A few little tips to make your clothes last longer (and not end up at the tip).
Wash ’n’ Wear. In the biz of protecting our threads, it turns out there’s more to washing your wares than simply divvying up the lights and darks. Think twice before discarding your denim to the dirty clothes basket — often an airing and some spot cleaning will suffice. Your clothes will last much longer this way, and you’re saving a water wastage of over 55 litres per wash cycle. But don’t get too carried away on your eco-warrior high horse — cramming three weeks of dirty clothes into one load will crowd the machine and turn your threads from fresh to frayed in no time. Flip all fade-able items inside-out and add a pinch of salt to your machine before starting a wash cycle to prevent fading. Be sure to wash your woollens and all special items by hand, adding a touch off fabric softener for longevity and added comfort factor.
Hang it All. Just because your clothes are clean now, doesn’t mean we’re in the clear. While it’s tempting to toss your t-shirts across the hills hoist and hope for the best, a bit of TLC in the drying process can go a long way. Turn your threads inside out to stop them fading in the sun and dry some items on hangers to prevent those classy peg-marks from embedding themselves on the shoulders of your shirts.
A Stitch in Time. A lost button or ripped seam doesn’t equal a one way ticket to the garment graveyard. Even if you can’t get your hands on a Husqvarna, some simple hand stitches can patch up a tear, sew up a seam or halt the looming fray on the bottom of your trousers. Channel your thrifty inner-Grandma and make sure you keep all those spare buttons that come with your clothes, ensuring never to discard an item of clothing to the rag heap without cutting off all of its buttons first. Remember, there’s so much that can be done to save your clothes from landfill — buy a new zip, a needle and thread and pull up a YouTube tutorial. If the hole in your favourite denim jacket’s elbow is too big to disguise with a small stitch, make it a feature by sewing in a patch of floral fabric. If you can’t hide it, emphasise it!
Get Creative. Auburn is in but you’ve got aqua? Don’t let the fickle fashion seasons dictate the death of your wardrobe. Use a washable fabric dye to update those tired looking trousers or get Art Attack on a fading t-shirt. No need to fork out hundreds for those designer fray bum huggers — all you need is a pair of fabric scissors to turn last season’s jeans into a new pair of denim shorts and let the fray happen organically. Maxi is out and mini is in? Nothing that a quick cut and hem won’t fix!
Prevention is the Best Cure. The onset of winter is an invitation to the stocking ladder gods. Get one step ahead of them by soaking your new tights in water and popping them in the freezer before their first wear. Stop a ladder in its tracks with a quick touch up of clear nail polish, which can also be applied to buttons to prevent them popping off. Don’t let shoe issues trip you up — waterproof your suede shoes with an eco-friendly non-aerosol spray and get acquainted with your local cobbler who will be happy to replace your heels before they are completely worn down. Yes that new t-shirt looks totally banging on your bod, but give it a rest sometimes. It’s important to rotate your wardrobe, not just to prevent fashion faux pas, but to give your favourite items time to recover. Ultimately, you get what you give with your wardrobe — look after your threads and they will look after you.