In the time of fast fashion, affordable clothing and changing trends, recycling and re-wearing old clothes is considered un-trendy.
Trends change several times a year, with spring, summer, fall and winter collections being presented by almost every brand. There are also additional collections which have cropped up like resort, cruise and the pre-fall collections. With so much on offer by the fashion world, consumers are tempted to buy new things.
The average lifespan of an item of clothing is 2.2 years in the UK. With fashion industry being ousted for being a major polluter, extending the lifespan of our clothes is more important than ever before. It also saves you a lot of bucks.
Here are a few tips put a new life into your old clothes by The Guardian.
Check the seams
This may seem very basic but if you want your clothes to last, check the seams. Well-made clothes of good fabric can also have weak seams and it’s important to keep an eye on them from time to time. “The first thing to do when you’re looking at a piece of clothing is turn it inside out and pull at every piece of string you find,” said Orsola de Castro of Fashion Revolution. “When clothes are cheaply made, the seams are often shabby. If it starts to unravel – don’t buy it.”
Also, check if there is enough seam space in case you want to increase the length of the garment. It is also good to see if it comes with spare buttons sewn on the inside.
Know your fabrics
For longevity, experts suggest fabrics that last like polyester, while others favour natural fabrics like cotton. “I prefer wearing synthetics because I believe they are more durable fibres. If you have two identical T-shirts in cotton or polyester, the cotton will wear out quicker,” said Charles Ross, sustainability expert.
Natural fibres on the other hand are ore breathable and although they don’t last as long as synthetic, they still are more preferred as they are environment-friendly.
Do you need to wash it?
“If something is made from good-quality wool, such as a man’s suit, it’s designed to be brushed clean and not washed. If you must wash things in a machine, use a low heat, and put delicate fabrics in a laundry bag to reduce tearing,” said De Castro.
Steaming, spot cleaning, and spraying them with certain liquids are alternatives to machine washing certain fabrics. Spray clothes with a mixture of three parts water and two parts vodka and hang them to dry. They become fresh as they dry.
Store them properly
“Get all your clothing in one space – I call it the power of the pile. A lot of people aren’t aware of all the things they own, until they see it,” said Katrina Hassan, a professional organiser. “When you store things vertically, you’re less tempted to buy things, and more conscious with your consumerism … you know exactly what you own, and where it’s stored,” she added. Store expensive items in cotton suit bags to prevent moth damage.