How To Make Your Garments Last
The first step towards a more ethical and sustainable wardrobe, is to make sure that what you already have is taken care of, and can last you for as long as possible. Not only will it save you time and money, but also cut our consumption and reduce our footprint.
As a consumer, we have more responsibility than we might think when it comes to sustainable fashion - two thirds of the carbon footprint made from fashion, actually happens when you take your clothes home! By extending the lifetime of your clothes a further 9 months, you could reduce your carbon, water and and waste footprint 20-30%.
To extend the lifetime of a garment, it is not only about making sure they don’t break, and that the quality is top - it is also about making a conscious decision as a consumer when buying the garment - ensuring timeless design, good fit and being an item that you will truly love for a long time. Once you have made this decision, and bought the garment, there are easy way to show love to your garments and make them last for a little bit longer.
Buy Quality Pieces
Make a list of wardrobe staples that will hopefully last you beyond the season, and don’t be afraid to spend a little bit extra on these items. You will value them more, the quality will be higher, and they can stay in your wardrobe much longer than any trend-led item will.
Wash less, and do it right.
Make sure you read the care label carefully, and get it right for your garment.
Believe it or not - garments don’t have to be washed after each wear! Washing tend to fade colour and remove structure from the garment over time. Instead of washing the garment after each wear, try airing it or spot cleaning if there is a stain. When you do wash them, choose a cool programme - each household that switches to cold water can save 1,600 pounds of CO2 per year. Usually 30 degrees is warm enough to keep your clothes clean.
Avoid the dryer as much as possible as this tend to reduce the lifetime of a garment by pulling them out of shape and damage the surface. Use a delicates bag where needed to protect your garments.
Store your clothes in a cool and dry environment, with no exposure to harsh light.Make sure you don’t keep your clothes stored in a mouldy basement or in a wet environment to avoid bacteria from growing. Give the garments some breathing space to avoid wrinkling and colour fading.
Learn basic mending
Just because a button fall off, or your jeans have a hole in the crotch, doesn’t mean that the whole garment should be discarded. Learn how to repair your clothes instead, and get yourself a mini-sewing kit for emergencies!
Donate, recycle and up-cycle.
When you’ve fallen out of love, and you are no longer using the garment, let someone else take over and double the lifetime of it. When your garment is beyond repair, make sure to recycle the garments properly. Or why not let your creativity lose and think of ways to up-cycle the garment - just make sure they never reach the bin!