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Like LEGO made of wool, Puzzleware lets kids make (and remake) their own clothes

While children girls once learned how to sew, knit and repair clothing from an early age, those skills have largely been lost. Aiming to resurrect the satisfaction of making your own clothes, Scottish brand Almaborealis launched Puzzleware, a line of kits that enable kids to fashion their own wardrobe.

A Puzzleware kit consists of panels of wool (made in Scotland using 100% Scottish spun wool), a blunt wooden needle and wool yarn. The sides of the panels are prepunctured, offering a built-in guide on where to stitch. Kits also include punched cards for learning four basic stitches.

A child's hand using a wooden needle to stitch panels of wool

Not needing a pattern eliminates a major source of complexity. It also allows children to construct a garment much like they would piece together LEGO, copying an example or letting their imagination run wild. If a design doesn't work out — or they outgrow it — they can pull out the stitches and start all over again.

Puzzleware is shortlisted for this year's Dezeen Awards in the wearable design category.

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People who realize that their ecological footprint is intimately connected to the climate crisis are seeking out brands and products that facilitate their personal shift towards sustainability. An important part of the, um, puzzle is creating products with a longer lifespan.

In the case of Puzzleware, clothing can be taken apart and restitched, adapting to a child's whims or changing size. Instead of discarding a dress, it can be repurposed as a sweater.

What Almaborealis is also tapping into, is our innate human desire to be creative, and our tendency to place a higher value on items we've made ourselves. Let kids discover their DIY powers early on, and they might well grow up to become empowered makers instead of helpless consumers ;-)

Related: Pre-cut clothing kits let sewers skip the patternsAn open source bicycle for anyone to build out of plywood

Innovation of the day

Spotted by: Liesbeth den Toom