You shop only with ethical and sustainable brands, you love a good second hand find and you recycle the packaging correctly when your new piece comes in the mail, but there’s one more step you can do to minimise your impact on the environment - how you wash your clothes.
Levi Strauss found that customer care makes up 23 per cent of the total water used during the lifecycle of one pair of jeans. Customer use and disposal further accounts for 40 per cent of their jeans climate impact.
The company suggests washing jeans infrequently and drying them in the sunshine when they do, as well as donating the jeans when their life is up.
While many companies have the same mentality when it comes to care post sustainable purchase, there is still more we can do.
When it comes to how many loads of washing you do per week, take notice of what you’re washing. Do your jeans and jumpers need to be washed after every single use? Try to avoid the mentality of wear and wash, and actively think about if it actually needs to be washed.
Using water in the process of washing is unavoidable, it’s all about being conscious of how we use it. Making sure you put on a full load every time can save a lot of water. Our machines also matter at this point. Front loaders are better at conserving water compared to top loaders; saving you money and water!
The largest contribution to our laundry carbon footprint is the energy we use, allowing for the largest room for improvement. Using a clothes dryer is the worst part of the laundry process, and one that can be easily avoided. Although not everyone has 24/7 access to the sun, in Australia we are in a great position to line dry our clothes every time.
This is also better for the health of your garments. Think about the lint you pull out of your dryer compared to the result of clothes air drying.
For rainy days, invest in a washing machine with a good spin cycle to lessen the time in the dryer. And always wash on eco!
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