Taking care of your clothes is the easiest way to make them last longer while at the same time reducing their environmental impact. The use and end-of-use phases represent as much as 23% of the total greenhouse gas emissions emitted during a garment’s life cycle. And this is where you can make a difference.
By following these tips, your clothes will last longer, look better, and have a lower environmental impact.
1. Wash less
Exaggerated washing could damage the textile's fibers. If your clothes aren't visibly dirty, try airing them outdoors or hanging them in the bathroom while taking a hot shower. Most of a garment's carbon footprint during the usage phase comes from washing and drying, so the less you wash, the better.
2. Wash at low temperatures
By lowering washing temperatures from 40°C to 30°C, you can reduce energy consumption by almost 40%. So, washing at a lower temperature reduces your household’s carbon footprint while protecting your garments from shrinking or color fading. To save water, try using shorter washing programs.
3. Don’t tumble dry
Not only does tumble drying consume a lot of energy, but it can also damage the heat-sensitive fibers in your clothes, making them shrink or tear. Air drying is kinder to your garments and can reduce your household’s carbon footprint by up to 1088,6 kilos — that’s like flying from Stockholm to Berlin one way nine times!
4. Avoid dry cleaning
Conventional dry cleaning requires chemicals that are bad for the environment and you. The good news is that most garments labeled with dry clean only are a-ok to wash in a regular washer. Just choose a gentle program with slow cycles and cold temperatures. If you’re not convinced, use an environmentally friendly dry cleaner.
5. Check the care labels
Always check and follow the care labels on your garments (with an exception for the example above). This is especially important when handling sensitive materials such as Lyocell or wool. You’ll find the information you need on our care labels or the product page on dedicated.com.
6. Use eco-friendly detergents
Eco-friendly detergent is gentler on your clothes than regular ones. More and more brands offer eco-friendly detergents that don't release harmful chemicals into the environment.
7. Store well
Make sure your clothes are clean, dry, neatly folded, or hung with space to breathe. Pro tip: use cedar tree blocks or lavender to scare away the moths.
8. Repair or remake
If you notice a hole or tear in a garment, repair it as soon as possible. Feeling creative? The Internet is your friend when it comes to DIY tutorials on mending and repairing garments.
9. Give unwanted clothes a second life
If you have garments you don’t use, give them a second life by reselling or donating them to your local charity shop. If the garment is too damaged, find a way to recycle it, so it doesn’t end up in a landfill or get incinerated.