Caring for clothes properly extends their life and is more earth-friendly! By reducing the consumption of new clothing, you reduce your contribution to fashion’s carbon footprint and worldwide waste in landfills. Whether new or second-hand, an everyday item, or an heirloom, all clothing lasts longer with proper care.
Caring for Clothes: Cleaning
1. Think twice. Wash clothes only when needed. Many items can be worn more than once. Infrequent washing reduces wear and tear from machines. Earth-friendly benefit: You save water and energy.
2. Washing Tips.
- Sort clothes and then read the care labels. Take dry clean-only items to an eco-friendly dry cleaner like Flair Cleaners.
- Avoid synthetics as they shed microplastics. If you own them, wash them as frequently as possible.
- Wash fragile fabrics like silk and linen on the delicate cycle.
- Use cold water and shorter cycles to save energy. According to the Sierra Club, every household that switches to cold water washing could eliminate about 1,600 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. Washing clothes on a hot uses 75% more energy and is more likely to break down dyes and cause shrinkage.
- Brush suits after every wear to eliminate dust and grime, which can damage the fabric.
- Wash clothes, especially jeans, inside out to keep color from fading.
- Use natural dryer balls, not dryer sheets, which are generally full of chemicals.
Earth-friendly benefit: Research from WRAP suggests that extending the active life of clothing by just nine months significantly reduces its environmental impact.
3. Use earth-friendly detergents and dry cleaners. Use laundry detergent without harmful petrochemicals and with minimal packaging. Bring your dry cleaning to Flair for an eco-friendly clean. Earth-friendly benefit: You’ll play a part in reducing toxins in the water and reducing your carbon footprint.
4. Avoid ironing. Hang clothes in the bathroom when you take a hot shower. The steam will get out the wrinkles.
5. Use the sun. Dry clothes outdoors on a clothing line or a drying rack. Put them in a shady area to avoid sun fading. Earth-friendly benefit: Save energy and money and protect your clothes from dryer damage.
Caring for Clothes: Storing and Upcycling
6. Put clothes away correctly. Hang on wooden hangers to avoid misshapen shoulders. Avoid hanging wool items; fold them instead to prevent sagging. Earth-friendly benefit: Clothes last longer.
7. Store clothing properly. At the end of the season, clean clothes first, then store them in a cool, dry environment to avoid bacteria and mold. Avoid direct sunlight to prevent fading. Allow the clothes to breathe. Bonus: You’ll keep the clothes you love longer!
8. Reuse and repurpose worn or unwanted clothing. Use old T-shirts and other worn items as rags. Donate gently-used items to local charities. Earth-friendly benefit: You’ll divert waste from landfills and save paper.
For more ideas on caring for clothes, visit Flair Cleaners.