Hey! How do you practice sustainable fashion Portland? Sustainable Fashion is more than Ethical Shopping.
We’ve talked about what goes into ethical clothing production, what makes for sustainable fashion, and shared some sustainable clothing stores in Portland. But sustainable practices don’t stop with a transaction, it continues in the way you care for your garments.
While sustainable fashion starts with sustainable designers and sustainable clothing stores, you can continue this environmentally conscious chain with your garment care regimen. Which leads to the question, what things can you do to care for your clothes in the most sustainable way possible?
Knowing how to care for different kinds of fabrics can lengthen the lifespan of your garments by keeping them looking their best and keeping you feeling fresh.
When it comes time to washing a garment, there’s two rules that extend to most every fabric.
1. Wash on a cold or warm cycle.
Opting for cold or warm cycles saves energy. It takes a lot to heat water for hot cycles and is rarely necessary!
2. Look for biodegradable, natural soaps.
Avoid detergents that contain phthalates, phosphates, and non-biodegradable surfactants. Your skin and the environment with both thank you!
Those are just some rules of thumb, but there are specific rules when caring for natural fabrics like 100% cotton and wool.
Cotton should be washed on cold, shaken out (to avoid wrinkles), and hung or laid flat to dry. Air drying saves energy and prevents shrinkage and the breaking down of fabrics.
Wool is a self-cleaning fabric! So simply letting your wool sweater, coat, or pants air out can return them to the freshness you once knew. When airing it out won’t do the trick, opt for spot cleaning and hand washing when possible. Choosing cold water and using an enzyme free detergent is important with wool. Enzymes will attack these natural fibers and cause them to erode faster. Always air dry wool on a drying rack and avoid hanging wool items up to dry (gravity is not a friend to wool, and will begin to stretch and distort over time).
While a steamer and an ironer both have a similar environmental impact, steaming may have some secret advantages you are unaware of. Steaming kills bacteria and germs and freshens up garments. Does your suit need freshening up, reach for the steamer instead of going to the dry cleaner. Steamers are also gentle on more delicate fabrics like silk, so don’t worry about burning them with a steamer.
When you purchase items made from natural fibers you stop micro plastics from entering the water ways through wash cycles. However, clothing made from recycled plastic are a great way to give plastic a second life and keep it out of landfills. It’s important to know how to wash items that contain micro plastic. Products like a GuppyFriend or a CoraBall can help catch those micro plastics before they enter the waterways and you are doing a small part in sustainable fashion.
There’s more you can do to support sustainable fashion in Portland or wherever you live than shopping ethically and locally. Sustainable garment care will lengthen the life of your clothes and positively impact the environment!