So, What's On The Agenda?
Are you tired of buying new clothes every other month? Do you want to learn how to keep your clothes looking new longer? Well, if you answered “Yes” on both of these questions, then you’ve come to the right place.
As you probably know, climate change is one of the most concerning issues of our time. Every day on the news, we see the impact that it has on nature in the form of burning forests, floods, and other weather anomalies.
In an effort to help preserve our climate, all major nations have taken some steps towards making our future lives better. Most importantly, making production more sustainable.
The EU banned single-use plastic, taxes for electric cars are smaller, and we have global campaigns that inform the population about the effects of climate change. We are constantly urged to take personal actions. Get a reusable water bottle, buy second-hand clothes, don’t use a plastic toothbrush, and many more.
Well, today I’m here to give you yet another small thing that you can do, to help mother nature. And that’s learning to sustain your clothes for longer. In this article, I will be giving you tips on how to make your clothing more sustainable.
Let’s get going.
10 Tips For Sustainable Clothing
Now, you may wonder why only 10 tips. Well, because I believe that they’re the easiest ones to follow and that they have the biggest impact.
Also, I didn’t want to make this sound like a chore by giving you a million things you have to do. I wanted to keep it simple.
Invest in High-Quality Pieces
Fast fashion is all around us. H&M, Zara, Urban Outfitters, and many more are giving us new items and are making big sales every other weekend.
And as a consumer, it’s tempting to buy a pair of jeans for $10, a t-shirt for $5, and a jacket for $30. Especially, when the models are copied off of famous designers and make you resemble your favorite celebrity.
However, the big question is what happens when this jacket only lasts two months? You go and buy another one. Within two years, you end up buying more than six different jackets. Some because you need them, others because you want that specific model (and it’s only 10 bucks so why not?).
Now if you think about it, that’s quite too many jackets for one person.
The best way to avoid such scenarios is to invest in high-quality clothing items. Pick pieces that are made by good brands, with premium materials and that fit your style. It’s important to get clothes that you can wear in multiple combinations.
I know that you’re probably thinking - “But these pieces cost a lot”. And I agree with that. However, if you consider the amount of money you would have to spend on six jackets, you’d quickly see that the cost is similar to the one for a high-quality jacket.
But the biggest difference is that in one instance, you’re buying only one item and in the other six. And as far as environmental issues come, that’s not a small difference.
So, look for premium clothes on sale and get them for good money. I promise you, the investment is worth it.
Begin Using A Delicates Bag
Underwear is typically made from delicate, soft materials. That’s why it’s not particularly durable and needs to be changed frequently.
Now, I’m not saying, I’ve found a way to make your undergarments last forever. Of course not. I just think I have a hack that helps keep them intact for long. And that’s using a delicates bag.
The problem with underwear is not only that it’s made from lighter materials. We also wash it often (not something we should stop doing, obviously). But with all that treatment, it usually doesn’t last long and needs to be thrown away frequently.
A delicates bag protects the material of the underwear and helps you avoid stretched straps or damaged hooks.
Get a Good Stain Remover
Stains are the enemy of clothes. Especially when it comes to high-quality, expensive pieces. It’s a total disaster when your brand new pair of designer jeans get stained only a few hours after the purchase. Trust me, I’ve been there.
So how can you ensure that your clothes don’t have to go in the trash, just because of a simple stain? Well, by getting a good stain remover.
First, you should get a stain removal pen that you can carry in your bag for emergencies. Additionally, you should get a proper stain remover for more persistent stains. That way, you will ensure that stains get cleaned and your clothes aren’t damaged.
Just be careful when choosing a detergent. It should at least be somewhat gentle to the material, not too chemically harmful.
Try Washing Your Clothes Less
While we’re on the topic of washing, let’s discuss the frequency with which you should wash your clothes. Now, don’t take this as an invitation to wear dirty clothes.
No, just also avoid washing them obsessively. I know a ton of people who wash their hoodies after wearing them for just an hour or two. Don’t do that.
Over-washing can damage even the highest quality clothing. It ruins the colors, the materials and makes the item more susceptible to falling apart. That’s why it’s important not to overdo it, especially if you aim to make your clothes look good longer.
Don’t just throw everything in the washing machine. Instead, look at your clothes and determine the ones that are dirty and need to be washed.
Avoid Dry Cleaning If You Can
Continuing down the same path, let’s talk about dry cleaning, yet another thing you should avoid.
Places that offer dry cleaning services often use harsh chemicals. They also run clothes through numerous procedures that use high heat. That kind of combination usually ends up ruining the material of the clothes.
So if you want to keep your nice dresses and suits longer, avoid sending them to the dry cleaners. Even though it’s more convenient.
Now, of course, there are instances where you must use this service. Try to use dry cleaning only for clothes you don’t wear and wash often.
Wash Your Clothes Sustainably
I know the washing machine is like a science project to some of us. I remember the total disaster that I made the first time I did laundry alone. That’s why I believe that there are a few key rules that everyone needs to follow:
- Find the right program on your washing machine, that’s gentle to the clothes but cleans them as well
- Don’t cram all of your wardrobes at once. I understand we want to preserve water. But by washing too many items at once, you get dirty clothes that also get damaged by the constant rubbing that happens throughout the process
Another important thing to do is to dry clothes quickly. Don’t let them stay wet in the washing machine for a prolonged period of time. I promise, if you do it, the end result will be terrible.
Use a Gentle Detergent
Nowadays, there are many, many brands of detergent available on the market. I know it’s hard to choose one that cleans your clothes, leaves them smelling good, and is gentle at the same time. But no matter how hard it is, it’s definitely not an impossible mission.
I recommend that you look for a mild detergent that contains surface-active agents that dissolve dirt and grease. Unlike ordinary detergents that can contain enzymes or abrasives.
That way you will get a product that cleans your clothes, but isn’t too harsh and won’t damage the materials. For a good smell, just get some essential oils that you can add to your dirty underwear.
Also, the amount of detergent you use is also important. Try not to overdo it, cause that might make your clothes even more dull and stiff. If you want to boost its strength, just add a bit of baking soda.
Mend Your Clothes Whenever Possible
All clothes, no matter the quality, get small nicks and bugs at some point. But it’s important to stop throwing clothes just because a button fell off, or a strap came loose. That’s why you need to learn some basic mending and stop tossing perfectly fine clothes for no reason at all.
In the past, people used to do it all the time and I’m sure your grandma had a sewing machine somewhere around the house. That’s because back in the day, clothes used to cost more and people generally didn’t want to waste money on them.
So my advice is, invest in a small sewing kit, watch one or two YouTube tutorial videos, and start by trying to mend old clothes. Once you get to hang off it, continue using the skills in the future.
Have a Good Storage For Your Clothes
Clothes, similarly to human beings, don’t want to be kept in small, confined spaces and they can become vulnerable when they get overexposed to light.
That’s why it’s important to avoid putting your clothes in places like your basement or your bathroom. They can get moldy, as bacteria grows and ruins the material of the pieces.
Instead, store the clothes in a dry and cool place, like your wardrobe. It’s also a good idea to give the clothes space since when they rub together, they start losing color. For your more delicate items, use a hanger or a breathable canvas bag.
Use a Drying Rack or a Clothesline
We all love the convenience of the dryer. You get the wet clothes, put them in, and after a short period of time, you get clothes that are dry and ready to be worn.
However, the truth is that your dryer is harmful to the materials that your clothes are made of. This is particularly relevant for intimate apparel and activewear. Overheating often breaks down the elasticity in the garment and causes unwanted stretching.
That’s why when the sun is out and shining, it’s a better idea to use it to dry your clothes in a natural way. It is a lot less damaging. In order to do that, you need to invest in a good drying rack or a clothesline that you can place in your yard or your terrace.
These are just a few tips that you can begin implementing immediately. However, there’s a lot more you can do in your daily life, to help you keep your clothes looking good for longer.
Sustainable clothing is the future of fashion. As it becomes more and more trendy to resell items or to buy second-hand, it’s crucial to learn how to preserve your items.
I also advise you to keep looking for ways to lead a more sustainable lifestyle overall. When it comes to fashion there are a ton of other things you can do to preserve the environment. Here are just a few:
- Buying clothes from sustainably sourced material
- Choosing vegan leather always
- Going thrift shopping and getting second-hand items
- Giving clothes you no longer wear to charity
Just remember that even seemingly small details, get to make a difference when we all do them together. So spread these tips to all your friends and family and get them on the sustainable lifestyle too.