repaired, rather than throwing them away.

Fethiye: where make do and mend is an optionThe town’s cobblers do a brisk trade in shoe repairs and can fix belts, buckles and other leather products too. There are also leather shops that can fix leather jackets, which have seen better days.

Wired up and ready to go

Mobile phones, computers and many other electrical goods can be repaired too at a fraction of the cost you’d have to spend to replace them. Fethiye has a wide range of shops that cater for all these repairs. 

Sharp practices

knife sharpener in Fethiye
knife sharpener in Fethiye

If you wander around the perimeter of the everyday market you’ll see a couple of shops selling all sorts of useful things. On sunny days there will invariably be a man outside, sharpening knives.

Fethiye: where make do and mend is an option
knives are sharpened by the everyday market

New fabric for old furniture

There are several shops in Fethiye where upholstery is an art form. When it comes to replacing chair and sofa covers or completely reupholstering them, there are many fabrics to choose from, or you can bring your own.

Having a choice

Of course, there are many shops in Fethiye where you can buy all these things new, but we think it is great to have a choice. So, the next time you visit Fethiye remember – fix it, don’t ditch it.