No one wants to be a consumer of fast fashion and have to replace items as quickly as they are bought. Although, somewhere down the line, our clothes are not receiving the care and attention they need and no longer serve us. If you want to boost the life cycle of your clothes, here are seven ways you can do so.
It shouldn’t be any surprise to learn that our appliances can really impact the longevity of our clothes. Having a quality washing machine, dryer, and iron will ensure that your clothes are being gently cared for. Cheap and old appliances can depreciate over time with their materials becoming rougher and their mechanisms not achieving what they were designed to do. Have an audit of your appliances and see if that’s the culprit cutting your clothing’s life short.
Follow care instructions
Over time we have come to think of clothing care instructions as tokenistic guidelines, but it is necessary that we follow these instructions to the letter. If this is a time-consuming measure, look at all the labels on your clothes and get an understanding of what can be cleaned together as a batch so that you can do all your handwashing, cold washing and hot loads together. When you can still hold on to your favourite clothes years down the track – it will be worth the effort!
Did you know that not every article of clothing can be hung? In fact, wool should always be folded so as not to stretch the shape and to avoid pulls. It is also an idea to have your wardrobe displaying seasonal fashion only, and have your summer or winter clothing vacuum sealed so that they are not in a position to be damaged on the shelf or on a hanger. Just think of the way retail store merchandise their shops to have some items hanging or folded.
Avoid direct sunlight
Fading can happen to any colour and almost any fabric, and it is absolutely avoidable. Chances are your wardrobe has a door and can keep your clothing in a dark and temperature-controlled environment, but there is a growing trend of people handing their clothing around their rooms on stylish racks. Try and only do this with the outwear (like denim and synthetic materials) in your capsule wardrobe as it has actually been designed for these climates and exposures.
Avoid harsh chemicals
Consumers are spoilt for choice when it comes to washing brands and ingredients, but our selection can be almost mechanical with few of us reading the back of the box to learn what ingredients our clothes are coming into contact with. Eco-friendly washing brands have touted a number of benefits to the environment and clothing longevity, so if you haven’t trialled a greener brand – select one next time you shop.
Outsource the responsibility
Not everyone is in a position to send their dirty washing away to be cleaned and pressed, but it is a great way to ensure that your clothing is getting taken care of. This is particularly useful if you hate to spend time in the laundry and don’t have time to execute the specific care instructions on every article of clothing. Weigh up the price and see if you will value that convenience and make the decision to have someone else take care of your clothes.
Start out with quality clothes
Unfortunately, some brands and materials are just not made to last, and they will typically come at a lower price because of this. If you start out on the right foot and buy clothing that is quality, then boosting their lifecycle is going to be much more manageable. Natural materials like cotton, linen, bamboo and leather are great quality – even if they do cost a little extra. Synthetic materials like polyester just will not keep their shape and integrity over time.
We hope you can face these hard truths about clothing care and will start to approach your clothing maintenance with a new outlook. Quality appliances, cleaning solutions and quality clothes will set you up for success – so get those right first.