We’re constantly seeing models hit the runway from Paris to Milan, and from London to New York, so it’s easy to get inspired and fancy a wardrobe refresh. But before you make a dash to your nearest clothes shop, here’s how to stay fashionable and eco-friendly. Because hey, sustainability is sexy.
We’re going to share how to keep your clothes looking new and improve their longevity. Take care of your clothes, and make the most of what you own so that you can buy less. Because by buying less clothing, we help our bank balance and help the planet by stopping old clothes, and the waste produced from the clothing industry from ending up in landfills.
Whenever we wash our clothes, we can damage the fibres that make up the item so they won’t last as long.
Think twice before throwing something in the wash bin, and think a few more times before taking something in for dry cleaning. Dry cleaning uses powerful chemicals to wash your clothes, which can damage fabrics.
If an item just needs a freshen up, try hanging it outside (or in the bathroom while you’re having a nice soak) and it will work wonders.
If you wear a lot of silky materials, like blouses for work, consider investing in a steamer, which will help you quickly get creases out so you can put clothes back in your wardrobe.
When you do wash, wash well
A lot of laundry products contain harsh chemicals that damage your clothes and pollute our waterways. Ever found that your clothes start to get a bit itchy? That might be because your skin is sensitive to some of the ingredients in your detergent.
Consider switching to an eco-friendly and natural option. Sure you’ll help the planet by buying better but you’ll also help look after your skin and your clothes. It really is a win-win!
Follow care labels
We’re all guilty of ignoring the care instructions on our clothes, but they can really help you look after them. If an item says wash at 30, don’t pop it in with a 40 wash, as you’ll damage it. On the reverse, if something says wash at 40, it won’t do it any harm popping it into a cooler wash.
Reducing the temperatures you wash your clothes at helps reduce your carbon emissions, all while protecting your clothes.
Wash inside out and invest in a wash bag for delicates
Washing inside out can protect clothes that have any pattern, embroidery, or design on their outside. You’ll protect these elements from getting damaged and you’ll cause less friction with other items.
For delicates like underwear and tights, consider popping your clothes in a wash bag before putting them in the washing machine (and they’ll definitely need some lower temperatures). This will stop them from getting tangled up and ending up damaged.
Air drying is your friend
Pulling fresh sheets off the washing line has to be one of the best smells ever and we can see why this is something candle companies have monopolised on.
Whether you have outside space or not, try to air dry as much of your laundry as possible. It’s better for the planet and it’s better for improving the lifespan of your clothes.
If you’re drying your clothes inside, because let's face it the weather in the UK is unpredictable even if you do have a garden, try and air the room to prevent dampness. Keep windows open where possible, and keep laundry away from the walls.
Some items will love you even more if you dry them flat (they’re needy we know!). Woolly jumpers love being laid flat as they dry to stop them from distorting.
For items that you’d usually need to iron, hang them on a hanger, and you’ll be amazed how much ironing you suddenly no longer have to do!
Store your clothes properly
For clothes you need to hang, try and give them space so that they don’t rub against each other and start wrinkling or even transferring their dye onto other clothes. Make sure your wardrobe or hanging rail is cool and dry, away from direct sunlight, and away from a source of heat like a radiator.
Wooden or padded hangers are great for clothes as they’ll help protect your clothes from becoming misshapen.
If you have a lot of woolly jumpers, these are beloved by moths, so invest in some mothballs, some cedarwood disks, or some sachets of dried lavender, which will stop these pests from eating through your wardrobe.
For items that need folding, spend some time learning how to properly fold items so they aren’t creased when you take them out of drawers. The queen of tidy, Marie Kondo has a lot of tutorials, right down to how to fold your knickers, and her methods work. It’ll save you time from last-minute ironing in the long run!
Get your needle and thread out
Finally, spend some time repairing clothes if they’re torn or damaged. You can find loads of tutorials on YouTube and TikTok. Some even show you how to make a hole in your clothes into something beautiful like a flower, so you’ll give your clothes a new lease of life, and switch it up!
So that’s it, some easy tips to look after your clothes so that you help them last longer. We’ve covered washing less, washing well, following care instructions, taking care of your clothes in the washing machine, why you should really air dry, how to store your clothes once they are clean, and reminded you that it’s pretty easy to repair your clothes. It’s easier than you think to look after our clothes and be more eco-friendly at the same time.
Think we’ve missed something? Let us know your favourite hack to look after your clothes and make them last longer in the comments below.