Caring for your clothes
Think twice before washing your clothes. “Washing garments too often can actually cause damage to the fibres and hence decrease the lifespan. This is especially true with dry cleaning, which uses harmful chemicals that flatten the natural fibre follicles in some fabrics.”
If an item isn’t dirty but just needs freshening up, rather than slinging it in the wash bin, try hanging it outside or in a steamy bathroom to breath first.
When the time does come to do a clothes wash, wash at lower temperatures. “Wash clothes at a low temperature with a gentle and natural laundry detergent to keep the fabric clean and soft, and also to prevent colour fading & bobbling. For an average shirt over a year, 80% of the emissions produced during the ‘in-use’ stage of its life cycle are from washing and tumble drying – washing at 30° or less helps to reduce those emissions, while also protecting your clothes.
Standard detergents can contain fossil fuel-based substances, which can have negative effects on the environment as they don’t biodegrade. “Using specialist laundry products like eco-washes and a delicate hand wash can also go a long way to making your much-loved gym wear last longer. Thankfully, there are now a growing number of eco-laundry products that are made from biodegradable, plant-derived ingredients, and which also have the added bonus of being refillable.
An extra handy tip is to wash clothes inside out when machine washing, and to avoid overfilling, as this can cause friction and damage the fibres.
There’s nothing like that freshly laundered, air dried smell when you get your clean clothes in from the washing line. And not only does it smell great, but air drying is also better for your clothes and the planet compared to tumble drying, which uses a lot of energy to run and can also damage certain fibres.
Instead, shake out your clothes and hang either outside on the washing line, drying rack or on hangers to air dry.