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Make Do and Mend – Zero Waste Living

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Inspired by the special exhibition Forever Changed – Stories From the Second World War, the War Museum’s virtual Make Do and Mend workshop series reacquaints participants with many of the household skills that were part of everyday life in wartime Canada. Each event features a wartime “skill” and one of the Museum’s experts to provide historical context.

In many ways, the current pandemic evokes the hardships experienced during the Second World War: uncertainty, family separation, and in some cases, limits on certain consumer goods. And just as in wartime, Canadians today have found ways to be more resourceful and find creative ways to cope.

The collections of the Canadian War Museum offer practical and inspiring ways to learn from the past. This new virtual workshop series is taken straight from the booklets, posters and pamphlets distributed during the Second World War. The “Make Do and Mend” philosophy was popularized during the Second World War when clothes rationing was introduced. This inspired people to be more resourceful in general, and it offers parallels to waste reduction movements today. Seventy-five years later, this new hands-on series is sure to spark your historical imagination!


Learn to Make Do and Mend, and travel back to the Canadian home front during the Second World War in this series of virtual workshops.

Presented in conjunction with Forever Changed – Stories From the Second World War.

During the Second World War, the “Make Do and Mend” attitude meant that families were resourceful when it came to salvaging scraps and making the most out of what they had. Today, often motivated by concern for the environment, there is renewed interest in reducing waste. Join us for an introduction to zero-waste living with Valérie Leloup, the co-founder of NU, a zero-waste grocery store in Ottawa. Museum historian Dr. Mélanie Morin-Pelletier will share more about what home life was like during the Second World War.

Live via Zoom

Photo: Canadian War Museum 19890086-512

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