5 Ways to Extend the Life of a Garment

We know you care about your clothes. They are an investment and, like any good investor, you want to make the most of your money. That’s just good business! However, extending the life of clothes is not only about getting to spend more time with that neon skirt you love so much or the lovely vintage blouse you have from your mother. It is also about protecting the environment and saving money.

The fashion industry takes a toll on the environment and accounts for 10% of global carbon emissions. The production, manufacturing, and transportation of clothes generate a lot of greenhouse gasses while the synthetic fibers used to create many of our clothes are derived from fossil fuel.

Aya Morrison is aware of all this and so much more and has pledged to be an environmentally responsible company. Our team practices sustainable and ethical fashion and uses natural and recycled fabrics to create fashionable pieces that can be worn again and again if cared for properly. Learn how to extend the life of your clothes and be fashionable by being sustainable.

1. Read the label

The label is key to understanding how to properly take care of clothing. After all, it is called a “care label” for a reason. Make sure you read it properly and follow the instructions if you want to prolong the life of your garments. Proper care is the first step towards clothes that feel and look new for a longer time. If you read the care instructions carefully, you will get all the information you need about the fabric content and wash recommendations. You will learn an awful lot about what garments should be washed on delicate, cold, or other washing machine cycles. Moreover, it will help you identify what clothes need to be taken to the dry cleaner instead of being thrown into the washing machine and what garments should be kept away from the dryer.

It also is useful to know that washing different fabrics together is not the best idea. You probably already sort your clothes based on their colors but you should also try taking into account their fabric. It is never a good idea to wash jeans together with your delicate clothing or have athletic garments with tea towels and bedding. Respect the recommended temperatures to make sure you avoid the spread of bacteria and avoid damaging the fabric.

2. Wash only when necessary

Don’t wash your clothes after just one wear. For example, jeans certainly shouldn’t be washed if you’ve worn them only for a couple of hours. Now, we don’t suggest walking around with dirty clothes but think twice before deciding if a sweater or a pair of pants need to be thrown into the washing machine. The washing process is not gentle on your clothes regardless of the cycle selected. As long as a piece of clothing is tumbling inside the machine and exposed to hot water, its life cycle is shortened and the process has an impact on the quality of the fabric.

Washing your garments often will eventually lead to discoloration, shrinking, and even stretching beyond repair. Moreover, it will add up to your electricity bill and have an environmental impact in the long term. Most of your clothes like sweaters, cardigans, jeans, and skirts may benefit greatly from simply airing them out for a while instead of constantly washing them. Just use wire hangers or a few hooks to air them for 24 hours and your garments will be odor-free and ready to be worn again.  If you have to wash them, try using cold water and a mild detergent. This combination will protect the fibers over time and prolong their life.


3. Avoid the dryer

Air dry your clothes whenever possible! The sun does a much better job at drying your clothes than a dryer and helps you save energy, care for your clothing, and reduce the impact on the environment. Use hangers, a clothesline, or a drying rack and expose your clothes to the power of the sun. Direct sunlight will do your garments well, add a touch of freshness, and help you prevent your clothes from shrinking, fading, and falling apart.

The heat of a dryer will eventually damage the clothes even if they are made from quality materials. Delicate fabrics are the ones that suffer the most under the merciless hands of the dryer while elastic activewear will soon lose its elasticity and eventually its use. If you dry your clothes outside make sure you remember to turn your garments inside out before exposing them to sunlight because colors tend to fade in the face of a brightening sun, especially in the summer.

4. Skip the bleach

We know it’s easy to just add bleach to your load of clothes or pour it directly on the stain but bleach will harm your clothes. Think about it! You use it because it is very effective on various stains and it does such a good job of brightening and whitening your garments. While its chemical ingredients will be able to remove the stain of wine or blood from your clothes, they will also affect the fabric and damage the clothing. Instead of using bleach, you can use baking soda for white clothes and/or vinegar for the removal of stains. Furthermore, it has been proven that vinegar is a great fabric softener.

To make sure your stain will not affect your clothes long-term, act fast! Stains are unavoidable but if you postpone washing your clothes they may also be permanent. Treat the stain as soon as possible with a stain removal pen. If you don’t have a stain treatment at hand, you can always try rinsing the stain with cold water and treat the stain as soon you get home and have access to a stain remover.

sewing kit

5. Mend your clothes

No, mending is not passé. Aya Morrison and many fashion brands believe that mending is the newest trend in fashion. And we hope it is here to stay! Whether you go to your local tailor or learn basic mending yourself, your clothes deserve a new chance at life. A small imperfection like a rip or overuse should no longer be a reason to throw away clothing. Consumers are now encouraged to mend their clothing by themselves or sustain the business of local tailors by bringing them more work.

Simple repairs will not take away from the design but enrich it with a new personality. Mended clothes are not defective clothes. Whether you have them stitched or patched, they will become a visual asset and a statement of your dedication to sustainability and protecting the environment. The same goes for shoes. Local cobblers can’t wait to breathe new life into a pair of old shoes and put their skills to good use. When made from quality materials and exposed to expert craftsmanship, shoes and clothing can enjoy long journeys if they are properly cared for.

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