Care and Repair: how to look after your clothes

12th January 2023

Curating an eco-friendly wardrobe means taking care of the items you have so they last longer and can be worn for many years to come. Not only does making your clothing last longer reduce textile waste but it also saves you time, money and cuts your electricity and water consumption.

Use the sun and fresh air

Air drying your clothes is encouraged because it uses zero energy compared to tumble-drying. It’s gentler on your garments and minimises wear and tear. An added bonus is that drying your whites in the sun actually bleaches them to keep them bright and fresh.

Keep colours in the shade to avoid fading. It’s also worth airing hardier clothes like jeans or cardigans in between wears to reduce the need to wash them as often.

Store clothing properly

Hangers might be convenient, but they can stretch out your clothing if you hang the wrong items. Storing your items folded and away from direct sunlight can help to extend their life and prevents damage to the garment, especially with materials such as wool which can stretch out and distort the silhouette. Add lavender sachets or cedar balls to your wardrobe to deter moth damage too.

Do your research

Each material in your wardrobe requires different levels of care and attention. Delicate materials such as silk, need to be handled in an entirely different way to denim or leather which are more hardwearing. Check the care labels before washing your items so you can be sure you’re handling them in the right way.

Stick to mild detergents

Harsh chemicals will wear out your clothes faster, so choose mild, eco-friendly detergents and wash on a lower temperature to preserve the materials for as long as possible.

Learn basic mending techniques 

So many people throw clothing away when a hole appears or the material starts to thin, when in reality the garment could be worn for several years longer with just a little mending.

Knowing how to de-pill a jumper to bring it back to life, sew on a new button when one falls off or darn a small hole to stop it growing in size can all help you restore your clothing and keep them looking their best. 

Use protective treatments

Protecting your clothes will prevent damage and ensure you get the most wear out of each piece. For example, a leather jacket can be treated once a year with a leather conditioner to prevent drying and cracking, and shoes can have a waterproofing spray or wax added to minimise water damage. 

There are so many ways we can keep our clothing looking great for longer, and hopefully these tips are easy to incorporate into your routine for a longer lasting wardrobe. 

Written by Dakota Murphey