rebecca.thomas's blog

How to speed up a slow computer

Messy PC desktop

Things can only get better

You probably don't remember the exact moment you fell out of love with your computer. Over time, it's gone from being zippy and responsive to sluggish and frustrating.

You might even have found yourself absent-mindedly browsing the Apple website, wondering if your credit card could take the hit.

But, what if there was a way to get that new computer feeling back without ruining your bank manager's week? It's actually quite easy to restore your PC or Mac to its former glory without needing lots of advanced skills or a visit to the repair shop.

Sophie's mending masterclass

Mending a jumper at a Repair Cafe event in Amsterdam

Sophie Barclay has sewn many a pocket and patched a fair few pairs of jeans in her time. As a freelance costume designer and maker, she has become her friends' first choice when their clothes are in need of a quick fix. But she assures me that there's nothing too sophisticated going on  “Anyone can do this – it’s fun and it’s easy. I do it in front of the TV!”

When she's not fixing things for friends, Sophie works with one of the choreographers at the Ballet Rambert Dance Company, and is currently juggling the launch of a new handmade hat collection. Each feather will be individually sewn, but it’s not how long it takes that seems to be her biggest challenge. “For me, it’s finding the right balance between quality and price. The challenge at the moment is to change people’s thought processes about buying cheap. You need to pay for quality.”

10 tricks to make your clothes last longer

Shirts hanging on wooden hangers

Photo: Brian J Matis

Climate-friendly fashion: getting it sewn up

Piles of tshirts


Fashion is big business. In 2010, the industry was worth over £500 billion worldwide, and every year the average Brit spends £600 buying 40 items of clothing. But, like many industries, it’s only just starting to clean up its act on climate change.

There’s lots to do – in the UK alone, clothing and textiles is responsible for over 3 million tonnes of CO2 a year. And that’s just a fraction of the real figure, because the industry is made up of a complex web of global supply chains – even a humble tshirt sold in the UK might be stitched and printed on American cotton in a Chinese factory, based on a design from Paris.

How sewing machines fight climate change

Bike repair workshop at 10:10 HQ

Simple bike repairs can keep your trusty steed riding like new

We live in a world where things aren't always built to last. For manufacturers this is ideal, as it means we're forced to keep replacing things when they break or wear out.

No one enjoys throwing things away, but it seems to have become the norm as many of us don't know how to repair things when they go wrong. And fixing a well-loved possession can be a lot more rewarding than buying something new.

Should the carbon footprint of your new jeans include the shop assistant's bus ride to work?

It's easy to understand how driving your car or running the boiler uses energy, but we don't tend to think of things like clothes or bikes as having their own carbon footprint.

Remade month: learn to fix your favourite things

See all our Remade blogs and features in one place at

Photo: Lisa Yarost

We've all been there. When your favourite pair of jeans loses a button, your computer slows to a crawl or your bike gears start rattling, it can feel like the end of the line. Time to get a new one.

Everyone knows it's possible to repair stuff like this, but most of us don't know where to start. Now all that's about to change.

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