Caring for your clothes
Did you know? On average, as adults we wear our clothes for a little over two years. If we could just increase this to nearly three years, it would reduce the carbon, water and waste footprints of our clothes by a huge 25%.
Here at Kite, our clothes are built to last and, with a little bit of love and care, you can wear them for longer, buy fewer, and minimise what ends up in landfill. It's currently estimated that a devastating £140 million worth of clothes are dumped per year!
Read our blog to discover some top tips for planet-friendly washing and drying to help you care for your clothes.
It may be hard to believe but lots of us wash our clothes too often. Whilst we should all wash our undies regularly, jeans, for example, should be washed as little as possible and aired between wears instead (as said by Levi's CEO, Chip Bergh).
Every time synthetic clothing is washed, tiny plastic fibres get detached and pass through the filter in our washing machine, eventually reaching the ocean. Around half of all clothing is made from plastic and according to The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, if the fashion industry continues at its current rate, an excess of 22 million tonnes of microfibres could enter our oceans between 2015 and 2050.
So, it's really important that we all try to wash our clothes less and buy clothing made from natural fibres where possible. They don't contain microplastics and are more breathable than synthetic fabrics which means that they can be washed less.
When your clothes need to go in the washing machine, here are some top tips to help you:
1. Wash on an eco cycle if you have one. A 30º wash is gentle on clothes and generally very effective. 30º has also been found to use 38% less energy than washing at 40°C so is much kinder to the planet.
2. Don't overfill your machine... but don't underfill it either! In a jam-packed washing machine your clothes will rub against each other leading to damage and fading.
3. Read care labels - they're there for a reason!
4. Prep your clothes. Always turn your clothes inside out, separate by colour and do up any zips before putting them in the wash. This reduces friction on the outside of the clothes which in turn reduces bobbling (a.k.a. pilling) and the risk of snags.
5. If you do use a liquid detergent, try not to use too much. You'll likely find your clothes will wash really well with less than the recommended amount, especially if you live in a soft water area. If there are soapy suds in your drum when you're done, try a little less next time!
6. Remember, fabric conditioner is optional. It may make clothes feel soft but in fact, there are several drawbacks. It can create a coating which reduces the absorbency of towels and gym clothes for example. It can irritate the skin, particularly for children with eczema, and is not great for the environment either.
7. Introduce some eco-friendly cleaning companions. There are lots of washing products that reduce the environmental impact and help make your clothes last. The Guppyfriend washing bag catches microplastic fibres that shed during a wash, preventing them from reaching oceans and rivers.
The ecoegg Laundry Egg replaces single-use bottles of detergent and fabric conditioner with a reusable 'egg' and mineral pellets. Making the simple switch can eliminate up to 40 single-use plastic bottles per household per year! Read on for your chance to win an ecoegg Laundry Starter Kit and Kite eGift card!
Our advice is great for everyday washing, but stains sometimes need a little more attention! Here at Kite, we like to use this poem to remind us what to do as soon as we spot a troublesome mark.
Remember! Before you soak your clothes, rinse the mark from behind as rubbing it from the front can drive the stain into the fabric.
Once your clothes have been washed, getting them dry can sometimes be a little tricky.
Many of us might turn to our handy tumble dryer, however, here at Kite we don't recommend them. The heat can cause shrinkage, the vigorous tumbling action can create bobbling and the amount of energy they use means they're not great for the environment either.
Tumbling knitwear should always be avoided. If you do decide to tumble dry other garments, please be aware that they may not last as long (but we do understand the challenge of getting mountains of washing dry!).
Here are some of our top tips for getting your clothes dry:
1. Air dry outside if possible. This helps save energy, protect your clothes and is good for your pennies too.
2. Reshape your knitwear whilst damp and dry it flat. Knitwear retains lots of moisture making it heavy. Hanging it to dry can cause it to lose shape.
3. If you need to use a tumble dryer, try a 'half and half' approach. Pop your load in for 20-30 minutes to start the drying process, then take it out and finish on an airer.
4. Dry whites in the sunshine and darks in the shade or indoors. Direct sunlight can bleach whites back to brightness and the UV rays can kill bacteria. However, sunshine can cause colours to fade.
When we love a garment, we want it to last, and the longer it lasts, the kinder we are being to the planet.
We hope that our blog has shared ideas that can help you make some small changes in how you care for your clothes.
However, the tricks and tips are endless. If you have any eco washing or drying tips, we'd love to hear them. You can send us a message or tag us @KiteClothing on our social channels.