Post-consumer care of washing, drying, ironing & disposal, amounts to 36% of the total environmental impact of a garment’s lifecycle. Hence, our new revolution re-love-ution thrives on the motto of ‘Care with love, Repair with a purpose’. Here are some tips to get you started.
However bizarre this sounds, our clothes do not need extensive regular washing. It, in fact, degrades the quality of the garment and is wasteful. Air-wash clothes by hanging them in a steamy bathroom. Doing this from time to time is fine for basic cleaning. Freezing a pair of jeans overnight is a cool (literally!) eco-way of killing the bacteria. It also saves a huge amount of water and electricity.
HAND WASH &
When you do wash, do full loads if you are using a machine. Separate the whites and use the coldest cycle possible. When it’s a spot, just use a spot cleaning solution. By choosing to hand wash gentle clothes twice a week and to hang dry them is a greener, cleaner option. Join in. Make the happier choice!
GREEN- DRY CLEAN
Let’s break a myth here. Many clothing labels say “Dry Clean Only”. This is not always the truth. Yes, embroidered pieces and delicate silks might need an occasional dry-clean but dry-clean, as a practice, is very harmful as it uses perchloroethylene (or perc), a mean toxin which is a known carcinogenic.
But there are now safer ‘Green Dry-Cleaning’ options which do not use harmful chemical solvents. This includes alternatives like Wet Cleaning (a milder version of hand laundering using specialised detergents) and Liquid Carbon Dioxide Cleaning (liquid CO2 is injected in gas & liquid form and pumped back into the tank for reuse).
Be curious! Ask your dry-cleaners about their practices and standards. Take a stand against perc in the interest of workers and the environment!
Sewing machines had become a common household technology at the beginning of 20th century. Since then people have been stitching, repairing & customizing their clothes from time to time. Scars on the clothes were celebrated, hand-repaired, up-cycled & revamped as opposed to discarded at the first signs of wear and tear. It is not too late to turn back the clock!
Our world driven by fast fashion can use some help. The desire to ‘repair’ is more important now than ever! Broken hems can be re-stitched. A torn-hole can be mended with patches. Frayed edges can be frayed further for a quirky look. Deconstruct, develop and stamp your personality. Make your clothes truly represent who you are!