It’s great to see that more and more of us are starting to make sustainable choices when buying a new piece of clothing. And that’s great news and already makes a big difference compared to purchasing conventional clothes.
But thinking in terms of sustainability doesn’t stop with purchasing a product that is sustainably made. This is only one part of it. What is also extremely important is how we take care of our clothes, sustainable ones or not, as this determines in a big way how long we can and want to use them.
Think of your newly acquired sustainable piece of clothing (or in our case - activewear) as a golden piece of jewelry you’ve been given. Now, would you treat it with utmost care to make sure it stays beautiful and well for as long as possible?
For many of us it’s even our mobile phones or cars - we take good care of them, repair them, guard them to make sure nothing can break them.
Now, let’s try to apply our “caring mindset” also to our clothes. Imagine the money you could save, and the benefits for our planet, if we would start buying less often because our clothes last longer as we take better care of them.
Frankly, it’s not so easy to have this mindset when you can buy clothes for 5 euro nowadays - a mobile phone certainly costs more. But here’s the catch: Often, we buy a huge amount of cheap clothing of poor quality that we replace very often. In the end, we pay more for buying a lot of cheap clothes (and doing more harm to our planet and the people making our clothes!) instead of getting a few high quality pieces that can last us much longer - and, let’s be honest, we also feel much better in.
To help you make most of your clothes and activewear, we gathered five easy tips that will help you take good care of your clothes in an earth-friendly way. The good news - it will benefit both our wallets and mother Earth.
1. Choose the right fabrics, wash less and air-dry more (but avoid direct sunlight)
We’re made to believe that we need to wash our clothes, and especially our workout clothes, after every we time we use them.
There are certainly some clothes with certain fabrics that smell bad very quickly, such as synthetic ones that are made out of polyester or nylon. But here comes the good news - by choosing fabrics with materials that naturally don’t develop odor and bacteria growth (bad odor comes from lots of bacteria being on your clothes as you can read here!), you can avoid having to wash your clothes every time.
Tencel is such fabric that naturally inhibits bacteria and odor growth - which is great especially when using it for sports. By choosing Tencel instead of synthetics like polyester you won’t need to wash your clothes so often. Instead, hang them to air-dry after use. Make sure you don’t dry your clothes in direct sunlight though as this can lead to bleach and discoloration of your garments.
The upside? This way you save precious water (the average laundry machine uses 50 liters of water and more per washing cycle) and you can use your money that goes into paying for water and energy for something else.
2. Check the care label and follow the instructions carefully
It sounds so obvious, but still many of us actually never check the care label of our garments. And all too often we are surprised if our newly acquired and perhaps even expensive piece of clothing looks like it is 100 years old just after a short period of time.
A major reason for this “bad surprise” is that we don’t follow the instructions listed on the garment care label, and instead follow our usual washing habits.
If you take only one piece of advice from this article, it’s this - read and follow the instructions on the care label. It’s that simple. Your garment, your wallet and our planet will thank you for it.
Some sustainable care tips that apply for most garments including the Tripulse activewear:
- Don’t bleach to avoid color loss
- Don’t tumble-dry as this can literally destroy the garments (such as removing prints, above-normal shrinkage, high amount of pilling and more) and is energy intense
- Wash your clothes in rather cool temperatures and never wash in higher temperatures than the one listed on the care label. The lower the temperature, the more energy we can save, and unless your clothes are visibly very dirty, there is no need to wash at high temperatures
- Wash inside out with like colors to avoid coloring from other garments with different colors
- Use mild detergent and no fabric softener and choose one that is Earth- and health-friendly as many detergents include lots of harmful substances
For our Tripulse activewear we wanted to make it easy for you to learn more about how to take care of our clothes. So we put a digital QR code on each product care label that you can find on the inside of each garment and that you can simply scan with your phone. It will then bring you to an exclusive product website that includes everything you need to know about this product including tips and tricks for product care. So make sure to scan it and read through it.
3. Store your clothes in a dry place and avoid exposure to direct sunlight
Garments can easily absorb moisture which can lead to mold so make sure you always keep them in a dry place.
Avoid storing your clothes in a place with direct sunlight as this can lead to decoloring over time.
4. Mend your clothes
There comes a time in the life of your garment when you’ll discover perhaps a small hole or any other imperfection which hasn’t been there before. And that’s also totally normal, especially when you used the garment a lot, as this is part of the usual wear and tear. In human terms we call it “aging”.
But there is no need to immediately buy a new piece of clothing or throw away your old one. After all, would you do that to your phone, car or beautiful piece of jewelry?
Instead, if you don’t know how to, learn how to mend your clothes, or bring them to your local tailor who can do it for you. The price is often minimal and you’ll save a lot of money instead of buying a new garment. Make sure you don’t wait with the repair until the damage has gotten too big and act fast.
A nice side effect - mending your clothes makes you appreciate and value them even more.
After all - the journey of a garment is incredible and involves lots of resources, precious human labor that spans across countries and sometimes even continents. Let’s honor the work that has gone into making your garment (though many times the price doesn’t reflect it), and let’s try to extend the life span of our clothes as much as possible.
5. Swap, give away, sell, bring to local garment recycling station, or compost
Should there be a time where you perhaps got tired of wearing the same piece of clothing for a very long time and want to have a fresh new look, then this can be the time for you to swap your clothes with a friend, to donate it to e.g. a local charity, or sell it through one of the many second-hand online shops. The important thing is not to throw it in the bin and aim to extend the life of your garment as much as possible. Why? Because keeping it in use is one of the most sustainable ways to care for your garment and supports our Earth.
But there can be a time that we have used our clothes so much that they are actually completely worn out and no longer usable. In that case, make sure you dispose of your garment in the right way - give it to your local garment recycling station who then decides how to treat your garment in the best way (e.g. to make new clothes out of it or “down-cycle” the fabric for other usage such as insulation material). In some cases and depending on the fabric, you might even be able to compost it. Natural fabrics like Tencel are biodegradable and compostable meaning that you might be able to compost it in your garden. They don’t have harmful microplastics that don’t decompose for centuries and so are lighter on our planet. check….Before you do that, make sure you understand how to compost items in the right way.
These five tips will hopefully help you take care of your clothes and activewear in the right way so that they will be your long-term companion.
It’s simple things that each and everyone of us can do. Now it’s up to us to apply them and to give our clothes a longer, better life - keeping them beautiful while doing our Earth and wallet a huge favor.
Let’s give our clothes and activewear the love they deserve.