There’s been a lot of talk about how we as humans can be kinder to our planet. One of the ways in which we can do our bit is by shopping a little more consciously to protect the environment. This doesn’t mean giving up your favourite clothes and relinquishing your shopping trips, it simply requires you to do more to help your clothes last longer. Want to learn more? Here’s how to do it:
- Buy Good Quality Pieces
Though it may seem like a high initial expense, buying good quality clothing could actually save you money in the long run. Not only this, but it’s also so much better for the environment. The rise in ‘fast fashion’ has led to consumers buying clothes and either sending them back after wearing them once or even throwing them away completely. These fast fashion items are not designed to last longer than 3 months.
Instead, why not invest in some wardrobe staples that have been built to last. Some items such as a jacket or pair of jeans won’t be going out of fashion any time soon, so it makes sense to spend a little more on these garments.
- Use a Delicates Bag
Using a delicates bag can greatly prolong the lifespan of your intricates. Before you throw your underwear into the wash with the rest of your clothes, pack them into a separate delicates bag. This will stop them from ripping or becoming damaged after being hurled around the washing machine with the rest of your less sensitive clothes.
- Swap Clothes with Friends
Arrange a clothes swap evening with your friends. Swapping your clothes may stop you from buying something new and wasting money. You never know, they may have been planning to throw away that skirt you’ve been secretly eyeing up!
- Upcycle Old Items
Finding new clothes in a charity shop will save you money, while also helping the planet. If you get hold of some jeans but think they need a few adjustments to make them more “you” – then get crafty and give it a go! Sew on some lace or take the ends up for a completely different look. Similarly, take a look at your wardrobe at home and see whether there are any pieces that could do with some modernising. If you have any pieces at home which you love, but don’t have a use for anymore, then there are hundreds of ways in which you could reuse old pieces. Old clothes, for example, can be cut into strips and squares and used to make dog toys, cleaning rags or even eco-friendly and reusable food wraps.
- Fix What’s Broken
If your favourite dress has a rip in it, don’t just throw it away! You can salvage it with a little handy work. Get out the sewing kit and fix it. And if you’re not sure how to sew a dress, there are plenty of tutorials demonstrating what you need to do.
What’s more, a common reason as to why many people throw away their jeans is because they’ve faded. All you need to do is use a dye bath to bring them back to life. Just add some coloured fabric dye to a bucket with some water and soak your jeans in there. They’ll look as good as new!
- Wash Them More Carefully
You could wash your clothes less regularly, which would save on water usage and also keep them in better condition for longer. It’s also a good idea to wash clothes at 30° rather than 40° but after events such as festivals, music events and sports shows, your clothes may need washing more thoroughly to get rid of festival glitter makeup and face glitter, sweat or mud. Simple changes like this will ensure your clothes don’t age as quickly, while also being more eco-friendly at the same time.
- Buy Better Hangers
It sounds trivial, but the type of hanger you use can have a big impact on the lifespan of your clothes. Most plastic and wire hangers can stretch out the shoulders of your clothes, leaving you with saggy clothing after a while. Though they’re often more expensive, wooden hangers can be a worthwhile investment to make sure your clothes last longer. You can also recycle them should they break.
- Iron Thoughtfully
Many people don’t set their irons to the right temperature for their garments. This can cause shrinkage or even burns when not done correctly. To try and prevent any damage to your clothing, it’s actually best not iron them at all! If you must, set the temperature a couple of degrees lower than what is recommended.
Don’t Bin Your Clothes!
Where you can, always donate your clothes to charity. If they’re not in good enough condition to resell, then find a clothes recycling bin. The fabric will then be used to make brand new clothes, the best way to get rid of your clothes! On average, each American throws away around 80 pounds worth of clothing per person, each year. It’s time we did something about it.