Being environmentally conscious was never more critical, given that clothing has an average lifespan of just 2.2 years in the UK and that over £140 million of clothing is dumped every year. To decrease emissions, you should keep your garments for longer. Just nine months of additional usage of a garment may have a major influence on environmental impact, whereas the emissions from a garment can be reduced by 24% per year by increasing its usable life from one year to two years.
In the opinion of Wrap, factors that influence how long an article of clothing is kept include the eagerness of the owner to style the very same product repetitively (always beyond #30 wears); technical details such as adaptable fabrics, dyes, and colors; consumer capacity to regenerate or alter clothes; and also how owners look after their garments Here is some advice on how to keep your clothes looking nice for as long as humanly possible by taking care of them properly, so you may enjoy them for as long as you can!
Don’t wash your garments unless you’re certain. Clothes Doctor’s chief seamstress, Chris Morton, adds, “Washing clothing too often may actually cause harm to the fibers and so limit the lifetime.” To flatten the natural fiber follicles in certain materials, dry washing employs hazardous chemicals. Rather than chucking an item into the washing machine, hang it outdoors or in a hot bathroom to let it air out first.
Use Low Temperature while Washing:
Whenever it’s necessary to wash your items, use lower temps. A mild and natural washing detergent should be used to maintain the fabric smooth and avoid color fading, says Morton. When washing and drying an average shirt for a year, 80 percent of the emissions generated during the ‘in-use’ phase of its life span are generated by washing and drying at 30° or less. In certain cases, a high thermal wash may be required for things that come in direct touch with your flesh, such as undergarments, bedding, and towels, for example.
Read the Labels Carefully:
Laundering a variety of fabrics necessitates a variety of techniques. It’s best to only wash wool using a specialist wool cleanser on a soft cycle or by hand when necessary. To protect delicate materials such as wool and silk from dangerous chemicals and heat, Morton recommends careful cleaning and maintenance. Be sure to follow the label’s directions about the highest suggested washing temperature for each item (rather than the recommended temperature). Unless the label specifically states “dry clean only,” of course…
One-third of shoppers avoid purchasing a garment marked “dry clean only” because of the additional work required to clean it. However, the majority of delicate marked “dry clean only” can be cleaned on gentle cycles at lower temperatures with no harm done (unless the item has details that might become damaged in the washing machine). If you’re concerned about the environment and the health of your skin, you may want to think again about dry cleaning your clothes. Blanc Living is an ecologically friendly dry cleaner that provides non-toxic and ‘eco’ cleaning services.
Detergents that include fossil fuels may harm the environment since they don’t break down in the environment. When it comes to keeping your most prized possessions last longer, Chris recommends using specialized laundry solutions like our eco-washes and gentle hand wash. An increasing range of eco-laundry solutions are now available, all of which use biodegradable, plant-derived components and can be refilled. The new Clothes Doctor line of clothing wash products for cashmere, silk, and everyday washing is made from plant-based substances that nourish delicate fibers and come in recyclable aluminum bottles, while B Corps Ecover and Method offer cleaning products that mostly use organic, plant-based ingredients and are packaged in 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic (it also offers a refill program).
Wash Inside Out:
A piece of additional helpful advice from Chris: “When machine washing, it’s a good idea to turn the garments inside out and prevent overfilling the machine, since this may generate force and damage the fibers,” he advises.
Freshly cleaned and air-dried garments have a wonderful aroma when they’re brought in from the washer. Drying clothes by air not only smells lovely, but it is also healthier for the environment and your clothing than using a tumble dryer, which takes a large deal of electricity and damages certain fabrics. Instead, wring out your clothing and allow them to dry naturally, either on a line outdoors or on a drying rack indoors. Furthermore, pay close attention to clothing labels, since certain articles, such as woolen jumpers, maybe best dried flat.
Use correct Storage techniques:
When it comes to clothing, proper storage may extend the life of a garment, according to Chris. “Store all clothes in a cool and dry space to protect them from damp, sunlight, and heat, which can all cause damage. Clothes moths may harm your clothing if they find dirt or surface particles on them, so keep them clean before storing them. Lavender or mothballs may be used to protect your knitwear against moths. To avoid wrinkling and color loss due to clothing rubbing against one other, it’s vital to keep your wardrobe at a manageable size. Keep your wardrobe in shape by hanging your items on wooden or cushioned hangers instead of plastic ones.
Repairing a garment as soon as you spot damage is Chris’ piece of advice. Because of this, not only will the item be kept out of landfills and in a usable condition, but it will also have a longer life because the damage is likely to become worse with time. “Items may be refreshed and restored to their finest appearance at any time,” she says. A simple de-pilling of your favorite sweater, or rehydrating an old leather jacket that’s gotten dry or split over time, can maintain them in wearing the shape.”