Sustainable Fashion Hack: Take good care of your clothes
Mass clothing production is rough on the environment, and provides up several documentaries (and human rights investigations) worth of material around the working conditions for the people who make our clothes.
One way to be a solution is to buy #revolved clothes or buy fewer new, never-before-worn clothes. Another way to reduce the demand for clothing production is so easy and yet so hard to implement: take good care of your clothes so they last longer.
Here's a few easy guidelines to keep in mind:
1. Follow the care instructions on your clothes. If a sweater needs to lay flat to dry, laying it flat to dry will prolong the life and beauty of the sweater.
2. Wash your clothes less frequently. If you spill something on your clothes or you worked up a serious sweat, it's totally permissible to wash your clothes. But most of the time, clothes don't really need to be washed after every single wearing.
(Before you write this off as gross, consider this: this means substantially less laundry. Less of it, and less often. Something we can probably all get on board with)
Your tee shirts, cardigans, tops, dresses, skirts-- after you wear them, hang them back up or fold them and pop them back into your drawers. Use lavender sachets to keep them smelling fresh; also, lavender is a natural moth-repellant.
3. Store your clean clothes lovingly.
This is a bad habit among a stunning percentage of women: we regularly wear about 20% of what's in our closets. We wear things, we let our laundry pile up, we do our laundry, we feel like a war hero for having done our laundry, and then we dress ourselves from our basket of clean, unfolded laundry until the next time we run out of clothes we regularly wear.
This is totally understandable (again, doing laundry is the worst). But, your clothes will live longer, happier lives if they are stored appropriately.
Here's a quick run-down of how to store your clothes so they hold their shape and last as long as possible:
Jeans: Folded, stacked on a shelf or folded in a drawer
Tee shirts: Folded, in a drawer
Tops: If there is some architecture to the design of the top, hang it up in your closet. If the top has clearly defined shoulders, it's best to hang your tops on molded hangers.
Sweaters: Folded, in a drawer.
Cardigans: Folded, in a drawer
Blazers: Hang up, on molded hangers if possible.
Trousers: Hang up. You can either fold them sideways and lay them over the railing of a hanger, or hang them straight with hangers with clips
Skirts: Hang up on a hanger with clips
Dresses: Hang up on a hanger (exception: sweater dresses or long/heavy dresses that could strain the straps if you hung them up)
If this sounds like a ton of work, there's one more sustainable clothing hack that will make this entire system easier: LOVE YOUR CLOTHES. Buy beautiful, high-quality clothes that make you feel the way you want to feel. You'll be inspired to take care of your clothes, because you hand-picked them and you were really excited when you tried them on, because you invested in them, because you want them to last, and because you love them.