There is a lot of issues surrounding washing our clothes. It can be one the most wasteful processes in the household and make our clothes not last half as long. Here’s some facts for you:
- Up to 80% of your clothes’ environmental impact comes from washing them as it takes so much energy (Tree hugger)
- The average household uses 13,500 gallons of water a year on washing (Energy Star)
- Washing 6kg of clothes can result in anything between 137,951 fibers (for polyester-cotton clothes) to 728,789 fibers (for acrylic clothes) released as oceanic pollution. (Plymouth University)
- Detergents can be as harmful as cars in terms of air pollution as many are petroleum based. (University of boulder)
As well as the pollution, washing can often make our clothes not last as long. Washing machines may remove stains but often misshape garments and damage the fabric.
How to wash more sustainably
- Use washing bags to catch the microfibers
- Switch to organic, biodegradable detergents, read the label for petroleum and other harsh chemicals.
- Spot clean- one small stain doesn’t require the whole thing being washed.
- Don’t wash denim, it doesn’t like it, you can spot clean and air it as an alternative
- Think if the garment will like being spun around a washing machine, what will that do to the fabric?