One of the easiest ways to be a conscious consumer is to take care of the clothes we already have in our closets. With such a drastic increase in clothing production over the years, consumption and short-term use of garments is also on the rise. The fashion industry worldwide produces more than 100 to 150 billion items of clothing per year, and the average American throws away about 81 pounds of clothing per year. We are consuming and trashing fashion at an alarming rate. One way to keep our clothes in our closets longer is to take care of them while we have them.
Here’s 10 steps to care for your clothes:
1. Use cold water when washing
Heat can make the fibers in your clothing weaker, leading to holes and rips faster. Washing clothes in cold water helps maintain the shape and color of your clothes.
2. Only wash when necessary
We’re not talking about waiting for washing when it comes to your athletic clothes or dirty undies. Garments like jeans, sweaters and blouses can be washed every 2-3 wears to maintain quality of life for the item. The more you wash, the more the fibers break down.
3. Use gentle detergents
Some of the heavy duty laundry detergents come packed with chemicals that will eventually wear out the fibers in your clothing. Opt for more mild soaps and detergents to prolong the life of your clothing.
4. Hang your clothes to dry
As mentioned earlier, heat can shorten the lifespan of garments. The hang dry method is a great way to dry your clothes and preserve their shape, color and give them a little bit longer lifespan. Plus, if you hang them outside, the sun is a great stain fighter.
5. Turn your clothes inside when you wash them
Washing clothes inside out provides many benefits for your clothes including: preventing extra pilling, protecting the outside of the garment from detergent, washing the parts that actually touch your skin and sweat, prevent snagging on embroidery and prevent dye bleeding.
6. Wash delicates on delicate cycle in a garment bag
If your washing machine has a delicate cycle, it’s a great way to get a guaranteed gentle wash. A garment bag is great not only for bras and undies but also your daughter’s favorite sequined tutu dress.
7. Close the zipper
That’s right, those pesky open zippers can be unintentionally ripping up other clothes during the wash and dry cycle. Take a few moments to close those zippers before starting the laundry.
8. Buy yourself a fabric shaver
You know all those little fabric balls on your clothes, pilling. There is a fabric shaving machine that will easily get those right off for you! Here is our favorite from Amazon.
9. Make effort to mend when possible
How many times have you tossed an item with a small hole? Guilty here, too. One way to give your garment extra life is to take the time to mend the hole or sew the button back on. We love to have this convenient mending kit handy. If you’re not into mending, do a quick search for a local tailor who can make your item like new.
10. Treat stains immediately
The longer a stain sits on fibers, the harder it will be to remove. Treating stains immediately is the best method to make sure you don’t end up losing garments to stubborn stains. We love to have Miss Mouth’s Stain Treater on hand to immediately spray on stains at home or on the go.
If you find yourself wearing your clothes down faster than you’d like, try some of these steps to extend the life of your clothing.