Ok, so you have invested in some new pieces (yay, thanks rockstar!) and want to make sure that they look as good as new every single time you wear them. Sounds easy, but like anything worthwhile it will take a little bit of extra effort to achieve. Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting you are chained to the laundry, far from it! Follow the simple tips below to extend the life of your clothing while also being kinder to the environment.
Empty pockets before washing
We have all been there, a rogue tissue or receipt can be a huge headache if they find their way into your washing machine. Empty your pockets to ensure no nasty surprises when you lift the lid at the end of the wash cycle.
Wash less frequently
One of the easiest ways to care for your clothing while also minimising the environmental footprint of your laundry and care for the fibres in your garment is by washing some of your clothing less often. I’m not suggesting you wear ‘dirty’ clothing but ask yourself if you can air out the garment, give it a light steam and wear again.
Steam where you can
I am a massive advocate for steaming clothes and only ever use an iron for tablecloths. A steamer is quick, allows me to get into tricky areas easily and also ‘freshens’ up clothing in a flash. Steaming is also gentler on your garments. You can buy steamers in chain-stores and department stores for as little as fifty dollars and for a game changer I also recommend a hand-held travel steamer for holidays.
Avoid the tumble dryer
Hot tumble dryers will cause fibres to prematurely break down, cause static cling and can even shrink garments while also being very expensive to run. Instead ‘shake’ your clothes out to help remove creases and hang or lay on a clothes rack to air dry. I mean, who doesn’t love that freshly laundered air-dried smell right!
Cold water wash
Personally, I wash everything in cold water. It’s cheaper, more sustainable and looks after my fabrics. Hot water will set stains and can also shrink some garments, so think twice before using it.
I know it seems easier to chuck your clothes in the washing machine, turn the knob and walk away but honestly hand washing is quick and gentle. I put aside a little time once a week to hand wash several items in one go. Hand washing will look after trims like tassels, lace inserts, embroidery and specialty buttons. You can handwash in a bucket or a sink, just rinse well and if I have several ‘like colour’ pieces I will give them a quick spin in the washing machine to remove excess water before laying flat on a drying rack or hanging on the line.
Spending a little extra time to love your clothes and look after them will be good for your wardrobe and also the environment.
Love & Kindness