We’re finally in 2020 and one of the key themes throughout the past decade has been a keen focus on sustainability in fashion, eco-friendly practices, and examining the ongoing impact of fast fashion.
Here at ATPB, our Chief Lover, Tamu McPherson spoke about her no-spend challenge, along with repeating her favorite designer pieces in her wardrobe. These experiences, along with other professionals in the fashion industry, are shared in our ongoing series: Repeat It.
Winter Clothing Care Tips
But in the midst of heightening eco-anxiety, how do we help the environment? One way to contribute less to overall pollution is to buy well-constructed pieces, repeat your favorite looks and take proper care of your clothes from season to season. Here’s what you need to know about winter clothing care and how to make sure your clothes last as long as possible.
Take note of clothing care instructions
It sounds simple, but trust me it’s so easy to bypass the most vital step in the laundry and clothing care process. Certain fabrics need specialized care, from hand-washing to cold wash cycles. It’s imperative to know what you need to do and where you need to put your clothing The easiest way to ensure your clothes stay pristine is changing up the products you use. If you’ve been on social media, chances are you’ve seen The Laundress, a US-based brand founded by Gwen Whiting and Lindsey Boyd. Both founders have a background in textiles and started their careers in fashion. The Laundress, which offers a variety of eco-friendly detergents for different fabrics, and promise that using their products will decrease your dry-cleaning bills.
Don’t wash your clothes as often
No, don’t cringe reading this. You still need to wash your clothes, but in winter you can take some time between washes. The American Cleaning Institute offers a handy guide that answers the question: Do I need to wash this?
You’ll save on water, electricity and won’t have bundles of wet or dirty clothes around your home or laundry room. The weather is colder, you’re sweating less and instead of pushing up your utility bills you can just save some time by using products that help stretch your wearing time. You can spot-treat stains before they ruin your garment. There are also sprays that you can use on more frequently worn items, that freshen up an item before you wash it. Alternatively, if you’re in the mood to DIY it, you can use distilled vinegar to neutralize horrible odors. Vinegar is also a great stain-remover and can help brighten your clothes, but find out if you can use it in your washing machine!
Air-dry where you can
A lot of countries around the world don’t have the space for a tumble-dryer and prefer line-drying wherever possible. In winter, it’s easier to slip back into using the dryer to get your clothes dry in time. But, some textiles do not respond well to tumble dryers and you might end up with the shrunken version of your favorite shirt. The machine can be harsh on your clothes, from color fading to weakening the fabric. You end up with more holes in clothes you love and a shortened life span for pieces in your wardrobe. Business Insider shares the following drying tip, “Shirts and pants can be put on hangers after a washing cycle, and hung up in your closet or bathroom to dry.” Save the dryer for items that will survive the cycle and aren’t your most precious items.
Mend, mend, mend
Another fine tip in keeping your clothes in tip-top shape throughout the winter? Start mending. Generations before us, definitely had the right ideas when it came to keeping clothes pristine. If you see a weakened spot, a small tear or loose thread in your favorite pants, top or jacket – either mend it yourself or find a tailor who would be able to help. It’s also helpful to get your items altered to fit you as best as possible so that a) you wear it often and b) it’s not prone to snagging or tearing as much. Mending clothes we already have is also one of the ways to shop less and be a bit more sustainable with fashion. Fashion Revolution, a global movement focused on reform in the fashion industry, has a campaign called #LovedClothesLast, which encourages people to keep mending their clothes.
Store your stuff properly
Before you wash or wear your clothing – make sure you have items in storage that works for the fabric. Hanging your favorite jerseys? Wool can stretch when it’s hung in a closet, which leads to weakened spots that can be exacerbated when worn or washed. Review your closet and see how you make sure you’re able to store clothes the best way possible so they have the longest life. Taking care of clothes is a cycle, from the purchase to storage to wearing and cleaning. Each step has a purpose and if done correctly, we all have wardrobes with greater longevity.
Do you have any winter clothing care tips? Let us know in the comments below!
Image credit: rocknwool