When you own an item you really treasure and that has carried you through many seasons, you want it to last for as long as possible. But sadly many clothes are not made to last in our current fast-fashion climate, and you'll soon find yourself out of pocket and without your favourite item if you don't invest time and care into your wardrobe.
Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can incorporate into your wardrobe maintenance routine to increase the lifespan of your clothes, keep them out of landfill, and even help you spend less. Follow these 5 steps to enjoy your clothes for many years to come. Here's how to increase the lifespan of your clothes.
1. Avoid over-washing
One of the most common problems we find when people send their items into our workshop is that garments have been over-washed or damaged due to dry cleaning. We recommend that you only wash items when they really need it, and to air recently worn garments to allow them to breathe where possible. This is the first way you can help increase the lifespan of your clothes.
Washing at lower temperatures with a gentle and natural laundry detergent like our Signature detergent can keep your everyday items looking and feeling their best. We also recommend sorting your laundry into whites, lights, delicates, and darks, to preserve the colour of your clothes and stop materials from snagging.
Less washing = longer lasting clothes, so for a quick refresh between washes, try our range of Clothing Sprays - they're like dry shampoo for your clothes. The perfect way to rejuvenate your garments between wears without the need for a full wet wash. And the scent? Heavenly.
2. Reject the 'only wear it once' mindset
You've probably found yourself in a panic when deciding to wear for a special event or occasion, rifling through your wardrobe, discounting items because you have already worn them. Barnardo's study found that modern women have adopted a 'wear it once' approach to their wardrobe and that 33% of women consider clothes old after wearing them fewer than 3 times.
Getting over this fear of wearing an item once can really save you the hassle of finding something new, and allows you to enjoy the clothes that fit and flatter you. If you really can't bring yourself to wear something twice, why not consider restyling it to give yourself a new outfit.
3. Choose garments with design features like built-in adjustability
Built-in design features will help to promote comfort and achieve a flattering fit to your body type. Design features such as an elasticated waistband, additional buttons, or drawstring around the waist can help increase the lifespan of your clothes because it will accommodate for fluctuations in body shape. If you have any item of clothing you really love, we can add these features in for you, so you can feel comfortable wearing it many times over.
4. Invest in high-quality fabrics
If you are looking to expand your wardrobe in a more sustainable way, it's best to invest in high-quality fabrics, with resilient dyes and colours. Fabrics like merino wool are made from long fibres, which means they won't pill as easily as cheaper wool and will generally last longer. Buying the clothes you love which are built will ensure they stand the test of time and that you are committed to caring for them properly.
5. Repair or alter clothes
When your clothes start showing signs of wear and tear or no longer fit, it can seem tempting to throw them to the back of your wardrobe and forget you ever owned them. However, a sure fire way to increase the lifespan of your clothes is by repairing and altering them - plus it saves you time and money replacing the entire garment. The key is to fix small problems before they become big problems, such as a small tear in the seam can become a bigger hole before you know it.
Check out our repairs and alterations services to find out more about how we can increase the lifespan of your wardrobe.
To summarise, if you want to increase the lifespan of your clothes, there are a number of steps you can take: avoid over-washing, change your mindset to appreciate every item you own, choose garments with built-in adjustability, invest in high-quality fabrics, and repair or alter unworn garments. All of these can help you get the most out of your wardrobe, and save you time and money in the long run.
Shop the whole Clothes Doctor range to become an absolute clothing care pro.