Proper washing and storage will prevent the damage, fading, and shrinkage of your favourite SANVT essentials.
By taking good care of your garments, your investments last longer and you help the environment.
We've prepared some tips on how to extend your clothes' shelf life, and in return, make the planet clean(er).
The first tip for sustainable care is to reduce the number of times you wash your clothes.
Many of us wear an item only once before throwing it into the laundry basket. Unless that item is dirty or smelly, you can actually wear it a few more times before putting it in the wash. Exceptions are undergarments, sportswear, or sweaty t-shirts. Less washing protects the fibres and colours of your clothes so that they last longer.
Lowering the use your washing machine also means reducing water and electricity consumption.
Washing at high temperatures is one of the reasons for damaged clothes. It puts more stress on fabrics, and can cause shrinkage, fading, and loss of microfibres.
Did you know? Heated water accounts for 90% of the energy used to operate a washing machine.
Lower temperatures will reduce energy consumption and your overall individual carbon footprint.
In case you were wondering, your clothes will just be as clean. People used to select warmer temperatures to better activate the detergent. But modern detergents work just as well in cold water.
Conventional detergents often contain microplastics and harmful toxins. These pass from our washing machines to the sewage system and ultimately the ocean, endangering much of marine life. Fabric softeners are known to trap odours in clothes, and also contain chemicals and skin irritants. So stick to natural soaps!
Eco-friendly detergent is better for our clothes, our skin, and the oceans.
A small, but effective, gesture to protect your clothes while in the wash is to turn them inside out. This will gently rinse the fibre structure on the surface. You should also make sure that your washing machine is never too full. This can cause friction, which can further damage your clothes' fibres.
To make sure your whites stay white, always sort your clothes by colour before washing. Similar colours should be washed together to avoid discolouration and grey haze. Dark and bold-colour garments should never be washed together with light or white clothing.
The colours of your clothes with last forever!
To care for your clothes properly, you need to know what material they are made from. DIfferent fabrics will have different care instructions, so get into the habit of reading the labels on your clothes before you buy and wash them. Not only will you be more aware of what you are consuming, but you will likely invest in higher quality items and take better care of them.
The most important thing in dealing with stains is to remove them as quickly as possible and rinse with plenty of water. Mild soap or detergent can usually be used for soaking, although normal detergents are just as helpful. If this first step is successful, it is best to wash the garment immediately to remove any detergent residue.
Aside from avoiding bad smells, air drying is better for your clothes and the environment. Tumble dryers use high amounts of energy and, like washing with hot water, can damage certain fibres. Instead, shake out your freshly-washed clothes and hang them out to dry on a clothes line or drying rack. Be sure to check the care label as some pieces, like wool jumpers, should be laid flat.
Another tip to maintain the condition of your clothes is learning how to repair minor issues on your own. Knowing how to mend a hole or sow on a button goes a long way. Refreshing garments, such as removing pilling from a wool jumper, can also prolong the life of your clothes.
Protection from moths and mildew is important for your clothes to last longer. We recommend storing them in a cool dry place, avoiding moisture, sunlight and heat. It is also important to make sure your clothes are clean before putting them away in the closet. Dirt and surface abrasions can attract moths. Knitwear should always be protected with lavender or mothballs. Avoid overfilling your wardrobe, as clothes also need room to breathe.
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