Make-do and Mend

A Ministry of Information poster entitled ‘Go through your Wardrobe’ and part of the ‘Make do and Mend’ campaign, 1929-1945, Catalogue ref: INF 13/144/1.

The war caused a shortage of clothes and high prices for those that could be found in the shops. It was no longer possible to get supplies of clothes from abroad, and clothes manufacturers in Britain had to make things needed for the war such as uniforms and parachutes.

The ‘Make do and Mend’ campaign was introduced by the government to encourage people to get as much wear as possible out of the clothes they already had. Posters and information leaflets gave people advice and ideas about how to do this. Evening classes were set up to teach people how to make new clothes out of bits of worn out old ones, rather than throw them away.

  • Can you explain the connection between this ‘Make do and mend’ poster and the War Cabinet memorandum on the rationing of clothing, 1941, Catalogue ref: PREM 3/96/1?
  • Why are women targeted in this advert ‘Watch Your Meters’ poster Catalogue ref: INF 13/299 (31)


Go through your wardrobe

Make-do and mend

Return to Home Front 1939-1945 (part two)