Laundry. It's not the most exciting thing to talk about, but the truth is that its not all about the clothes we buy but the way we care for and wash them has an environmental impact too. Luckily there are things you can do to reduce your impact and keep your clothes in a better condition for longer too!
Buy Clothes made with natural fibres
Starting before the clothes even enter your home, picking the right clothes can help you reduce your footprint in more ways than one. There is so much we could go into about buying clothes that are kind to our people and planet, but for this blog all we ask is that you look at what materials your clothes are made of. Materials made of synthetic materials such as polyester or nylon are actually made of plastic and anytime these are washed, tiny micro-plastics break off and enter the waterways. Our water treatment plants are not equipped to filter them, and so unfortunately these often make their way directly into the rivers and oceans.
Already own items made with synthetic fibres? You can purchase special laundry bags , like the GuppyFriend Washing Bag that capture the micro plastics so you can collect these and dispose of them properly.
Wash cool, wash less
It's easy to not pay attention to the garment care instructions, or to 'fill the wash' with things that don't really need to be washed yet. 9 out of 10 clothing items are thrown out before they should because of over washing or washing the garment incorrectly. Spot cleaning stains between washes, and washing your clothes less often, with cool water not only adds longevity to your clothes colour, and makes sure they don't shrink overtime, but it is also good for the planet and your power bill!
Use earth friendly cleaning products
Just like how and when we wash our clothes are important, so is what we wash them with. Many mainstream laundry products contain unnecessary chemicals that help in the cheap mass production of the product, and also often contain artificial fragrances which are usually made from petrochemicals. Not only do these linger on our clothes which we wear, and can cause skin irritation, many of these toxins are flushed into our waterways once the machine drains.
There are so many great earth friendly alternatives on the market now and there are so many options today then there were even a few years ago! For a normal wash, you can use a greywater safe laundry powder; for freshening up your whites and brights, you can add an oxygen bleach and for handwashing or treating spot stains you can use a laundry bar, you can even use our No Tox Life Dish Washing Block on your clothes, I've been using mine to remove makeup from the colours of my shirts for years, and it works so well!
Dry your clothes the old fashioned way
Using a cloth drying rack to dry your clothes is another great way to save on your power bill and increase the longevity of your clothes. If you can't dry your clothes outside and live in a damp house like us then air drying your clothes can be a slow process. We invested in a dehumidifier which has helped to increase the quality of our air and let us easily dry clothes even on a rainy day!