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13 Tips to Take Optimal Care of Your Clothing and Create a Sustainable Wardrobe

Would you like to make your clothes last longer and at the same time contribute to a more sustainable wardrobe? Understanding the proper care of your clothes is essential. Here are 13 valuable tips to cherish your clothes and keep them looking new!

It's important to know how to make clothes last longer if you want to create a sustainable wardrobe.

By extending the life of our clothes, we can master slow fashion and save money by reducing the amount of clothes we have to buy in our lifetime.

By not taking good care of our clothes, we end up throwing them away, ultimately ending up in a landfill or incinerated somewhere on the planet.

This is terrible for the environment considering the pollution that clothing creates during the manufacturing, shipping and maintenance process, only to end up somewhere where it will cause more pollution. Not to forget that it is also a waste of money spent on purchasing the clothes even if we bought it cheaply second hand.

That is why it is crucial for ourselves and the environment to ensure that our clothing has a long lifespan. You can do this almost effortlessly with the following tips!

1. Invest in high-quality clothing

With everything you buy new (or second hand), choose quality over quantity! High-quality clothing lasts longer and retains its shape and color better after repeated washing and wearing. Go for sustainable materials such as organic cotton and avoid cheaper synthetic fabrics.

Learn how to stop buying fast fashion and instead focus on buying clothes made from high-quality and sustainable fabrics like organic cotton, and avoid cheaper materials like polyester.

When shopping at the store, you should also make sure that the seams of the clothing are intact and not fraying. This is a good indication of quality.

Tip: If the garment comes with an extra button, that's another good indication that the garment is well made, as it usually means the designer wants it to last.

2. Protect your clothes

Try to avoid getting your clothes dirty by wearing protective clothing during certain activities. When you are cooking, wear an apron to avoid food or possible stains on your clothes. The same goes for painting, gardening, etc.

Stains can be a death sentence for clothes, so by taking precautions you will ensure that your clothes last much longer.

You should also protect expensive clothes that you don't wear often, such as suits or party dresses, in a garment bag when storing them in the closet to preserve them.

3. Make sure you have a very good stain remover at home

A fresh stain can spell the end for a beloved item of clothing. Invest in a very good stain remover once (even if it is slightly more expensive) and treat your clothing with it as soon as possible after a stain has appeared. Nowadays, almost every stain (no matter how stubborn) can be removed with the right stain remover. Throwing away a piece of clothing because of a stain is therefore never necessary again!

Tip: Always carry a stain remover pen with you in your handbag to intervene immediately when a stain occurs.

4. Limit washing

Excessive washing can damage the fabric of your clothes and fade the colors. Unless the garment is obviously dirty, you can often wear it a few times before washing it.

Simply put, clothes last longer if you don't overwash them. Sweaters worn over a T-shirt do not need to be washed after each wear. The same goes for jeans, skirts, shirts and dresses.

Unless the garment is actually soiled, they can generally be worn about three times before needing cleaning.

Be sure to hang up these items of clothing that you've worn to freshen them up, prevent wrinkles, and keep them from collecting dirt or dust if they just sit on the floor.

5. Use a laundry bag for delicate items

Mesh bags for certain types of clothing, such as underwear, lingerie and delicate fabrics, are important to ensure that the clothing lasts longer.

Certain items of clothing can easily get caught in other items of clothing or on zippers, which can lead to damage and eventual disposal.

Reusable mesh bags are also useful for putting all your small items such as underwear and socks in to make sorting easier afterwards.

6. Always close all zippers and buttons before washing

To reduce the chance of damaged clothes when washing, zip up sweaters and jeans before throwing them in the washing machine.

The same goes for buttons. Doing this will reduce the chance of your clothes getting stuck, tangled and damaged.

I have some tops with thin straps and sometimes they are twisted around a button, which stretches both the shirt and the button.

Ensuring that your clothes remain undamaged is an important factor for long-lasting clothes. Zipping and buttoning your clothes before washing them can prevent damage.

7. Always read the washing instructions

It is not without reason that clothing comes with washing instructions on the label. It is extremely important to read these labels to know how to wash each garment to ensure it lasts a long time. Some garments need to be hung to dry, or tumble dried on a gentle setting. Maybe something needs to be washed by hand only.

You don't want to take a garment out of the washer or dryer only to find that it has shrunk, faded, or lost its softness. There is no way back.

8. Sort your laundry properly

Sort Your Laundry the Right Way After reading the laundry labels, you should sort your laundry based on those labels. Sort your laundry by colors, delicate fabrics, etc.

Sorting your laundry will help keep your clothes looking nice for longer, as certain items of clothing could otherwise become damaged in the dryer, for example.

Sorting your laundry also makes it easier to transfer your clothes to the dryer, knowing that the batch you just washed can all go in the dryer, without having to sort afterwards when the clothes are wet.

9. Use colder water

Preferably wash your clothes in cold water to protect the fabric and save energy. A colder wash setting will also remove sufficient dirt and stains from the fabric, it does not always have to be washed at 60 degrees.

10. Hang clothes to dry or use dryer balls

Hanging your clothes to dry on a clothesline or drying rack is a great way to maintain their quality and therefore extend their lifespan.

It also helps to reduce wrinkles and shrinkage that may be caused by the dryer.

It is also a better option because you save energy by not using a dryer. When you do use the dryer, use eco-friendly wool dryer balls to shorten drying time and reduce wrinkles in clothes. This is such a great tip, believe me it really works!

11. Choose steaming instead of ironing

Use a clothes steamer to disinfect, clean and smooth your clothes without direct contact with the hot ironing plate. Dry cleaning kills 99% of bacteria and odors, keeping your clothes fresher without having to wash them right away

12. Give older clothes a new life

If your favorite clothes are older and have bunches or hooks, use a fabric shaver to remove them easily. This way you give your beloved garments a new life and make them look like new again

13. Store your clothes properly

Hang your clothes in a cool, dark closet to prevent discoloration from sunlight. Make sure your clothes stay dry and free of moisture to prevent mold from forming.

With these simple tips you can keep your clothes looking good for longer and create a sustainable wardrobe. By being conscious of your clothing, you can not only save money, but also contribute to a better environment by washing less and making clothes last longer. Remember, small changes to your daily routine can make a big difference for your clothes and the planet!

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Last but not least: take better care of the clothes you already have!

Use the right care products to care for your clothes. Do not unnecessarily put your clothes in the washing machine, but for example run a clothes steamer over them to freshen up the fabric, or hang the fabric outside to air out. Does a substance pill? Or is there lint on it? Use a fabric brush or lint remover to breathe new life into the fabric. It certainly doesn't have to be thrown away. Use gentle detergent, without chemicals and harmful substances for your garment. This way the fabric lasts much longer!