"Treat your clothes like the good friends they are." - Joan Crawford
At VALANI, we believe in making sustainable clothing that you can enjoy for years to come. But of course, that means taking care of them the eco-friendly way! Here are a few tips on how to take care of your clothes and make them last longer.
1. Use eco-friendly detergents. Good for your skin and earth friendly.
- Look for detergents that are plant based, biodegradable and free of phosphates and harmful chemicals.
- Ditch the plastic bottles for detergent strips or soap nuts that naturally get soapy and clean. How amazing is Mother Nature?!
- Avoid bleach…it’s pretty toxic and the fumes aren’t pleasant. Instead use 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide OR ½ cup of baking soda per load to whiten up whites and brighten colored clothes.
2. Wash your clothes less. Believe it or not, you can wear clothes more than once between washes. Some fabrics naturally resist bacteria and block odors such as hemp and Tencel.
- Hang up clothes to air out and freshen up.
- Spot clean right away when possible.
3. Use cold water and make sure to do full loads. It saves energy and money! Your clothes will last longer since cold is gentler than hot.
4. Avoid Dry Cleaners. You’ve probably heard that dry cleaning is bad for the environment. About 80% of dry cleaners use perchloroethylene, a chemical considered to be both a health and environmental hazard by the EPA. If you have to use dry cleaners, look for 'green cleaners.'
- Avoid buying clothes that say “dry cleaning only.”
- Hand wash your delicates.
- Invest in a steamer – it kills odor-causing bacteria, removes allergens, and freshens up clothes. It’s also gentler than ironing and dry cleaning.
5. Ditch the dryer. Air dry whenever possible; your clothes will thank you. The dyer actually damages your clothes over time and can cause shrinkage with excess heat. Check the lint trap and see bits of your clothes!
- Use a clothesline (hemp, jute).
- Use a drying rack.
- If you have to use a dryer, use low heat and/or remove clothes while they are still a bit damp and finish with an air dry.
6. Ditch the dryer sheets and fabric softeners. Yes, most have harsh chemicals that can emit through the dryer vents. Air drying can cause clothes to be a bit stiff, but you have options!
- White vinegar is a natural softener, so try adding ½ cup to the rinse water in lieu of dryer sheets or fabric softener.
- Bamboo dryer balls
7. Ironing - use low heat for delicate fabrics. Natural fabrics tend to wrinkle, so be ready to whip out the iron. Yes, we know...it's extra work. Isn't it worth a few extra mins to avoid harsh chemicals used in "anti-wrinkle" treatments?
8. Repair and mend your clothes whenever possible.
- Sew on buttons or loose seams.
Let us know if you have any other tips to share! We'd be happy to add some more in.