Extending the life of your clothes is good for many reasons, from saving the planet to saving your money. In fact, did you know that if we wear an item of clothing for just 9 months more than we currently do we can reduce its environmental impact by 20-30%? ? This also means we don’t have to buy anything new at this time and that could do wonders for our bank balance. And realistically, we can’t make clothes last forever, but there are a few tips and tricks to ensure they can last that little bit longer…
Protect your delicates.
By washing your delicate items (knickers, bras, your favourite top with the lace trim and fancy buttons) in a mesh bag, you can avoid any unwanted snags and tears that may occur in the machine. This will protect your items and subsequently prolong their life span.
If you don’t fancy investing in a mesh bag just yet, although we definitely recommend you do, you can also use a pillowcase for this.
Are your flies undone?
For similar reasons to the above, we recommend buttoning up and zipping any trousers that you put into the washing machine. It may not protect them, but it’ll definitely stop them pulling on and snagging the other garments in the same wash. It’s a simple trick, but it definitely does the job…
Don’t overload your washer.
If you overload your washer, there’s no chance that every item is getting a proper clean and thus forcing you to clean them again and again. And cleaning the same item over and over is not only likely to drain it over its colour and stretch its elastic, but it also may lead it to shrink, fade and maybe just fall apart altogether. We don’t want that now, do we?
Wash in smaller loads, and you’ll definitely notice the difference!
Wash your dark clothing inside out.
One of the main reasons we don’t want to wear clothes for as long as we should is because the colours often fade over time and it’s not always a good look. However, there are ways to avoid this.
Start by washing your favourite dark garments inside out to preserve their colour and stop them from fading. The same goes for t-shirts; turning them inside out will also prevent their prints from cracking or peeling away.
Let it all hang out! Dry your clothes on a line or a rack.
For those days where the sun is shining, hang your clothes to dry outside and let the sun work its magic. If your clothes are allowed to dry naturally, it is not only better for your ever-increasing electricity bill, it also avoids overheating and potential shrinking of your garments in the dryer. Nobody can wear a top if it’s two sizes too small now…
Invest in quality clothes hangers and witness the difference.
Hanging your clothes on plastic and wire hangers can actually lead to the stretching out of the shoulders and necklines of your favourite garments and leave you with ill-fitting and sagging clothing. Wooden hangers are a little more expensive, but they would undoubtedly last longer and take better care of your clothes. We promise it’s worth the investment!
When a button falls off a top, or a stitch becomes loose, we know the easiest option seems to be to throw it away and replace it. But it is this habit that many of us have fallen into that is having a detrimental effect on our environment.
Instead, learn a few basic mending techniques, from simple stitching to rehemming and you’ll be able to give your clothes a new lease of life. YouTube can be a great place to start, and you’ll be saving your garments (and your money!) in no time.
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