Sustainability & Communications Consulting


Sustainability 101

Care For Your Clothes

Did you know we throw away 67% of our clothes because of fading, stains or shrinking?

Investing in the highest quality clothing is the first step to a more sustainable wardrobe. But the second one is to care for it properly, so you extend its lifespan and keep your clothes look fresher longer.

Bye-bye fuzzy sweater and rough silk blouse! Today, we share with you 10 easy tips to prolong the life of your favorite pieces.

1. Keep it cold

About 90 percent of the energy consumed while running a load of laundry is used to heat the water. A lot of people still think you need warm water to properly wash clothes but everything can be washed in cold water as long as you use liquid detergent (most powders need warm water to dissolve). Actually, cold water is even better for your clothes! It helps to preserve the color from bleeding and delicate fabrics to shrink.

2. Wash with like colors

This may seem obvious but always wash alike colors together separating darks, lights and white. Sorting clothes decreases the chances that a garment is going to bleed onto another. If you don’t have that many clothes to wash and you don’t want to do two loads, you can mix light and dark colors but only if none of the colored clothes are new and remember to always use cold water!

3. Wash your jeans less frequently

Constantly submitting your jeans to soaking, detergent and spinning can wear them out, so try to hold off washing them until they really need it. Some jeans brands even advise never washing your denim, instead simply spot-cleaning. We know it can be so easy to throw your jeans with the rest of your clothes into the wash basket at the end of the day. But instead, hang them up outside of your wardrobe until you fold them back the next day.

When you decide that your jeans really need a wash, turn them inside out and wash them cold. Air dry them flat and never put your jeans in the dryer, it is their worst enemy!

4. Take care of the delicates

Most of the time, manufacturers recommend a dry cleaning method for silk, cashmere and wool. But it is not your only method available. Now, cleaning cashmere, wool or silk can be a bit scary and you could easily turn your favorite sweater into toddler wear if done wrong. To avoid any laundering mishaps, stick to these 4 simple rules.

  • Soak: Fill your sink with tepid water and a few drops of gentle detergent. To neutralize any perspiration odor, add about 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Turn the garment upside down and immerse it, swish it gently for 30 seconds. Then let it soak for about 10 minutes.

  • Rinse: Gently Squeeze out the water without stretching and refill the sink with clean, tepid water. Place your sweater in the filled sink, and swish to rinse. Repeat with clean water until detergent is gone.

  • Roll & Dry: After gently squeezing out water, lay your wet sweater flat onto a clean, absorbent towel and roll it up in the towel to get rid of excess moisture. Then lay flat on a drying rack.

  • Steam: Steam your clothes or iron them to get the wrinkles out.

 5. Air dry

Not only does air drying your clothes save you money and promote energy conservation, it is also much better for your clothes. The excessive tumbling and heat of the dryer weaken the fabric’s fibers and considerably reduce your clothes’ lifespan.

6. Steam

Steaming your clothes has a lot of advantages. First, it is better for them as ironing actually crushes the fibers of the textiles and can cause damage to the clothes. It is also faster - Just hang your clothes and steam away the wrinkles. No need to set up the ironing board, heat the iron and work your way around tough spots like buttons and collars!

7. Remove Sweater Pills

Pilling can happen with cashmere, wool or even cotton. It is really common and appears when groups of fibers break, tangle, and mat together, making the texture of the sweater look worn-out and unattractive. Even the most luxurious, high-quality merino and cashmere wool can fall victim to occasional pilling.

Fortunately, a solution exists so you don’t have to throw away your favorite piece after only a few wears: a lint remover. These devices can also be used on furniture and blankets. They’re are available in various sizes and usually come with removable rings designed to protect delicate textiles. Make sure you are not wearing the garment while de-pilling it, and remember to empty the pill trap regularly.

8. To hang or to fold?

Should you fold your clothes or hang them? We usually don’t give too much attention to this question but it actually does make a difference. Hanging the wrong material can ruin the shape of the clothing, while folding the wrong item can wrinkle and crease it. Depending on the size of your closet and its layout, here are the common rules:

Hang: Dresses, shirts, tops, blouses, blazers, lightweight materials.

Fold: Sweaters, t-shirts, jeans. 

There is different ways of folding your clothes but we love Marie Kondo’s method that really helps your drawers stay neat and organized!

9. Invest in good hangers

Get rid of these mismatched hangers and give your closet an upgrade by choosing the right hanger for your clothing need. It will help you avoid these “shoulder bumps” and extend the life of your clothes.

Wood hangers are usually a great choice for the heavier items like coats or suits. Whereas velvet hangers bring an elegant touch and are perfect for the items prone to slippage in your closet. They are also really thin and space saving.

10. Learn basic repairs

A missing button or a loose thread can happen and most of the time, we are too lazy to take the injured clothes to the tailor. It then ends up sitting in the back of our closet forever, or worst, we throw it away and buy a new one.

Learning to do basic repairs on your clothes like replacing a missing button or fixing a loose thread can make them last longer and save you a lot of money. A simple sewing kit costs just a few dollars and if you’ve never sewed before, YouTube videos can teach you everything you need to know!

Clara SharmaComment