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Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.

How to care for your clothes by Seun Elegushi



Here are few ways you can take good care of your clothes:


1- Wash less

Think twice before washing your clothes. Washing garments too often can actually cause damage to the fibres and hence decrease the lifespan.  This is especially true with dry cleaning, which uses harmful chemicals that flatten the natural fibre follicles in some fabrics.


If an item isn’t dirty but just needs freshening up, rather than slinging it in the wash bin, try hanging it outside or in a steamy bathroom to breath first.


2- Pay attention to care labels



Different materials need different approaches to laundering. Wool, for instance, should only be washed when absolutely needed, using a specific wool detergent on a gentle cycle or handwash.  It is important to properly care for delicate fabrics such as cashmere and silk, which are particularly vulnerable to damage by harsh chemicals and heat. . Pay careful attention to the instructions on the label, which advise you on the maximum recommended temperature an item should be washed at rather than the recommended temperature.  Unless, that is, the label says dry clean only.


3- Wash inside out


An extra handy tip is to wash clothes inside out when machine washing, and to avoid overfilling, as this can cause friction and damage the fibres.


4- Air dry


There’s nothing like that freshly laundered, air dried smell when you get your clean clothes in from the washing line. And not only does it smell great, air drying is also better for your clothes and the planet compared to tumble drying, which uses a lot of energy to run and can also damage certain fibres.  

Instead, shake out your clothes and hang either outside on the washing line, drying rack or on hangers to air dry.  Again, pay attention to clothing labels as some garments, such as woollen jumpers, might be better dried flat.


5- Store properly



Correct storage can really prolong the lifespan of a garment, says Chris. Store all clothes in a cool and dry space to protect them from damp, sunlight, and heat, which can all cause damage. Make sure clothes are clean before storage, as dirt and surface debris can attract clothes moths, which will damage your clothes. Try storing your knitwear with lavender or moth balls for added protection against clothes moths. It’s important to not overfill your wardrobe, as clothes need breathing space – this will also prevent wrinkling and colour loss from clothes rubbing together.


When hanging clothes, use wooden or padded hangers to further protect garments from becoming misshapen.


6- Repair damage



Repair any damage to a garment when you first notice it. This will not only keep them item out of landfill and in a wearable state, but will increase the lifespan of the item as the damage will likely get worse over time if left unresolved.


You can also refresh and restore items to keep them looking their best, For example, de-pilling that jumper you’ve worn every day, or rehydrating that old leather jacket that’s become dry or cracked over time will preserve them and keep them in wearable condition.


7- Refresh the style


Many people no longer wear their favourite item because it no longer fits them, or because they no longer like the style. A simple alteration like taking in at the waist or shortening a full-length dress into mid or short length can give you what feels like a fresh new outfit, and also keep your old favourites updated with the latest style.

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