WEARITENDLESSLY min
21 Sep 2021

HOW TO MAKE CLOTHES LAST

Reading about sustainability can often feel like you’re ploughing through statistic after statistic. It’s overwhelming, we get it. That said, they can be pretty damn useful sometimes. For example: in 2017 WRAP found that around £140 million worth of used but still wearable clothing goes to landfill in the UK every year. Yeah, it’s shocking. But with fast fashion and micro-trends coming from every angle, it’s not really hard to see why. So how do we change this? One: rent pieces. Wear that trendy dress, then give it back for someone else to love. Easy. And number two: make the clothing you decide to keep forever actually last. 

That jumper with a hole in it and that skirt with a massive stain? They don’t have to be destined for the bin. You know that feeling when you’ve drunk one smoothie and gone on a fifteen minute run? That feeling of rebirth, reinvigoration and revival? Clothes have that too. Here’s Endless Wardrobe’s 2021 update on Make, Do and Mend...

BE SAVVY WITH WASHING

Although it’s tempting to just bung everything in the washing machine, there are alternatives that are actually more eco-friendly and better for your clothes. If you were a wooly jumper (stay with us) would you want to be shoved into a machine, pushed and pulled about and be at risk of losing your colour and elasticity? Probably not. Try spot cleaning those stubborn stains and freshening up any pieces by having them join you in a hot, steamy shower. It sounds kind of romantic, they’ll be wrinkle free and you’ll cut down on some of the water a washing machine uses. When you do use the washing machine, try washing on a cooler temperature, using less detergent and use a drying rack rather than the energy intensive (and clothes shrinking) tumble dryer.

STORE CLOTHES PROPERLY

Okay, we’re gonna hit you with home truths. It’s easier to store clothes if there’s less of them. I know, big sigh. But it will do you good to have a declutter every now and then. Like you after a long day at the office, clothes need space to breathe. The better they’re stored, the less ironing you’ll have to do too. It’s a win-win. Invest in some garment bags for your fave pieces to prevent damage from sunlight and those prevent pesky moths having a nibble. If moths are a particularly nuisance, a lump of cedarwood is a great natural alternative to chemical moth repellents. 

SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESSES

Broken zip? Dropped hemline? You’ll be surprised at how many easy fixes there are for pieces you thought we’re destined for the bin by simply taking them to your local tailor or using an app like Sojo London. It’s also more affordable than buying something new to replace these pieces. The best thing of all? You’re supporting small local businesses. Tailors are also great when your clothes are needing a bit of a revamp. If you went hard on the maxi-dress trend and are now looking at your collection of full-length gowns with complete confusion, take them to the tailors and get them taken up. A complete wardrobe freshen up that’s particularly useful as the seasons change. 

You’ll be surprised at how many easy fixes there are for pieces you thought we’re destined for the bin by simply taking them to your local tailor.

GET CREATIVE

A better way of giving into the micro-trends that dominate fast fashion and our Instagram feeds? Do it on an old crusty t-shirt instead. Take the obsession with tie-dye for example: rather than going out and buying a load of tie-dye pieces that you’ll get bored with in a few weeks, get some dyes and some string and have a go yourself. Rather than going all Art Attack and making a rainbow tie-dye mess that you’ll never wear, find a way of doing it that aligns with your style. Take inspo from style queen Devon Lee Carlson or recreate those coveted Realisation Par tie-dye dresses.

Devonleecarlson

Devonleecarlson

If there’s a particular colour you’re seeing on those insta IT-girls that you want to recreate, dye a load of those faded and stained white t-shirts you’re hanging onto using a fabric dye that you simply chuck in the washing machine. If you want to be super eco-conscious, do a bit of research into natural dyes.

You could also give up-cycling a go. Head to Youtube and find a creator that’s up-cycling clothes in a way that fits with your style. While the increased accessibility of fashion may give way to certain fast fashion trends, it’s also created a wealth of content to combat that.

Head to Youtube and find a creator that’s up-cycling clothes in a way that fits with your style. While the increased accessibility of fashion may give way to certain fast fashion trends, it’s also created a wealth of content to combat that.

KNOW WHEN TO ADMIT DEFEAT

If you’ve come to the conclusion that some of your clothing might not be for you, donate it to a local charity shop (providing it’s in good condition) or sell it on Depop. This way it can start a new life with someone else. You also won’t become any less of an eco-warrior if you let that hole-ridden, completely stained jumper finally be put to rest. What’s important is taking that piece of clothing to it’s next life phase responsibly. Either find your local textile recycling centre or do a bit of research into local high-street shops that might be accepting clothing donations. M&S recently partnered with Oxfam to launch Shwop, an initiative encouraging customers to donate pre-loved items to the Shwop box in their local M&S. All the clothing goes to Oxfam where it will either be resold or recycled and made into new fabric fibres. If you won’t be heading out anytime soon, have a gander on websites like Freecycle. People may want to come and collect your old fabric to repurpose into something else. 

You also won’t become any less of an eco-warrior if you let that hole-ridden, completely stained jumper finally be put to rest. What’s important is taking that piece of clothing to it’s next life phase responsibly.

Next time a hole appears in your favourite jumper? Don’t panic. Get creative instead. And while you’re turning an old t-shirt into an elaborate bag, swearing under your breath and resolving to never do this again, grab a drink and head to Endless Wardrobe to take the edge off things. 

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