Make Do And Mend - Cost of living crisis sees revival of needlework



Thrifty and stylish Brits have been turning to needlework to tackle the cost of living crisis, with almost a ten percent increase over the last year in the readership of ‘hobbies’, according to Readly - the digital magazine and newspaper subscription app. Terms such as ‘cross stitch’, ‘crochet’, ‘weaving’ and ‘embroidery’ appeared in the app’s top hobbies searches.

With soaring prices, the last 12 months has seen a drastic change in the economic climate. Almost two in five of UK adults have been forced to reduce or stop spending on clothes[1]. And in a bid to be more eco-conscious, many have been turning to ‘upcycling’ and ‘repairing’ in order to get the most out of their clothes - with the terms ‘reclaimed’, ‘zero waste’, ‘patchwork’, ‘retro’ and ‘handmade’ also appearing in the top searches on the Readly app.


Once seen as an essential skill, sewing clothes fell out of fashion with baby boomers when the prices of clothing tumbled. However needlework is experiencing a rise in popularity. The interest appears, in part, to be driven by economic pressures as well as the widespread criticism of throwaway fashion with Brits looking to choose clothes that will last and mending them if they need to.

With the cost of living crisis taking hold of the nation, we are seeing an increased appetite for our hobbies to work harder for us and needlework is one of the most searched and read hobbies on our app. From creating a new outfit, to upcycling an existing one or performing a quick repair, it appears that Brits are experiencing a revival of needlework and reading more as they look to be thrifty and sustainable with their fashion choices.

The types of topics we read about in magazines reveal what is on the mind of the nation and Readly data shows clear trends associated with external factors; during the pandemic we saw cooking and interior design categories rise and now we are seeing news and politics and needlework trending, says Chris Couchman, Head of Content at Readly.


Readly’s portfolio includes 6,300 digital magazines and newspapers and podcasts, including a hobby & collecting category featuring many needlework magazines, as well as other hobbies and interest areas from gaming to astrology to coding. From news to fitness, food, music, business, arts and culture and kids titles too, there’s something for everyone.


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Data: Readly in app search data April - October 2022 and readership data Q3 2021 TO Q3 2022..


About Readly
Readly is the European category leader for digital magazines. The company offers a digital subscription service that lets customers have unlimited access to 7,500 magazines and newspapers including the catalogue of ePresse. Readly has subscribers in more than 50 countries and content available in 17 different languages. In collaboration with 1200 publishers worldwide, Readly is digitising the magazine and newspaper industry. In 2021, revenues amounted to SEK 466 million. Since September 2020, the Readly share is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm Midcap. For more information, please visit