Here at Holé Button Covers we're all about shopping well and making informed decisions as consumers. Like us, you're probably keen to find little ways that can help you easily minimise the impact your lifestyle has on the environment, particularly when it comes to clothing.
That got us thinking about the average lifespan of clothing which lead us to look into whether there were things we could do that would help us extend the life of the clothes we buy.
Of course, the longer we hold on to that cherished pair of jeans that fit just right, the better it is for the environment. Jeans in particular use huge amounts of water to produce and not to mention the damage that dye run off can cause, but what about everything else that we wear?
Whether it's our workout gear, the humble t-shirt or a waterproof jacket, there are things we can all do to help extend the life of the clothing we buy, which ultimately brings our level of consumption down, helping to reduce our individual environmental impact.
Did you know that according to Vanish, a whopping 350,000 tonnes of wearable clothing ends up in UK landfill every year? Well worn clothes can become bobbly, change colour or fade or develop small holes or unravelled seams, but this sort of wear can easily be avoided, whilst small amounts of damage can easily be repaired with a needle and thread.
Avoid using products that contain chlorine-bleach
Chlorine-bleach is often used in a bid to keep whites looking white for longer, but what can actually happen is that white clothes will turn yellow, so products containing chlorine-bleach are best avoided.
Dry clothing naturally where possible
Excessive heat in a tumble dryer can cause damage to fabric over time, you also stand the risk of shrinking clothing too, so it's usually best to opt to air-dry your clothes. This is the most gentle option for clothing and will help keep fabric in better condition for longer.
Pay close attention to clothing care labels
Let's face it, we don't always read the care label on clothing before flinging it in the washing machine, but taking a moment to ensure you're not going to end up putting an item into a wash that's too hot, will ensure you don't damage the fibres in your garment, giving it the best chance of a longer life.
Minimise bobbles forming in your knitwear
Pilling, or bobbling, can often occur in knitted garments, appearing frequently as a result of friction which causes the fibres in the garment to tangle. To avoid this, wash delicate items inside out, use a delicate wash cycle, switch to a more gentle laundry detergent and avoid tumble drying. If all else fails, you could try using a bobble removing device which shaves the bobbles off the surface of your clothing.
Leave space in the washing machine
The more clothes you shove into the drum of your washing machine, the less space they will have to move around, which means the clothes are more likely to rub against each other during the cycle.
This abrasive action will mean that the fibres in your clothing will get thinner and thinner which can lead to a shorter lifespan, so don't ever be tempted to overfill your washing machine.
Repiar and take steps to prevent holes
Over time we've all had a favourite pair of socks become thredbare or develop holes and whilst darning socks isn't something we're going to tell you to do, if you do find small holes in tops or other items of clothing, instead of instantly flinging them, grab a needle and thread and get busy!
One of the reasons that holes can develop in tops in particular is through friction, most often occuring around the waist area as a result of tourser and jeans buttons rubbing against your tops, which over time, can result in tiny little holes appearing. Rather than mending holes as they appear, you can help prevent these tiny holes from appearing in the first place by using Holé Button Covers.
Buy once and buy well
Cheap clothing simply isn't designed to last and with repeated washes, dries and wears, you could find that you only get a few months out of some cheap purchases.
That's not to say all cheap clothing is bad, but as a rule, buying well means you're buying a quality garment that's been made to last much longer than any cheap fast-fashion purchase you could make.
Act quickly spills to avoid stubborn stains
Of course dropping pasta sauce, curry or red wine on your clothing is never ideal, but instead of just take the affected item of clothing off and tossing it into the laundry pile, act fast to work on the stain.
The quicker you deal with a stain the easier it will be to remove it, making the garment wearable again. Read the care instructions for the affected garment, check for things like colour fastness, and ideally, use a stain remover as quickly as possible.
If you don't have stain remover to hand a small amount of laundry detergent directly poured onto the stain can help. Alternatively you could go old school and use a mix of bicarb of soda and vinegar. Check out more stain removals tips here.