A sustainable wardrobe emphasizes the importance of where each piece comes from, but it doesn’t end there. Clothing has become increasingly disposable with 11.3 million tons of textiles going to landfills in 2018. Even when considering the 13 percent that are recycled, recycling clothing requires further energy-intensive processing, so keeping them out of landfills and recycling centers is better for the environment. Not to mention, treating your favorite pieces with care ensures that your clothes last longer so you can continue enjoying them for years to come.
Overall, keeping your current clothes in good shape reduces your carbon footprint, and it will keep your wallet happy by not needing to continuously purchase new items. Now that you already own a closet full of ethical, eco-friendly clothing, how can you ensure its longevity? We’re sharing our top tips to make your clothes last longer and keep your closet as good as new.
1. Wash less often
Washing clothing frequently wears out the fabric. As long as it’s not significantly soiled, it is perfectly okay to wear clothing pieces multiple times before you wash them! If you feel like your clothes need a refresh, bring them in the shower with you to give it a quick steam, or spot-clean them if specific areas need some tlc.
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2. Properly wash clothing
Different clothing items are better off in different washing temperatures and with different techniques. For example, natural fibers like cotton should be washed on cold cycles and air-dried, while linens fare best when hand-washed. Specialty materials like wool and velvet should be dry-cleaned. Placing easily-torn items, like lace undergarments, in a delicates bag prevents snags and rips while in the washing machine. Sort items by similar materials as you toss them in the hamper for efficiency.
Paying attention to how your clothes are washed can increase their lifespan. When in doubt, check the care instructions that come on the label of your garments, or look at the material of the item and wash accordingly to make your clothes last longer.
3. Make each wash count
Avoid overloading the washing machine to ensure your clothes aren’t just being tossed around the drum without actually being cleaned. Loading the machine with the right amount of clothes give them enough room to spin and for the detergent to evenly distribute.
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4. Properly store clothing
Clothes are best stored in a cool, dry place. Try using natural closet dehumidifiers like rock salt or baking soda to prevent unwanted bacterial or mold growth that can ruin your clothes. Prevent saggy sweaters by folding them and storing them on a shelf, rather than stretching out the knit on a hanger. Cotton shirts should be neatly folded or placed on hangers to avoid wrinkles. These are crucial in efforts to make your clothes last longer!
5. Channel your inner seamstress
For minor rips, holes, and loose buttons, learning how to sew is useful. With just some thread and a needle, you can mend well-loved items. There’s no need to buy a new cardigan when you can make it look good as new yourself!
6. Shop quality clothing
When your clothes have truly reached the end of their life and it's time to welcome new pieces, paying attention to the quality of fabric in your garments is an added security against daily wear-and-tear. Many mainstream fashion outlets operate under the fast fashion model, and typically, these pieces aren’t constructed sturdy enough to last. Marketplaces that curate quality, sustainably made pieces are good sources for quality garments. And even better, we have provided you with the best tips to make your clothes last longer too!
Pictured: Arielle Organic Merino Pacha Turtleneck
7. Be confident in your fashion choices
Trends come and go, but if something you own now makes you feel confident, there’s no harm in keeping it around even if its mainstream appeal dies down! Wearing what you love is the beauty of fashion, and keeping these cherished pieces with you is meaningful in its own right. See below for a selection of items that will turn heads any season.
Turn heads with a head-to-toe Sicilian print combo, featuring our Marge Shacket and Marge Shorts for a special discount price. This ethically made shacket comes in a relaxed fit, with adjustable cuffs along with button details and front pockets. The Marge Shorts, which are ethically made as well come in a high-waist fit, with pockets and subtle front pleating.
The Catelyn is a sustainable dress hand made in the US. It has an asymmetric hem and open shoulder to give you glam styling whether you're going to brunch on the beach or a night out on the town. It also has the perfect side ruching which compliments your curves and flatters your figure.
Some girls just wanna have fun and JOS is just that. The JOS Butterfly Graffiti Pant is a slightly flared leg pant with grosgrain trim at the front pockets. They feature recycled leather at the inset of the pockets, a recycled leather waistband and a gold metal zip at the center front. Make these your statement piece this summer with a multitude of colored tops you can pair them with.
Ann is a maxi dress with puff shoulders and gathered sleeves made in small batches by family-owned and run atelier in Bucharest. She has corset-style French seams at her bodice, side-seam pockets, and zip closure at back. She is completely washable, made of Spanish cotton in a deep, dreamy floral print.
Cover Photo by @Priscilladupreez via Unsplash