Sometimes the temptation is just too hard to bear. The laundry basket is full, you’ve a party on the approach, and the high street has ‘sale’ signs on every corner. New clothes now, and worry about the cost later, right?
But in recent years it’s become increasingly publicised that this throwaway, casual attitude to our consumerism needs to change. In fact, the fashion industry is the world’s second largest polluter, only behind oil. For eco-conscious fashionistas, the first step to an ethical and sustainable wardrobe is to take every step necessary to ensure your clothes have longevity; simply better for the planet and for people. With that in mind, here are 5 IDEAL ways to make your clothes last longer.
Us Brits love regular online shopping. According to research conducted by the Fashion Retail Academy, a quarter admit they shop for clothes online at least every fortnight while almost a third (32%) shop online every 30 days at a minimum.
Fast fashion, where clothing has become a single-use purchase, destined for landfill after just one wear, is a major problem and needs to be acknowledge as such. The impact this has on the environment doesn’t need to be spelt out. So, if you can’t curtail your shopping habit then the answer is to buy quality pieces that can last multiple seasons. Simples.
LEARN HOW TO SEW & MEND
Hands up if you’ve thrown away a top after a strap breaks or a pair of jeans when a button falls off? Us too, and we’re ashamed of it. Fixing and repurposing items already in your wardrobe or upcycling old clothes that are still in good condition but not necessarily in fashion is a smart, savvy way to readdress your wardrobe and redress yourself. If you’re not so skilled at sewing but are still keen on the ethos of repairing rather than buying then consider taking your clothes to a tailor instead.
REPURPOSE AND REFASHION
If you’re handy with the old thread and needle, you could repurpose old items and turn them into something new and groovy in no time. Indeed, giving a new lease of life to a benched item of clothing will extend the longevity of your clothes limitlessly. And that’s exactly what we’re here for, right?
Embroidery can represent a really fun way of giving your clothes a new lease of life – choose from different patterns and designs to add a personal statement and embrace the individuality of it all. And your throwaway items don’t even have to become a new piece of clothing to keep your environmental credentials proud. You could take your old jumpers and turn them into quilt, for instance, so think outside the box. You can read more here on how to that just that.
WASH LESS, WITH CARE & DON’T USE A TUMBLE DRYER
The more you wash your clothes, the more they fade. Indeed, we’ve all felt the disappointment of a favourite t-shirt shrunk or warped by too hot a wash or lengthy spin cycle.
Hot washes and even hotter tumble dryers can shrink, fade and ruin your clothes so unless it’s visibly dirty or makes your nose twitch from the smell, don’t wash them. As a rule of thumb, try to wear your garments three times before putting them in the laundry basket. What’s more, you should sort your washing out properly to maintain the quality and appearance of your clothes, and we don’t just mean separating darks from whites; keep light fabrics away from heavy ones and soiled garments away from less soiled.
There’s plenty more to consider in washing machine best practice; don’t overload washing machines; wash jeans inside out to prevent colour fading; make sure all zips are done up, stick velcro together and tie drawstrings to avoid catching them catching the drum. The list goes on. And remember that there are dry wash products out there designed specifically for clothes which revive your clothes from just-worn to just-washed, subsequently extending the life of your clothes with a simple spritz by reducing the need to wash your clothes.
STORE WITH CARE
Cheap wire hangers or even cheaper plastic ones aren’t good for your clothes or the environment. And we’re here to talk about both. This is because they don’t support your wardrobe items properly and can even cause misshapen shoulders. Prevent hanger-related clothing incidents by investing in quality, non-slip hangers. You should also store clothes in cool, dry places away from natural sunlight.