How to make your clothes last
Updated: Dec 14, 2018
If you're concerned with our planet or you don't have an unlimited clothing budget - let's face it, we just described about 90% of the population - you will want to get the most out of your clothing. Here are 8 tips to extend the lifespan of your wardrobe favorites.
1. Wash only when needed
Some garments need to be washed after a single use - such as underwear, T-shirts or tops and socks. But not every piece needs to be. For example, jeans and sweaters can be worn more than one day before they need to be cleaned. Don't run off to the dry cleaner for your blazer or suit after every wear.
2. Cold washes do the trick as well
Most clothes can be washed in 30 degrees as well as 40. Even detergents are adapted to the colder water temperatures of today! Wash colder and your clothing will last longer. Plus, you're saving energy in the meantime and putting up an effort for our planet. Only one exception applies here: if you're washing your kid's soccer team uniforms full of dirt and mud: go with 40. Trust me...
3. Fold your knits
While hanging clothes might seem like the best idea, it is best to store heavier clothes in a folded manner. Heavy knits such as wool might stretch out and lose their beautiful form when you hang them. Wouldn't it be a shame that your crop sweater became a baggy one? That's right.
4. Invest in quality hangers
Plastic and wire hangers often stretch out the shoulders of your clothes in an unfashionable manner, making them saggy. Wooden hangers, on the other hand, support your garments better.
5. Re-dye your favorite pieces
Garments that are worn and washed frequently - hence, your favorite pieces - fade over time and lose their color intensity. Revive your clothing by giving them a dye bath and rejuvenate their color. Only use this method on uni-colored clothes, or you might get some nasty surprises.
6. Air-dry more
While we love the convenience of dryers, our clothes do not. Dryers weaken the fabric's fibers more rapidly than when clothing is air-dried. Just have a look at the lint in your dryer's lint screen! All those fibers came from those clothes.
7. Rotate your wardrobe
By wearing the same shirt every week, you're knowingly wearing it out faster than the rest of your closet. Prevent this by rotating your wardrobe: when your most recently worn clothes have been washed, move them to the back of the line.
8. Be delicate with delicates
Some materials - like lace, silk, nylon and lingerie - need special care when washing. They are at higher risk for shrinking or tearing because of hot temperatures. Be sure to read the label instructions and follow them carefully.