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How To Care For Your Clothes And Make Them Last

How To Care For Your Clothes And Make Them Last

Just in case you hadn’t noticed, we LOVE clothes. It’s not just about how they look, but how the perfect outfit can boost your confidence and make you feel your best. That's why it's so important to go the extra mile to take care of your wardrobe, so that you can get that feeling for as long as possible.

Not only will taking care of your clothes mean that you look fabulous for longer, it's also better for the environment. Did you know that around 2/3 of a piece of clothing's environmental impact happens after it's been bought? There are a couple of reasons for this, like clothes only being worn a handful of times, or clothes being washed more times than they need to be. 

The good news is that we can change that by switching up how we care for our clothes - it’s the simple things that make a huge difference. So, from how you wash your clothes, to how you wear them, here are a few steps you can take to make your clothes last longer. Your future self and the environment will thank you!

clothes within a washing basket


You can't beat that freshly-washed feeling, but did you know that how you wash your clothes can impact how long they last? When it comes to washing your clothes, there are three big things to consider. Wash less, wash cold and wash by hand. 

1. Wash Less

Most items of clothing (apart from underwear and socks) can be worn multiple times before needing to be washed. Items like jeans can be washed once a month (yes, really), so take a moment to consider if a piece of clothing is actually dirty before throwing it in the wash.

Investing in a spot cleaner is an easy way to keep your clothes clean without damaging them, and saves the water and energy you would use if you put them in for a full wash. 

Life hack: Did you know you can bag your jeans and put them in the freezer for a day or two, and it'll kill any bacteria and smells, ready to be worn again?

2. Wash Cold

You might think that hot temperatures are better for getting rid of stains and bacteria, and you'd be right, but only for really dirty clothes. We're talking an entire glass of red wine down your white dress dirty. 

For everyday washes, keep things cool (no higher than 30 degrees) as the excess heat can break down the fibres of your clothes, meaning they won't last as long. The temperature marked on the labels is the MAX temp that they can be washed at, so wash your clothes at a lower heat to keep them fresh and looking gorgeous for longer.

3. Wash By Hand

Don't panic. We aren't about to suggest you wash everything by hand. But some pieces need that little extra care. Delicate items like lingerie, sequinned pieces, and materials like silk and wool will last much longer if you take the time to wash them by hand. 

Turn your clothes inside out (especially with beads and sequins) to protect them, and wash with a delicate detergent in cool water. Not only will your clothes be saved from being thrown around in a washing machine, damaging them, but washing by hand uses less water, so it's a win-win for your clothes and the environment.

If you don't have the time to hand wash your clothes, invest in garment bags that will help protect pieces as they're being washed. 

clothes on a washing line in a garden


So you've washed your clothes, now what? 

Well, first thing's first, step away from the tumble dryer. It might be convenient, but tumble drying your clothes breaks down the fibres much faster than if you hung them out to dry. Tumble dryers also emit large amounts of CO2 with each wash, so by skipping the dryer, you're already helping the planet.

Bonus: Line drying your clothes reduces creases, so less ironing, and you get that "fresh clothes" smell every time, yay! 

clothes hanging up on a rail


Now for the best part. One of the easiest ways to reduce your fashion footprint is simply by re-wearing the clothes you love. That time you re-wore your favourite wrap dress all wedding season? You were helping the planet, and looked fabulous whilst doing it. The more you wear your fave outfits, the more sustainable you're being. 

If a piece of clothing gets damaged, don’t worry! Just bust out the sewing kit and get fixing. There are lots of easy fixes you can do at home, like sewing on a button or reattaching the hook and eye that always falls off. But for the big holes, hemming and tailoring, leave it to the pros (unless you are a pro, or just really good at following YouTube tutorials). Taking your clothes to a tailor is cheaper than you might think, and they’ll fix up your fave item quickly and neatly. Taking the time to fix your clothes will extend their life cycle, and it’ll encourage you to wear them on repeat, knowing you took the time to care for them. 

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