Every year, millions of tonnes of clothes that are in good condition are thrown away completely unnecessarily. How we take care of our clothes has a big impact on our environment and reducing clothing waste is something we can do here and now.
But good intentions aside, it can be hard knowing where to start when it comes to sustainability in the home. We’ve teamed up with Australia’s most renowned Fashion Sustainability Expert, Clare Press to share how you can be more consciously minded when it comes to fashion and clothing care. Whether it’s as simple as being more deliberate when doing your laundry, or holding clothing swaps with friends, Clare’s tips will have you thinking differently about the way you shop, dress and care for your clothes.
1. Start new sustainable habits at home
If there’s one thing that I want everyone to know, it’s that living, and shopping more sustainably is so much easier than you think. Here are my ideas to help you adopt some sustainable habits today:
Become a label reader:Get to know your materials and the best ways to care for them. But also keep in mind the great technologies that come with appliances. Many traditionally dry-clean or hand wash garments can go in the washer and dryer thanks to technology like Electrolux’s delicate wash cycle, Woolmark Blue certification and DelicateCare Dryers, ensuring every garment is dried at the temperature that suits it best, preserving the garment’s life.
Community helps us grow:Join a group to meet other people who care about your chosen cause, whether it’s going zero waste in the kitchen, spreading awareness about sustainable fashion on social media, or holding clothes swaps IRL.
Make mending fun:Learn some basic sewing skills and teach your kids a life skill that has skipped a generation.
Organise your laundry:Make caring for your special clothes at home part of your routine instead of sending them off to the dry cleaner. With a bit of extra love, they will look great for longer.
2. Educate yourself
Did you know that 9/10 clothing items end up in landfill*? People tend to be aware of the problem of single-use plastics, because we can see them littering our environment when walking down the street. Textile waste is less obvious, but it’s of increasing concern to the local councils, charities and recyclers that have to deal with it.
Extending the life of clothes by just 9 months of active use can reduce carbon, water and waste footprints of that item by around 20-30%^. It’s important to understand the impact the fashion industry has on the environment and how we can do better because bottom line, we’re sending way too much fashion to the tip.
3. Support the innovators
Sustainability is going mainstream, and technology is changing the game. More recycled and new-gen fibres are being developed and brands are increasingly considering a fabric’s carbon and water footprints as well as aesthetics and performance.
It doesn’t stop there. Advances in home appliances are helping us be more sustainable in our daily activities and being in fashion, it’s an area I’m super interested in. Electrolux is doing clever things with specialised silk and wool programs designed to help extend the life of your clothes. Programs like VapourRefresh mean you don’t have to do a full wash when things just need a freshen up, saving water and reducing climate impact - and the bonus is steaming means no need to iron!
4. Don’t give in to misconceptions
The biggest myth I find people believing about sustainable fashion is that it’s all minimal shades of oatmeal and that it’s too expensive. Not true! There are options in all styles, and it can be affordable too - spend the same amount, just buy smarter. Care and repair also play into affordability too. So many clothes get discarded because they have a mark on them, or a hem dropped down. Or because the label reads ‘dry clean only’ and it’s too much effort to figure out if there’s another way. Commit to fixing up and laundering these things yourself. Your Electrolux washing machine’s smart functions and material-specific cycles will help.
Our Commitment to Better Living:
As part of Electrolux’s Better Living program – four big goals for 2030 – they’re committed to making sustainable eating the preferred choice, clothes last twice as long with half the environmental impact, homes healthier and more sustainable through innovative air, water and flooring solutions, and for their business to be circular and climate neutral. Find out more information at www.betterlivingprogram.com/bl-2030/en.
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