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LOVE YOUR CLOTHING:
STYLISH TECHNIQUES TO EXTEND THE LIFECYCLE OF YOUR ITEMS

your style

Photography & Pieces from Rotholz

WASTE HAS BECOME A STAPLE OF MAINSTREAM FASHION. IN LIGHT OF CHALLENGING THE FASHION INDUSTRY’S DESTRUCTIVE WAYS, WE EXPLORE TIPS, TRICKS AND STYLISH TECHNIQUES THAT NOT ONLY ENHANCE THE LIFESPAN OF YOUR CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES, BUT ALLOWS YOU TO REDEFINE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE WHILE SAVING MONEY AND THE PLANET.

Words By Tyler Richmond

We have a waste problem…

Waste has become a staple of the fashion industry. The current structure of apparel production is designed to produce exponential amounts of waste in the form of chemical effluents, underutilized textiles, CO2 emissions and other pollutants. There is no wonder why the fashion industry is ranked as the second-largest polluter in the world, after the oil industry. With brands – most notably fast fashion brands – focusing their efforts on greenwashing marketing techniques over a real systematic change in their supply chains, consumers are misled to believe that their purchases are beneficial for the environment and themselves. However, each purchase made from these companies reinforces the industry’s ability to get away with a multitude of environmental, social and economic problems imposed around the globe.

You may be wondering what you can do to be more sustainable and have a direct impact on the ways of the mainstream fashion industry. A good start to addressing these questions is by evaluating your current fashion habits, including the brands you support, how often you purchase new apparel, how long you keep apparel in use, and how you dispose of it. To gain crucial insight regarding your personal fashion footprint, you can visit ThreadUP.com, to use their free Fashion Footprint Calculator. Upon completion, the tool suggests how to best approach reducing your personal footprint, while making their Eco-directory available, which offers insight to sustainable brands and discounts.

In a direct effort to restructure the fashion industry from a consumer aspect, we have the option to divest our money from brands and companies that capitalize on unsustainable and unethical practices. By purchasing second hand and supporting truly sustainable and ethical brands, we have the power to collectively strengthen our message of disapproval against the mainstream fashion industry. Additionally, and perhaps one of the most impactful actions we can take, is to alter our perception of clothing value. In doing so, we learn to appreciate and care for what we already have, decreasing the need for purchasing new items altogether.

Love what you have and make it your own

In light of challenging the fashion industry’s destructive ways, we explore tips, tricks and stylish techniques that not only enhance the lifespan of your clothing and accessories, but allow you to redefine your personal style while saving money and the planet.

sustainable soap

@everlyndragan

Washing Care

Proper washing care is essential for prolonging the look, fit and functionality of apparel.

Washing your clothing less frequently is key! Not only does this save water, electricity and detergent, but also helps to preserve the color and structure of the materials. However, when the time comes, there are measures that can be taken to help preserve your clothing.

Hand wash your clothing. Hand washing is often an environmentally friendly and gentle way to get your clothes clean, and can easily be done in a tub, bucket or washing bag.

Use a natural soap or detergent. Products like soap nuts or your most trusted eco-brand are great alternatives for a more environmentally friendly washing routine. Harsh chemicals and perfumes in conventional detergents are unhealthy for you, your clothing and the environment. For pesky smudges or stains, be sure to pre-spot beforehand to prevent the stains from setting.

Use cool water. Regardless of how you wash your clothing, be sure to use a cool water or a cool water setting, as this is less intense on most materials and reduces material alterations like shrinking.

Separate your loads. Washing similar colors and materials together reduces the risk of color bleeding, as well as material abrasion and damage. Additionally, turning each article inside out, especially with jeans, helps to maintain the color and appearance of clothing.

Ditch the dryer. Drying your clothing with a machine creates a huge impact on the environment and therefore your fashion footprint. Save the electricity and your clothing by air drying if and when possible.

“Harsh chemicals and perfumes in conventional detergents are unhealthy for you, your clothing and the environment.”

sustainable cloth

Picture from COS

sustainable thread

Picture from Forqueta, Pinterest

Apparel Fixes

If you notice any wear and tear on your clothing, shoes or accessories, do not give up and toss it. Most damages to apparel as holes, snags or scuffs are repairable and for more intense ones, you – or your local tailor or cobbler – can get creative!

Are your favorite pieces losing their color? Revive your clothing with organic, natural and self made vegetable dyes. Note that dyes work if your garment is made out of natural fibers, while synthetics will not absorb the colorants.

Bored with your plain basics? Try making your own prints using textile paint and a utensil that allows you to properly create your design… Get creative!

Found that your pre-spotting did not work? For those pesky stains that you cannot get out, you can use sew on or iron patches to cover it up. Alternatively, you can use thicker thread to create a sew on the design of your own creation.

Is the neckline of your favorite sweater stretched out? Use a timeless brooch or pin to style it tighter. Alternatively, you can pair your top with a stylish scarf.

Are your favorite jeans ripped where they should not be? Not a problem! You can reinforce the hole by sewing in a similar fabric, or perhaps a completely different material to create a unique style. For the most skilled ones, you can create a weaving pattern with a thick string, to close up holes while creating a design of your choice. These stylish techniques are also applicable on any number of different items!

Broken button or zipper? Don’t give up hope on your favorite jeans, jacket or accessories, as these can usually be fixed and replaced with the appropriate mending tools. When in doubt, support your local and trusted tailor by taking in items in need of repair.

Are your shoes looking scuffed, dull and worn down? To prolong the new look of your shoes, be sure to regularly care for your them in accordance with the material. Leather shoes require regular cleanings, moisturizing, and waterproof sealings. Shoes made of synthetic materials also benefit from regular cleaning and color touch up. If your soles are run down, first check to see if the brand offers a maintenance service. If not, you can seek out a local and trustworthy cobbler who can properly resolve your shoes and make them look good as new!

Want to spice up your sneakers? Try switching out the laces or lacing them in a unique way. If you feel bold, try using textile paint to create a one-of-a-kind design on your shoes. This technique is also applicable for any piece of clothing or accessories that needs some pepping up.

Have you tried everything without success? If worst comes to worst and you absolutely cannot repair your clothing, try upcycling or repurposing the pieces into something new. With a bit of creativity, the options are endless!

These little clothing issues are among the most common, and surely you have experienced at least one. But there is a solution. Be proactive. Be creative. Love your clothing!

slow fashion cloth

L’Amour from Jacquemus