While we are all trying to be more sustainable in our lives, one very important aspect is to do this within your wardrobe. Not necessarily go out and buy recycled, organic clothes, but to look at what you already own and just give it all some more love!
Here I’ve compiled some wee tips and tricks to easily extend the life of your favourite clothes.
Look at your hangers
Wire hangers are not an ideal match for most garments as they disfigure the shape very easily.
Instead, try using plastic or velour covered hangers for those lighter and medium weight fabrics, use clip hangers for trousers (though beware of stretching materials!) And use chunky, round formed hangers of plastic or wood for your heavier jackets and coats, this keeps the shoulder shape while they are not being worn.
Left to right: Lucy & Yak corduroy shirt jacket, H&M blouse, Topshop Moto wide leg jeans
While on the topic of hangers, we now have heavy duty clothing rails available in the KS web shop. A 5ft size and a 2ft size, perfect for having outfits on display! It also prevents your clothes from becoming wrinkled, saving you an effort of ironing.
Storing the winter clothes
Bulkier wool jumpers and vests are best folded in drawers, hangers don’t do any favours here as the fabric weight just stretches them out of shape.
During summer months, pack away your unnecessary woollens with lavender or bay leaves to ward off pesky moths, or simply fold in plastic storage bags!
Always read the label
It might sound obvious but washing your items exactly to their label instructions makes them last a lot longer. Wools and synthetics stretch or shrink in the wrong temperatures, delicate fabrics can be torn on a high spin, colours can bleed or fade, too much friction in a machine can cause pilling and bobbling.
When washing denim jeans, turn them inside out to prevent fading. The same goes for graphic t-shirts, so that the image doesn’t crack.
Wash similar colours/shades together, wash heavily soiled things together, wash delicates in your machine inside a pillowcase or a separate bag.
Try not to excessively wash clothes, spot-washing and soaking stains in cold water can be a lifesaver.
Take care and always read labels for tumble drying! Many synthetic fabrics say to avoid tumbling – this can be the cause of many problems for garments.
Steaming is a great way to freshen up and remove creases from clothing without causing damage, as many fabrics don’t like being ironed! Steaming gives fabric a refresh, eliminates odours between washes and doesn’t use any chemicals, therefore giving off no pollutants.
Another option is to use your shower – hang your garment on your shower screen beside the hot water and let the steam do its magic while you wash your hair.
Delicate pleated synthetic fabric like in this Zara dress won’t iron easily, a steamer would do wonders to work out creases.
Alterations & reparations
A button falls off or a seam rips undone, not the end of the world! This is nothing that basic sewing skills can’t fix. If needing a helping hand, ask a relative or friend with similar skills, or consult the internet.
For more expertise needed in altering clothes that no longer fit or if a more drastic fix is required, you can always outsource in the local community. Pin it, Knit it, Hook it is a business in Stromness which is available for alterations and reparations of all fabric-related things, located along Victoria Street or accessible via Facebook.
We hope these tips can help you make your clothes last a lot longer! Remember to head to the Clothing Care section on our website to shop steamers and rails.