Care for your garments the correct way and make your favourite items last longer.
- Wash less and at low temperatures – Most of the time when we say that something has been worn out, it hasn’t actually been worn out, it has been washed out. So wash your favourite garments less often and at low temperatures. Make sure to use a liquid detergent, it will dissolves better than powder when washing at low temperatures.
- Steam instead of washing – Often the clothes that we wash actually do not need to be washed, they just need to be refreshed. Steaming is like airing, except it’s on fast forward. The steam, which has a temperature of about 100 degrees, will also kill most of the bacteria that sits in the clothing, as well as remove odor. The steaming process also uses way less water than washing it in the machine, which is better for the environment.
- Iron less, use the steamer instead – Each time you iron a garment it puts a strain on the garment, especially dark coloured items that tend to get a grey tone when ironed. By steaming you remove the strain on the surface of the garment and make the garment last longer.
- Gently fold your knit wear – Some of the more luxurious and delicate fibers like wool, cashmere, alpaca, yak and mohair, should be handled with extra care. Always delicately fold your knit wear and store it your wardrobe with plenty of space, never over stuffing your drawer or shelf. The less you process and handle your knitwear, the longer it will last. You can even reduce pilling by handling your knitwear with extra care, for instance using hangers to avoid it loosing shape and form.
- Hand washing or machine washing – Nothing beats a delicate hand wash, but you have to know how to do it properly in order to minimize the strain on the garment. If you do it wrong, your delicate hand wash might be harder on the garment than the machine wash. Follow these steps to ensure you don’t accidently strain the garment:
- Fill up the sink with cold or lukewarm water (depends on the garment, if in doubt use cold water).
- Mix a small amount of liquid detergent into the water, rather too little than too much.
- Gently put your garment into the sink, use your finger tips to gently get the garment into the water.
- Leave it for just a minute or two.
- Use your finger tips to gently move the garment around in the sink.
- Drain the water from the sink.
- Fill up the sink again with cold water, move the garment around with your finger tips, drain and repeat this process until the water is clear. Never strain the garment or in other ways try to remove water from the garment with your hands.
- Take a towel, put your garment flat on the towel, roll it up and gently squeeze the towel to remove water. Don’t twist or try in any other way to strain the towel.
- Put your garment on a hanger or let it flat dry, depends on the garment. Always use as little water as possible, the water should cover the garment, but there is no need to fill up your sink. By using a small amount of detergent, you will not have to repeat point 8. that many times.
The plus side
- Minimize your footprint – Extending the average lifetime of your garments with just 3 months will reduce your carbon, water and waste footprint with 5-10%.
- Make your garments last longer – by caring for your garments in the correct way, you can make your favourite garments last longer. When you make your garments last longer, you can end up purchasing fewer items, and you can also get items in higher quality that can be your favourites longer and that you will enjoy more.
Building a great wardrobe
- Buy less, but buy smart – When you care for your garments and make them last longer, it forces you to buy differently. You have to think about the need and function of the garment, because the best way to wear garments are to wear them until they are worn out and not just because they feel outdated. Don’t go basic but go for timeless, with beautiful details and in high quality and that is comfortable to wear, those are the items that you will enjoy the most.
- The buying process might take longer but it will be worth it – When you go shopping for new items to add to your wardrobe, you might not necessarily have a plan, but you might have the feeling that something is missing. That feeling is what makes you buy things that you don’t really need and that you will not end up wearing. When you find something you like, don’t feel bad because you have to drag out the buying process a little, but rather take your time and find that one garment that you will really love. Take that extra look at your wardrobe and perhaps you will notice that you probably already have a few other garments that fulfill the same need or function in your wardrobe.
When you are done with your garments
- Never throw garments in the trash – What might look worn out to you might be a hidden treasure for someone else. Today there are so many different ways of giving your old garments new life, if the garment is still wearable and you might just be tired of it, then perhaps consider giving it to either charity or try selling it through a second-hand store. There are also plenty of online platforms that can help you sell the items. When you donate your garments to charity, your garments will be sorted by the state of it. The most worn out things may not be used as a garment in the future, but it might be down-cycled and used for other purposes which also serves a great purpose. And each garment that gets a new life, is one step closer to a better environment.