The Ultimate Guide to Caring for Your Clothes

Is your favourite knitwear getting bobbly? Got a hole in your jeans or is your favourite shirt slowly losing all its buttons? Or perhaps you're just bored of that jacket that's been sitting in your wardrobe unworn for a few months?

Approximately 350,000 tonnes worth of clothes goes into landfill in the UK alone. This could be due to clothes being considered irreparable or no longer loved and therefore simply thrown in the trash. One way to have a more sustainable wardrobe is to look after your clothes as this will increase their longevity. Caring for your clothes includes knowing how to wash them, look after certain types of fabrics and knowing how repair broken items. This may sound daunting at first but do not panic, here's your ultimate guide to caring for your clothes!

Our clothes can last much longer if we wash them properly. It's so easy to just stick everything in the wash together and hope for the best. I commit this crime often. White clothes come out grey, other things come out smaller and jumpers come out with more bobbles.

  • Pay more attention to the labels in our clothes and take a bit more care. It may seem like a lot of effort now but we can benefit from it in the long run. If you're worried about how to wash certain fabrics like wool or silk here's a guide!

  • Another crime that's easy to commit is just throwing things in the wash because they have been worn. Worn does not always mean that something is dirty. I do the 'pit test' - if it doesn't smell or there are no visible stains you're good to go. Overwashing your clothes is likely to decrease the durability of your clothes and sticking on the washing machine when you don't need to will have its impact on the planet. If an item does have a stain, try spot washing to only clean the area that needs cleaning and here's a guide on how to do it.

  • Try using a cold wash. This will not only reduce the carbon footprint of your washing cycle but also reduce the likelihood of your clothes fading and colours from running. 

When your clothes have rips, hole, broken zips etc. it can be very tempting to throw them in the bin. However, it's super easy to make repairs on our garments.

  • Google and youtube are your friends! Just simply whack in the search bar what you need to do and there's bound to be a video/article to help you out.

  • Need to fix a jumper or try out some simple darning? Fashion Revolution have a youtube playlist with some simple repair DIYs to help you out.

  • Ask your Mom/Nan/friend if they know how. They won't think you are silly, just simply trying to learn a new skill. My Mom has taught me everything I need to know about sewing up holes, changing buttons and taking things in. 


Another reason we might be tempted to get rid of our clothes is simply because we're bored of them and no longer like them but this can be easily fixed. Have a look at the piece you are considering getting rid of and figure out exactly what it is that you don't like about it. Is it the buttons? Perhaps you don't like the length of those jeans or skirt. Instead of tossing it away, you can always re-work your piece.

  • I have a pair of jeans that I found in a charity shop. For a long time I wore them rolled up but after a few years, this wasn't really my style anymore. I contemplated getting rid of them but instead I simply cut off the ends to make them an ideal length and they are now one of my favourite pairs of jeans ever. Check out my post on DIY Distressed Denim

  • Alternatively, you can cut jeans down into shorts. I prefer doing this with 'mom' style jeans as the fit looks better when they are shorter. 

  • Another option is to make minor adjustments to some of your pieces. I bought a blazer which I loved but the buttons were just a bit tacky which made me question whether I really liked it until one day I thought "I'd love this so much more if it had nicer buttons". So, what did I do? I went out and bought some new buttons and swapped them over and now it's perfect and it took me all of about 5 minutes. Can your clothes be altered by swapping buttons or adding patches etc? 

  • Sometimes, clothes can have irreparable damage and you might be clinging onto it because you love it so much. You could save the fabric by reworking it into something new. Maybe you could make some drawstring bags or scrunchies with the fabric. Fashion Revolution have a super easy DIY on how to make scrunchies here.

Do you have any tips on how to care for your clothes? 



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