8 Easy Tips for a Sustainable Wardrobe

Posted by baker miller


plus-size fit & flare dress

Knowing how to make clothing last longer is one of the easiest ways to create a more sustainable wardrobe. High-quality clothes can last for a long time through proper cleaning and storage.

You can do a lot to keep your wardrobe in excellent condition without large cleaning bills. Here are some tricks for extending the lifespan of your clothes:

1. Buy quality pieces. “Fast fashion” results in clothing you buy that is worn only for a season then tossed away. Stop buying fast fashion and instead focus on clothing that lasts.

Clothes are an investment. Buy high-quality, classic, well-made pieces you like and will remain fashionable year after year.

2. Tackle stains right away. Stains happen. But they need to be treated as soon as they happen. The longer you let them set, the harder it is to get them out. Stain remover pens are great but not guaranteed to get the stain out, so follow up with a spot clean or handwash when you get home.

3. Wash as directed. Carefully read the care labels for instructions to properly wash and dry your clothes. The instructions are there for a reason – to let you know the best way to care for your garments, such as machine wash cold or dry clean only. You can ruin a garment through incorrect washing.

4. Wash less. Don’t over-wash your clothes or dry them too often in the dryer. Too much of either can weaken the fibers of your clothes and quickly wear them out.

You can wash your clothes less often than you do now. Unless it is visibly dirty or smelly, try to wear your garments a few times before laundering. This will help preserve both color and fabric quality. Some garments, like undergarments or socks, should obviously be washed with each wear.

5. Use a clothesline or drying rack. The hot air of a dryer weakens, fades, and shrinks fabric. Air drying is gentler on clothes, a great way to preserve its quality and longevity.

If you don’t have a clothesline, use a drying rack. For sweaters and heavier knits, use a flat drying rack to prevent sagging.

If you must use the dryer, try the delicate setting, which provides low heat and prevents shrinking and damage to the fabric.

6. Store your clothes with care. Properly storing your clothes will help them last longer. Don’t overcrowd your closet and pack the clothes too tight. Clothes need space to rest, air out, and breathe.

Also, cramming your clothing together can cause wrinkling and color fading from clothes rubbing against each other.

Some clothes should be folded. Heavy sweaters and knitwear can stretch out over time when hung on hangers. Fold knits and store them on a shelf or drawer to help them maintain their shape.

7. Change out of your outside clothes when you get home. Wear your investment pieces for work or a night out? Take them off when you get home and tend to them immediately. Treat clothes that are dirty or stained. Hang or fold clean items. You don’t want to risk getting these clothes dirty or wrinkled as you move around the house.

8. Mend small holes and rips. Some people throw away clothes when there is a loose or missing button, small hole, or ripped seam. Mending holes with a simple stitch or fabric glue can dramatically extend the garment’s life. Fix the problem before getting rid of the item.

If you don’t know how or like to sew, bring your item to a local tailor to fix it.

A little extra time and effort can go a long way having a wardrobe that lasts.

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