There's no denying that fashion can be an incredibly wasteful industry. And it's not just the big brands producing millions of garments each year that are to blame. Too, consumers are often to blame, throwing out an estimated 70 pounds of clothing per person annually. One of the best ways to be more sustainable when it comes to fashion is merely keeping your clothes for longer.
But, you may argue, what happens when the clothes become visibly old and worn? It's understandable to want to get rid of clothes that have holes, rips, or pills. You can extend your clothes' life and quality by taking some extra time to care for them. Several tools out there will help freshen up your clothes to make them feel like new, hopefully saving them from the recycling plant for a few extra years.
Pilling is a regular occurrence in certain fabrics, like wool and cotton. It's not necessarily an indication of low quality. Still, it's not the most attractive look, so most people get turned off pilled clothes.
Fortunately, there's an easy way of dealing with pilling: using a fabric shaver. It works pretty much the same way that a regular razor does with hair. Run the shaver over your garment to remove the pilling, and voila! It will look fresh as ever. Be sure to empty your shaver afterward.
These are great to use for investment knits like cashmere. Moths are drawn to certain fabrics and end up eating them. This results in unsightly holes.
To avoid this, make sure your knits are correctly stored. Ideally, they'll be folded in a drawer, as this will also help the knits keep their shape and protect them from pesky moths. You can further ward off moths by adding cedar balls or rings, whose smell will repel moths.
There's a reason designer bags always come with a garment bag. Leather is a tough fabric, but certain types are prone to scratching. Protect your leather goods by storing them in a garment bag. You can also use garment bags for more expensive clothing items like sweaters, jackets, coats, and special occasion dresses.
Shoeshine and conditioner.
A shoe care kit is a worthwhile investment, especially for more expensive types of shoes. Our shoes tend to get a lot of wear and tear because they're so close to the ground. They're more likely to get scratched up and stained by the weather. Regularly cleaning and polishing your shoes will keep them looking fresher for longer.
You don't need to learn how to sew a garment, but learning a few common repairs will go a long way. Simple sewing kits are much cheaper than buying a replacement garment. No need to sign up for a sewing course; you should be OK with a few YouTube tutorials. Learning how to sew a button on or repairing a small tear are great places to start.
Non-bleach laundry detergent.
Many of us tend to choose our laundry detergents based on smell rather than ingredients. Of course, it's great to have clothes that smell lovely and fresh. But some elements, like bleach, can cause discoloration. Laundry can be a tedious task, but it's something that you should spend a bit more time doing to ensure your clothes' longevity.
Another way to protect your clothes in the machine is using a mesh laundry bag. These are great for using with delicate fabrics and items, like lingerie. Laundry bags will allow you to have mixed loads without worrying about the things touching each other (like a lace bra catching on a zipper).