Looking after your clothes is a crucial component of living a more sustainable lifestyle. The better you appear following the clothes, the more they last and the less waste is made. The more you expand the lifetime of your purchases, the cost-per-wear increases and this isn't just monetary. In terms of waste, this means the resources used to result in the garment go further. Plus, you end up buying less overall. It's a win-win situation. Handling your clothes so they go the distance involves commitment and know-how. Here's the lowdown.

Skip the clothes dryer

Tumble drying is a big waste of resources. Annually you could lay aside nearly half a tonne of CO2 emissions for any household that runs a dryer approximately 200 times just by making a change to other methods of drying your clothes. Secondly, it's not great for your clothes. “It degrades materials quicker because it stops working the fibers within the fabric,” Simon Turner, Marketing Director at clothes2orde, explained. For this reason clothes often shrink in the drier. “Instead, let your clothes air dry on a rack or at risk, or pop them in the airing cupboard if you have one,” Turner added.

Not all drying is made equal

Now you've given up the dryer, you need to will also get air drying right. “For light clothing, air drying in direct sunlight can help naturally bleach the clothes, keeping the whites white. Conversely, dry coloured clothing out of sunlight to avoid color fading dry garments thoroughly to assist preserve colour too,” Clothes Doctor founder Lulu O’Connor suggested. Knitwear must be dried flat. “This ensures they don’t stretch and warp once the fibers are wet,” O'Connor confirmed.

Wash your clothes inside out

Unless there are specific stains on the exterior you’re trying to tackle, washing clothes thoroughly is a lot more efficient. “Washing clothes thoroughly tackles where the majority of the dirt and oils are negligence the clothes that touch the skin. Also, washing thoroughly will help avoid colour fading on the outside of the garment,” O’Connor stated.

Store your clothes with care

Workwear demands probably the most attention. “Always use proper shirt hangers and proper skirt hangers to keep their right shape,” Turner said. “On the flip side, casual wear like cotton t-shirts would be best served being folded to avoid distortion. The best tip with folding clothes would be to follow the seams of the garment to avoid misshaping,” he added.

Invest in durable fabrics

Choose durable materials as these could keep their shape for that longest and stop telltale indications of wearing like thinning. “If a fabric is see-through whenever you put it on, it's unlikely to last you for several years so purchasing higher quality fabrics assists you in the long run,” Turner said.

Choose low temperatures

Most clothes can be washed at 30 degrees. Not only does this ensure they aren't damaged in any way, it uses less energy. This can be a double win for the planet.

Get good at handwashing

Hand washing is more gentle than machine washing, so your garments will last longer. Plenty of delicate items are better off hand-washed. “Many of the garments that say ‘dry clean only’ can actually be hand-washed with a little care,” O’Connor pointed out. See also: items with embellishments like sequins or beads, materials like silk, delicate underwear and swimwear.

Sort those stains

Soaking stains in water once you see them is the best method to pre-treat them. “Don’t let stains dry onto clothing (except mud stains, which you’ll wish to let dry and brush away) or the stain sets. We advise soaking the affected region in tepid to warm water (remember to look into the care label for the correct temperature) combined with stain removal,” O'Connor suggested.

Ironing versus steaming

You will need both in your cleaning arsenal because they serve different purposes. “Steaming is really a docile method to refresh and decrease clothing and for light fabrics like cotton. Heavier fabrics like canvas and linen need to be ironed to fully eliminate creases,” O'Connor explained.

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