Garment Care

For clothing to last, it needs to be taken care of. Washing clothes too much shortens their life span and uses lots of energy and water. We've put together some tips to keep your clothes fresh in a way that’s kinder to the environment.

Save your water

Reportedly, on average, a 7kg washing machine will be used 220 times a year in the UK¹. Which, by our calculations, is 4-5 wash loads a week. However, you’ll be delighted to know, this number should and can be reduced. If the average UK household were to reduce their laundry loads per week they could save on all areas:

  • The amount of water used to wash your clothes weekly would be reduced²
  • Your clothes wouldn’t have to endure the rough and tumble of your machine as often, so they’ll last longer³
  • Your energy bills will cost less from running the machine less⁴
  • Finally, it makes less work for you to do.

The fuller the better

Don’t do things by halves! If you put more garments in per wash, you’ll notice a decrease in the amount of washing you’re doing per week. Plus, a washing machine uses just as much energy when it’s half full as it does when it’s full⁵, so you may as well get more clean laundry out of it.

Keep it cool

Another great way to cut down your carbon footprint is to go cool. If you wash your clothes at 30 instead of a higher temperature, you could save on energy costs⁶. Make sure you check the care label on your garments before washing, just in case it needs any extra TLC. Next time you put a load on, why not stick to 30?

 Spot clean and line dry

Next time you notice a stain on your fresh top and despair over having to start up the washing machine, why not try spot cleaning? If you clean the stain itself, you’ll save yourself time and energy. When it comes to drying, why not line dry? It’s much better for the garments and the environment⁷. Make sure you reshape your items before hanging on the clothes horse or washing line and you’re good to go.

(Re) work it

Couldn’t shift that stain on your favourite top? Ripped a hole in your best jeans? Next time you find yourself with a damaged garment or one that has reached the end of its wearing cycle why not try some repairing or upcycling? If you’re feeling crafty, repairing your clothes can feel quite rewarding. If this sadly isn’t doable, don’t just throw it in the bin. Take your garments to a clothing recycling bank, our Oxfam recycling banks ensure that your unwanted clothing will not end up in landfill⁸.

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