We recommend hand washing wherever possible, this is more gentle on the clothes and the planet. We often go into auto-pilot after wearing clothes; at the end of the day we take them off and put them into the laundry. It's important to take a moment stop and think about the impacts of that action. Washing our clothing less and wearing it more is much better for the planet. Washing machines can wear out garments too.
Let's hear it from the experts.
Through considered washing processes you can extend the life of clothes. Bert Wouters of Procter & Gamble (the company that makes washing detergents Ariel, Tide & Gain) suggests that the best way to wash clothes is to wash less often and to follow a simple 3 step process:
- Use a high-quality liquid or single use pods. (Try Ecover / Method for eco-friendly options)
- Run a fast cycle on a cold water setting.
- Finish with a fabric conditioner.
"When you use that regime, you can actually extend the life of clothes by four times. And the environmental impact of that is just amazing; it's humongous." - Bert Wouters of Procter & Gamble speaking to Dana Thomas in Fashionopolis (2019)
Pilling occurs through the wearing of garments that are made with soft fabrics. The softer and more delicate that the fabric is, the more easy it is for the fabric to pill. Pilling is the small build up of fabric fibres that form on the surface of the fabric. They are formed through friction of wear; actions such as wearing a bag strap across a garment or the rubbing of a jacket over the surface of the fabric, as well as during a wash cycle. Pilling happens in three stages; fuzziness of the fabric, the pilling forming and then the pilling falling away.
To delay these stages, we recommend washing and hanging / folding your garment inside-out until you wear it, as this helps to reduce friction between other fabrics. We also suggest taking extra care to avoid friction being created on the surface of the fabric between the garment and bags / accessories.
How do I remove the pills?
Pills are already separate from the main body of the fabric and therefore they will fall away over time.
You can find equipment that is specifically designed to help with pilling. This includes Cashmere Combs and Clothes Shavers. Most dry cleaners will sell tools like this to help care for your garments. Otherwise a simple google search for 'Clothes Shaver' or 'Cashmere Comb' will provide a range of solutions. Alternatively we've listed a couple below.
Alternatively, they can be removed carefully by using a blunt razor. To do so; gently run the razor over the pills as if you were shaving the garment. The blunt blades with pull the pills away from the main body of the fabric, the pills will then collect into the blades or will fall away from the garment.
Before and after images that show the process of using a blunt razor to remove pills.
These can happen when you catch part of the fibre on something sharp, like a zip or piece of jewellery. However tempting it may be, do not cut off the fibre that has come loose or a hole will appear!
The best thing to do is to stretch the fabric around the snag in different direction to try and manipulate the thread back in to place, with a little bit of coaxing, it should go back in to place.
Sometimes stains can be stubborn or you may just want to remove a stain, rather than wash the whole top.
The best way to do this is to;
- Take a towel or clean cloth and place it behind where the stain is.
- Then, dampen the stained part of the fabric with water (best with a spray bottle)
- Using a stain remover, blot the area with a clean cloth.
- DO NOT RUB, this will break down the fibres in the fabric and may damage it.
- Keep alternating between spraying/dampening with water and blotting with the remover until you're satisfied the stain has gone.
Tears in the garment are more technical to fix. The most environmentally friendly way to repair your torn garment may be to take it to a local dress maker or dry cleaners. This way there is no shipping involved and it reduces the carbon impact.
Alternatively, we can fix your garments if you send them back to us. It's worth sending us an email with an image of the damage before shipping it back to see that the damage is something that we are able to fix.
If you'd like to discuss any of the above, please get in touch with us: firstname.lastname@example.org