We are firm believers of buying less and investing in higher quality products. The more we love the clothes we own, the more we need to be conscious of how it is cared for. Taking additional measures to caring for your garment is a win-win situation: it helps the environment and extends the wear of your clothes, making them beautiful for a longer time. Read on to find out what you can do to reduce your fashion carbon footprint.
We understand the perpetual sweaty state that Singapore leaves us in, which forces us to wash our clothes frequently. However, with the exception of undergarments and socks, it is rarely necessary to wash your clothes after each use. This rings especially true for outerwear like jackets and cardigans that are rarely worn for long periods of time. Instead, you can dry clothes in the sun to remove odours and learn how to spot-treat stains.
Washing less significantly reduces tears and fading of your favourite garment. Even the denim jeans that you often wear should be spared of constant machine washing—it truly only needs a wash when they start to smell.
Photo credit - Instagram @hueguh
Be mindful of the fabric of your clothes before putting them in the wash—you can find specific washing instructions in each garments’ care label. Knowing the right way to care for each type of clothing is necessary in prolonging their lifecycle.
Another general guideline is to turn your clothes inside out before wash to preserve its fabric and colour. Avoid fabric softeners as they can leave a chemical residue on your clothes and build up a layer of ‘scrud’ in your washing machine. After washing, it’s best to skip the dryer and air-dry as much as possible for significant energy savings and to keep the shape of your garment.
How many times have you reached into the depths of your wardrobe only to find a sad, forgotten piece of garment? Major clothing wear and tear can occur when you’re not even wearing them, whether it happens in the wash or stored wrongly in the wardrobe. If the fabric is stretchy, try not to hang them and fold them neatly instead. For items of sturdier fabric, it is best to iron and hang them to prevent them from retaining wrinkles. If you can, opt for higher quality hangers that are wide at the shoulders instead of wire hangers.
Another important factor to keep in mind when storing your clothes is to prevent moisture from building up. Good air circulation is necessary to combat musty odours on your clothes. Remember to ensure your garments are completely dry before storing them and try not to pack them too tightly in the closet. Keeping mildew at bay will make your belongings last longer and prevents any health complications for you and your family.
Photo credit - Instagram @davidgrr
Essentially, shopping less and shopping better goes a long way. Don’t let a low price tag tempt you into buying something you don’t really need. Shopping less allows us to be more conscious of the things we buy. Shopping better gives us the confidence that we love what we wear, and that we want to wear them for a long time. You may even consider shopping at thrift stores as an alternative—what better way to save money and look fashionable at the same time?
If you’d like, there are many eco-conscious and sustainable brands that offers transparent information on the fabrics used. It is best to shy away from brands that use conventional cotton and other synthetic fabrics as it is a chemically intensive process. Instead, fabrics like hemp, organic cotton, and Tencel® are becoming more readily available to consumers.
Donate or repair
If there are some pieces that you’ve worn to death or are unfortunately torn, think twice before throwing them away. Basic sewing skills can bring new life to clothes. If you need a wardrobe makeover, try some DIY tricks like shortening the hem of a dress or mending new buttons to a shirt. Otherwise, consider recycling or donating your old favourites to the nearest charity so as to prevent even more populated landfills.