25% of the carbon footprint of a garment comes from the way we care for it. On top of that, 90% of our clothing is thrown away long before it needs to be, due to our culture of ‘fast fashion’ and outdated laundry habits. It’s time for a change.
– Fashion Revolution
Rethinking Laundry Habits:
Repeated washing not only damages the fibers of the fabric but also escalates energy costs and contributes negatively to the environment. To extend the lifespan of your clothing, reserve washing for when it's genuinely necessary. Instead, consider spot cleaning or gentle brushing to effectively remove stains or debris from your vintage garments. Reverse your clothes and let them air dry between uses, or use a quick steam for a refresh without the need for a full wash. When washing is unavoidable, always air dry your garments afterward to further minimize environmental impact. This mindful approach ensures both garment longevity and sustainable clothing care.
Gentle Hand-Washing Techniques:
Different fabrics demand specific care. Exercise caution with embroidered or multicoloured silks and satins, checking for color-fastness before washing. Identify color-fastness by dabbing a damp white towel on the inside seam of the garment to prevent potential dye bleed.
If a garment requires a wash, consider gently hand-washing or soaking in cool to lukewarm water, especially for pre-1970s vintage and antique pieces. When hand-washing or soaking, use a mild detergent suitable for delicates, and avoid harsh chemicals. We recommend a eucalyptus detergent for silks and wools. Always be sure to air dry garments after wash to preserve their integrity.
Eco-Friendly Dry Cleaning:
For specialty vintage items requiring dry cleaning, seek out an eco-friendly dry cleaner with whom you can establish a trusted relationship to ensure the proper care of your garments.
Understand the characteristics of your vintage pieces to determine the appropriate care routine. While some fabrics are generally safe for washing, others may require specialized dry cleaning. Below is a list of fabrics considered typically safe to wash, as well as those typically requiring dry-cleaning.
Garments that are typically safe to wash:
- Silks (always check for colour-fastness)
Garments that typically require dry-cleaning:
- Fabrics with embellishments or dyes that run
- Metallic fabrics
- Flocked fabrics
Incorporating mindful and sustainable practices into vintage and antique clothing care not only extends the life of these distinct pieces but also aligns with eco-conscious fashion choices. Adopting a responsible approach to style contributes to a culture that values longevity and sustainability over the transient nature of fast fashion.