If you want to save some money and keep your clothes in great shape all whilst saving the planet, these tips on how to prolong the life of clothes will be valuable to you.
These days it is all too easy to buy new clothes all the time and get stuck into throwaway fashion. This is problematic for a few reasons including:
- Clothes that are thrown away can end up in landfill
- You end up spending more money on fast fashion
- You may not get as much from your clothes because you’re used to buying new clothes regularly
The good news is that there are various ways for you to prolong the life of your wardrobe so you can save the clothes you love, whilst also saving money and the planet too. Let’s take a closer look:
Buying Better First Time
One of the best ways to prolong the life of your wardrobe is to buy better first time round. This includes buying vintage clothing that is well-made, getting clothes tailored for you, or spending more on higher quality pieces.
Store Your Clothes Right
Short term it is a great idea to store your items with care in a dry, level-temperature wardrobe that allows you the space to hang your clothes. If you do fold your clothes, do so with care, perhaps following Marie Kondo guidance for the best possible folding methods. It is also important to keep an eye out for signs of pests like moths, so you can act quickly if they start to attack your things.
When it comes to storing long term or perhaps seasonally, or whilst you go travelling, choose affordable self storage with climate control (you can compare storage prices here). Clean and dry your clothes before putting them into storage. You could also consider utilising something like a vacuum packing machine to keep the items stored whilst making the most of the storage space itself. Hanging rails are also handy to keep the items organised and in good condition.
Wash Your Clothes Well
It is so important not to wash your clothes too often so they remain in the best possible condition. This helps to save you money, energy and keeps the clothes from wearing out too soon. When it does come to the time you need to wash the clothes use the lowest possible temperature and follow all care labels. It is also handy to use items like lint catchers, washing eggs and eco-friendly detergents. This helps you avoid putting toxic chemicals and tiny plastic fibres into the environment whilst also cleaning your clothing gently.
Dry Your Clothes Carefully
Tumble drying uses a lot of energy and it can also be quite harsh on clothing. Ideally, you can air dry outside on a sunny day, or if air drying inside, do it with the windows open and lots of ventilation to prevent mould.
Swap & Sell
One way to refresh your wardrobe without giving in to fast fashion is to get used to swapping and selling. Items that you no longer want, or that no longer fit you can swap for items you love. Or, you can sell your item and then buy something second hand with the money you make. This helps to keep your wardrobe looking fresh and new without costing much money, or impacting the planet.
Previous generations learnt to sew and repair clothing to last. Because of fast fashion we get used to just throwing clothes away when something rips, or a button comes off. Repairing is a great way to get more use out of an item of clothing that you love. If you cannot repair it, try repurposing it into another item of clothing, a quilt or a pet bed. There’s always something to be done with used material!
Decluttering is fantastic for all sorts of reasons but can often be overlooked as way of prolonging the life of clothes that you love. It might seem counterproductive to get rid of clothes when you want them to last longer. Actually, though, it makes sense. If you have too many clothes you can end up squashing everything into a wardrobe and not having as much want to care for your favourite items. When you declutter, you move items you don’t want onto a new home and then you have the space and time to care for the clothing that you love. It’s all about being very deliberate in what you choose to keep, and caring for those items. You can learn more about this kind of methodology from The Minimalists and Marie Kondo.
The tips above can help you to keep your wardrobe in great shape and prolong the life of your clothes, all whilst protecting your wallet and the planet at the same time. Great fashion really doesn’t have to cost the earth!