June 19th, 2016
#1 Care for your clothes. (Wash less)
Outfit: Black dress worn backwards, vintage shawl collar jacket borrowed from the fashion room at school. Gold rope necklace, hoops.
I’m going to split this one up in two parts.
Part 1 refers to washing instructions. When was the last time you actually looked at your labels? In retail I couldn’t believe how many people I got who didn’t recognize fibers and their proper care. So first and foremost would be to learn about fibre care.
If you check your labels though, you’ll see more and more of them simply state “Dry clean only”. This is the easiest way for a brand to shed the responsibility for the garment falling apart after a wash or two. Here’s a hint: if the garment is made of polyester or cotton or blends and the label reads Dry Clean only, chances are they don’t know how the fabric will respond to washing. So it’s probably not the best fabric, period. For all other labels, simply follow instructions carefully. If they say wash in cold water…wash in cold water; if it says hang to dry only… then follow suit. The more you follow these instructions the better your clothes will react. Just so you know, no fabric reacts well to heat anyways. Cotton would be the only one that could resist hot water the best (once it has shrunk), but even polyester will eventually get marks (at the seams) from super hot water or the dryer. Rayon will definitely shrink, and wool will end up fitting your American Doll if you wash or dry in heat. Washing clothes properly will make them last longer, period.
For best results, no more dumping a big ball of miscellaneous laundry into the washing machine without separating. I’ve been so guilty of this at times. I feel like it’s saving me time, but in reality it’s ruining my clothes. Whites really do stay whiter if they are washed together and then hung in the sun to brighten. Honestly.
On this note, I find that using an environmentally friendly soap is also gentler on my clothes. I’ve been washing my clothes for years with a biodegradable soap with no scent. It is awesome.
Ok and we already saw on Day 164, how the fastest way to lower your CO2 impact is by hanging to dry and skipping the dryer. So I guess for those of us who live in the Great White North, at least during the summer this is still an option, see Day 165.
Part 2 of caring for your clothes, I would round up as don’t get them dirty in the first place! How do you achieve this? Well, I wear an apron whenever I’m cooking, cleaning, drafting, sewing, and sometimes eating! Do you know how many times I’ve spilled my first cup of coffee on my apron only to be so relieved it wasn’t my real clothes? Our grandmas wore an apron for this precise reason! They only had a certain number of clothes and did not want to ruin them. It is a lot easier to replace that apron than it was to replace a dress. The same can be said for our clothes today, except that when we ruin a t-shirt, it is simpler to go buy one. But that does not help our sustainable problem does it? If you absolutely hate the apron idea, then have a ‘home outfit’ that you can change into and be ok with ruining. Just make sure you change when you go out…nobody wants to see your shredded jogging pants at the store! Clinton and Stacey (What not to wear) would be horrified!