Thanks to the rise in fast fashion before the global pandemic, Brits had adopted somewhat of a throwaway culture with research revealing that the average person was splashing out close to £2,000 annually to keep up with the latest fashion trends*. However, the global pandemic has shifted consumer behaviour, with many Brits now looking to save money – whether that’s by cutting down energy bills or reducing their spending habits by adopting a ‘make do and mend’ attitude. So to help maintain your favourite wardrobe pieces that you’re not ready to say goodbye to, here are seven simple tips to extend the life of your clothes.
We’ve all got those treasured items in our wardrobes that we can’t do without, whether it’s a pair of jeans that fit just right or an occasion dress, that over time has gone through some wear and tear and lost its appeal. Create your sustainable wardrobe, by rescuing your favourite pieces from the donation pile by keeping them in good condition for longer…
Dare To Mix
One way to extend the life of your clothes and save money on your energy bills is to reduce the number of times you run your washing machine. By mixing your colours and whites, you can cut down on the number of washes you need to do a week, ultimately saving money. Worried about the dreaded red sock turning your white garments pink? Consider using Colour Catcher, a handy laundry sheet that simply needs to be popped in the load to help prevent colour run accidents by trapping any loose dyes, allowing you to wash colours, patterns, and whites together. These sheets are biodegradable and the packaging is recyclable.
Less Is More
It’s also important to be aware of the amount of clothing you are putting into the drum. While loading the washing, try to adopt the ethos of ‘less is more’ as too many clothes mean less movement, which equals more friction on clothing and less cleaning. To ensure your load gets a thorough clean fill the drum to ¾ full so there’s enough movement.
Room To Breathe
If you’re really not a big fan of loading the washing machine, why not extend the life of your clothes by increasing the time between washes, you’ll be amazed how much you can reduce the rate of colour fade due to regular washing for items such as jeans, jumpers, and trousers by simply airing them out.
“Did you know that fabric can hold odours, but these often fade within 24 hours if left to air out?”
To give your favourite pieces a new lease of life, if the colour has started to fade, try up-cycling or revamping your glum garments with some fabric dyes. Get even more creative by attempting the ever-popular tie-dying method seen recently on several celebrities such as Lizzo and Victoria Beckham.
Clean Your Cleaner
Did you know that limescale deposits can build up in the fibres of your clothes, making them feel rougher? Plus, Limescale, mould, and detergent buildup can reduce your washing machine’s effectiveness and even make it unsafe to use. For a quick way to remove limescale deposits from your washing machine, add two cups of white vinegar and let the cycle run. (If you have a front load washer, pour the vinegar into the detergent dispenser.) For an extra-clean washing machine, repeat the cycle with a half-cup of baking soda. You’ll also need to hand-wash the top portion of the agitator and basin above the water line.
Ditch Your Hangers
Sure, hanging clothes can definitely be less time consuming than folding but for certain items folding is the better option. It ultimately depends on the material and weight of the piece of clothing. For example, to preserve the shape of jumpers or any stretchy garments it’s best to fold rather than hang as overtime they might begin to sag. For some inspiration, check out decluttering guru Marie Kondo’s KonMari method. As a general rule of thumb, it’s recommended to hang anything wrinkle-prone, stretchy and lightweight materials. Just think about how clothes are displayed in a shop, knitwear and jersey are mostly always folded flat, not hanging.
Keep The Moths Away
If left untreated a moth infestation can lead to hundreds of pounds worth of damage to your belongings. Soft scents of lavender in cotton bags can help keep away any unwanted flying guests. If you fancy using a DIY remedy, try filling a few fabric bags with dried lavender and placing them in drawers and wardrobes through the home. These methods help prevent infestations and also help keep your clothes smelling lovely and fresh.
” The most sustainable clothes are those you already own”
*Survey commissioned by DYLON Dyes amongst 2,000 women and men across the UK