Introducing Clothes Doctor: An interview with their founder LuLu O'Connor

Introducing Clothes Doctor: An interview with their founder LuLu O'Connor

We’re all about that supporting other eco-brands' vibe, which is why we’re pretty psyched to be welcoming Clothes Doctor to the EcoVibe family. 

Founded by Lulu O’Connor in 2017, Clothes Doctor started out by offering convenient repair and alteration services so that people could keep clothes as long-term investments. Believing that every garment should be a friend for life, not a one-hit-wonder, they’ve developed a range of luxurious eco-friendly laundry products to help us keep our clothes looking and feeling great.

We grabbed a cuppa with Lulu to find out about Clothes Doctor and to chat about slow fashion and sustainability. Below, we’ll also tell you a bit more about the brand and why we’re ever so excited to have them on our site.

Hi Lulu, thanks for joining us. Firstly, tell us why you decided to set up Clothes Doctor?

“I launched Clothes Doctor as a repairs and alterations service, though we now focus on our products business. I started finding the whole concept of clothing care fascinating after taking a good hard look at my own unsustainable shopping habits whilst working in the City. 

I discovered just how damaging large parts of the fashion industry are to the environment. Much of it is an entirely linear system with no recycling at all, creating vast amounts of waste.

Some of this comes from the production side but a lot of it also comes from the consumption side, due to how our generation views clothing as a throwaway product. I realised that traditional repairs services that you might find in a little shop on the corner were not very convenient and did not provide the best service possible so I became interested in finding a way of creating a business that would actually encourage people to change their consumption habits, and extend the life of their clothes. 

After the success of the repairs and alterations side of the business, we branched into actually creating products that people could use to care for their clothes at home, so that they hopefully wouldn't need repairing so often, and that's how our specialist detergents and clothing care products were born!”

For someone who’s never tried your products before, what would your top trial product be?

“That’s a tough one, as I designed them all and love them each for different reasons! 

If you’re a knitwear lover then the Eco Wash for Cashmere and Wool is definitely for you, and similarly, if you’re really into staying active then our Eco Wash for Sportswear is what I recommend to all my gym-goer friends.  

But I think my absolute favourite all-rounder product is our Basil & Mandarin Leaf Detergent and Fabric Conditioner Set. The scent is absolutely to-die-for, and it really lasts on all your clothes after a wash! Think peppery basil with the fresh, herbal-ness of mandarin leaf; heavenly!”

How often should we really be washing our clothes?

“It may seem counterintuitive but our number one tip at Clothes Doctor is actually to wash your clothes less; you only need to wash them when they’re dirty! Obviously, that will come at different times for different people but generally, we can all manage washing our clothes a little less, thus saving our clothes from wear and tear, and using less energy and water!”

What’s your number one tip for an eco-friendly laundry routine? 

“Well, as well as washing your clothes less, our top tip for an eco-friendly laundry routine is to wash clothes at a low temperature - it’s simple, and it cleans your clothes almost the exact same as a regular wash. We recommend 30 degrees for most things!"

We love that you’re so passionate about the slow fashion movement. What tips would you give to someone starting out on their journey?

“To get started on your sustainable fashion journey, ask yourself these three questions before buying any new garments: 

  1. Do I need this garment? 
  2. Will I wear this 30 times? 
  3. Is it timeless? 

When I started asking myself these questions, I ended up buying a lot less clothing but ending up with a wardrobe that was exactly what I loved and needed, without any unnecessariness. 

Remember, buying clothes from a sustainable brand is great, but what’s even more planet-friendly is to not buy new clothing at all, so it’s best to try and cut down.”

Some might not know to use different product care for different materials, why should we be doing this?

“There’s not one transcendent statement that dictates why we should be using different products for different fibres, other than, all fibres are different. It sounds simple, but fabrics have different needs for all sorts of reasons, like their origin, their elasticity or stretch, their finish etc. 

For example, fabric conditioners or detergents with softening properties are widely used to do laundry, but sportswear, for example, shouldn't be treated with any softening ingredients, because it will damage the de-wicking properties of the fabric. 

It’s these nuggets of know-how that help you realise you need to care for different garments in different ways.”

What are your goals for the remainder of 2022?

“I see Clothes Doctor as global.  Thanks to its basis in sustainability and being clothing and planet-friendly, there is a big market for products of this kind at the moment. We want to keep expanding across the world, but also expanding within ourselves and what we provide to our customers.” 

Making slow fashion a global phenomenon in 2022? We love it! 

Here’s why we love Clothes Doctor!

If we extend the life of our clothes by just 9 months we can reduce the carbon, water, and landfill footprint of your clothes by 30%! So imagine how big that number would be if we look after our clothes to last a lifetime! 

Repairing, mending and altering clothes are all fantastic ways of keeping our clothes lasting longer so we love that this is part of the Clothes Doctor story. 

Their products are fabulous too, you can read all about caring for different types of fabric here. 

The products come in aluminium packaging which is a material that is infinitely recyclable. Did you know that 75% of all aluminium ever made is still in use today, compared to just 9% of plastic? Aluminium really is a fantastic eco-friendly packaging material! What’s more, Clothes Doctor products are super concentrated so you only need to use a really small amount for each wash - so less packaging, and less product used! Plus their products are palm oil-free, cruelty-free, and vegan - all words that are music to our ears. 

And finally, have you checked out the scents? Lime and Peppermint sports wash, is a fragrance combo we never knew we needed. 

As obsessed with Clothes Doctor as us yet?

We’ve learnt all about Clothes Doctor from their founder Lulu and chatted all about why slow fashion is the future our planet needs to see. We’ve found out some great cleaning tips to keep our clothes staying fresher for longer (such as washing them less) and why not all of our clothes need fabric conditioner (we see you sportswear!). We’ve then covered off a bit more about the eco-credentials of the brand and why we’re so excited to have Clothes Doctor on our site. 

We really recommend giving their products a go. Your clothes will thank you for it! 

 

 

 


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