The first, and arguably easiest, step in transitioning to a sustainable wardrobe is caring for the clothes you already own. Not only does it save you time and money, but it also cuts your consumption and helps to reduce your carbon footprint. Here are 5 simple ways to keep your wardrobe looking fresh for years to come, plus a tutorial video on fixing a snag!
1. Fold rather than hang
Most stretch fabrics and knits will benefit from a life on the shelf. If left on a hanger, gravity will cause the garment to stretch or imprint hanger markings. If you are low on drawer or shelf space, try upgrading to wooden or padded hangers that are gentler on fabrics.
2. Carry stain stick
Treating stains ASAP can prevent them from setting into a permanent situation. This sounds like a no-brainer, but stubborn, forgotten-about stains can ruin an otherwise wearable garment.
3. Wash less.
I don't know who needs to hear this, but you don't need to wash your clothes every time you wear them. Now, I'm not talking about your gym clothes or underwear. But many items in your wardrobe can benefit from fewer turns in the machine. One easy way to get more wear between washes is to hang your item outside. Yes, that's it. UV rays and gentle breezes can destroy odor-causing bacteria.
But when it's time, choose gentle detergents (preferably without perfumes) and cold water.
4. Dry flat
Heat deteriorates fabric and can cause garments to shrink, both of which will affect how they look and fit on you. Use fabric softener in the washing machine instead of a sheet in the dryer so you can skip the drying step. Or, fluff clothes for a few minutes to de-wrinkle, then line dry the rest of the way. This tip will save energy too, which also saves you money.
5. Mend and Repair
How many pieces of clothing have you thrown away after losing or a button? Instead of tossing it, learn a few basic mending tips that will save your garment and your money. For those bigger jobs, seek out a local tailor. Rates often run between $25-$35 for simple repairs. Yes, you could replace some items for that cost, but that small investment could also translate into several more years of wear.
Handwovens often require special care when mending, so in 2022 Raanu is implementing a repair program. For a reasonable rate, you'll be able to send in your garment for altering or repair. We aim to keep your investment pieces in great condition for many years to come.