How to take care of your clothes properly
Do you take care of your clothes? The fashion industry is one of the biggest contributors to environmental pollution. The average lifetime of a piece of clothing is about 2 years, before it’s broken, faded or simply not worn anymore. What a shame! We have 9 simple tricks for you to make your favourite clothes last longer. No magic, just a little TLC.
Drop the fast-fashion mindset.
We live in a world where clothes tend to be seen as disposables. Many of us would rather buy something new than wearing the same outfit over and over. Let’s change that! Invest in clothes that you actually love and feel good in, so you’ll be less likely to throw them out.
Invest in high-quality clothes.
The major fast fashion brands release numerous micro-collections throughout the year. They get the fast fashion wheel spinning faster to get consumers shopping more often. But did you know that most fast fashion items are created in a way so that they will fall apart quickly? Do yourself and the environment a favour and invest in high-quality materials that are actually designed to last. Spend a little more on a few favourite items and love them for longer.
Store your clothes properly.
Be honest here, do you have “the chair”? The loyal companion that you throw your clothes on in the evening? If so, it’s time to say goodbye because the way you store your clothes has major impact on their lifespan. Fabric needs space to breathe, so try not to pack your closet too tightly. Think cool and dry, away from the sun. Also, clothes rubbing together in a full closet will not just cause wrinkles, but might also cause the colours to fade. Fold heavy items, like knit sweaters, instead of hanging them to keep the shape.
Wash your clothes less often.
Most of the time, you really don’t need to wash your clothes after every use. Hang your clothes outside or by the window to freshen up naturally if they’re not actually dirty. Sweaty sportswear? Put them in the freezer to kill bacteria and get rid of the odour. Sounds crazy, but you’ll thank us later!
Always check the labels to see what works best for your clothes. When in doubt, go lower on the temperatures to prevent any shrinking surprises. Don’t overfill the washing machine; this can cause friction and the garments won’t be cleaned properly. Wash anything with zippers or other metal bits separately to prevent friction and ripping. Always close zippers and buttons before washing.
Go easy on detergent.
You might think, more soap cleans better, but the opposite is true. Using too much (or the wrong kind of) detergent can damage the fabric. Chances are that your clothes won’t be rinsed properly, so you will end up with soap stains (and will have to wash again).
Skip the dryer.
A tumble-dryer can cause proper damage to your clothes. Fibres can break easily, causing pilling and eventually holes. So skip the dryer; hang up your clothes instead and enjoy the smell of fresh laundry. Your energy bill will thank you, too, as dryers need lots of energy to run.
Skip the iron.
Hang your clothes neatly after washing to prevent wrinkles as much as possible. Is your shirt dry but wrinkly? Hang it up in the bathroom while you shower – the high humidity will help you ease the wrinkles. This also works wonders for delicate fabrics that can’t go in the washing machine.
Learn to fix holes and small damages.
Don’t give up on your favourite shirt because of a tiny hole – fix it instead. Ask your grandma (or YouTube) for a little tutorial and get to work. Your wallet and the environment will thank you. Also, isn’t it super satisfying to learn a new skill? You might just gain a new hobby!
Take care of your clothes like the good friends they are. Do you have any other life hacks that will make your clothes last longer? Share them with us on social media and inspire others!