We all know the phrase ‘fast fashion’ and it doesn’t seem to have positive connotations in today’s eco-conscious world, and with the amount of items thrown into landfill each year it’s not difficult to understand why.
According to wrap.org.uk, the UK’s landfill sites see around 350,000 of used clothing annually, amounting to a whopping £140 million estimated worth. With this information in tow, it’s little wonder that in an ever-increasingly eco-conscious aware world, we are in turn looking to find ways to manage this on a personal level.
For those keen shoppers and spenders out there, seasonal items may seem so appealing, especially for the more fashion-conscious, but it is certainly advisable to opt for pieces of clothing and accessories that are, not only as sustainably produced as possible, but work as stylish adornments for years to come.
In addition to purchasing said stylishly sound pieces you will want to find ways of taking great care of these new and the existing items you hold in your wardrobe, especially the fitted, designer pieces.
So, how do you take care of such coveted items? We are here to guide you on how to keep your finest clothes in tip top shape.
First and foremost – buy good quality clothing
The first step to success is to purchase great quality items as this will give you a head start on maintaining them for a longer period. Generally speaking the more you pay the longer you can expect an item to last – though this isn’t always strictly true, there is always the odd lower cost item in a wardrobe that has lasted longer than you would ever expect.
More bespoke items will certainly have had more effort put into them, meaning the quality will be superior to a piece that has been whipped out en masse. Quality shoemakers, for instance, don’t just sew the upper to the lower and hope for the best. Instead, they create a complicated interface that goes under and over, ensuring that the unit distributes walking forces evenly.
The same goes for bags and wallets – high quality materials will be sought, and great care and attention will be put into their creation and this will be evident to the buyer. It is important to know what to look for when purchasing clothing as the quality should shine through.
It may not seem like the most desirable piece of advice but try to avoid washing your clothes quite so much. Clearly if the item smells or is dirty then it needs a wash but if you’ve showered before dressing and your clothes haven’t experienced too much wear during the day then perhaps save them for another day. If they do need a wash, then do so at a lower temperature. Washing clothes undoubtedly damages them over time with detergents designed to take away stains, effectively also fading items over long periods too.
It really does pay to read the label on every garment as well, the information provided such as the best temperature to iron really will help to take the best care of your quality items. It may also be tempting to throw a bundle in the machine but a lovely silk tie will be ruined if not washed properly so save that for a hand wash.
Also, try to avoid heading to the dry cleaners quite so often. It may be tempting to get that perfectly tailored suit looking shiny and new with every wear, but dry cleaning involves the use of harsh chemicals, a no for the environment and your suit.
If some items – namely those delightful woollen garments – have experienced their fair share of wear, then don’t despair as the tatty, bobbly look can be eradicated.
When you buy clothes new, all the fibres are intact and arranged into neat patterns but as time goes on, they slowly unwind and create visible accumulations on the surface typically taking the form of bobbles of material connected by loose strings.
The good news, though, is that you can solve the problem quickly with a lint remover. You just drag the device over the surface of the material, and it’ll collect up all the accumulations of loose fibres, revealing fresh material underneath. The process works especially well on cotton-containing coats, jackets, trousers and woollen jumpers and coats, so before you throw anything out, rethink this as you can often freshen up items and give them a new lease of life.
Avoid the dryer
It may seem oh-so tempting to throw wet clothes into the dryer, but most fabrics won’t fare so well. Though you’ll get quick results, you’ll also likely come out with a piece of clothing that is ever closer to losing its great quality.
In, fact, ditch the dryer altogether and air dry your clothes – ideal if you have a dedicated laundry room and plenty of outdoor space to allow precious items to dry in the breeze. Your clothes will be less beaten and will be exposed to less intense heat, they will certainly keep for longer and this will be one less appliance in your home. It just takes a little patience!
Hang with care
You don’t spend good money on stylish clothes and accessories only to hang them on cheap hangers in a musty wardrobe. Purchase yourself some hangers with full rounded shoulders to avoid your clothes becoming stretched and creased. Also consider creating for yourself a well-ventilated walk-in wardrobe to house your modish items; minimise the mustiness and maximise your long-lasting and well cared for garments.