If you take good care of your clothes, they'll take care of you!  

Fast fashion brands produce around 52 “micro seasons” a yearthat’s a collection per week, which means we’re under pressure to constantly buy more. Clothes made at this speed are often made with less care because they aren’t intended to be worn more than a few times.  

Whilst buying less is always better for the environment, sometimes we do need to buy something new to replace the old or fill a gap in our wardrobe. Tired of clothes which fade, shrink or fall apart after just a few wears? Here are 5 ways to make sure your clothes last longer.  

 1) Feel before you buy

Whether you’ve ordered your clothing online or you’re looking at it in the shop, take some time to have a look and feel the item before committing it to your wardrobe. Now, we’re not suggesting you go full on detective, but it is worth giving clothes a closer inspection. There are a few things you can look out for that can indicate clothing was made with a bit more care, with the intention that it will last longer as a result. They’re often more common with smaller, independent retailers and makers. 

Here are some of the best things to look for:  

  • Spare buttons
    You know those buttons that come attached to the care label? These mean that the designer intends for your item to last long enough to need a few repairs. 
  • Metal zipper
    This is a specific one, but metal zippers are more hard to wear down than plastic ones, so are less likely to break.
  • Responsibly sourced, natural fibres
    Fabrics like organic cotton or linen are less likely to pile quickly or shrink in the wash. Check what your fabric your garment is made out of by looking at the care label. 
  • Good stitching  
    Have a look at the stitching and the seams. If it’s already starting to fray before you’ve worn it, then that’s a sign that it’s not going to last very long. 
  • Patterns 
    Getting a new striped top? If the patterns don’t match up at the seams, the maker probably hasn’t taken a lot of time to consider the quality of the item.  
  • Hold it up to the light 
    Ever ordered that pair of trousers you’ve had your eye on for a while, only to realise that your underwear is a bit more visible than you bargained for? Yeah, us too. No matter the fabric, if you’re not going for a sheer look then light shouldn’t be able to pass through it. Hold the fabric under a light and if you can see your hand outline through it, this means that it’ll probably be fairly see-through in most lights. No one wants to have to go looking for a special pair of VPLless, nude underwear just so they can wear one pair of trousers. 

2) Store carefully

Lavender is a great natural moth repellant, so leave dried sachets or cotton balls dipped in lavender essential oil near clothes that are being packed away for a while (such as your winter coats over warmer months). It will also make your wardrobes smell lovely! Store woolen items in cardboard or wooden boxes, not plastic. Why? Plastic can turn pure wool yellow. 

3) Fold your knitwear

Always try to fold your knitwear, not hang it! Hanging your jumpers wrecks the knit and makes it stretch. It'll last loads longer folded and laid flat. 

 4) Learn to repair 

FYO. Fix Your Own. Try fixing zips and broken hems. You don’t need to chuck your clothes away, instead load up a YouTube tutorial and buy a new zip for 50p, or if you don't trust your sewing skills, your local launderette or tailor shop will usually be happy to take on small fixes. Thumbtack is a website that helps find local seamstresses near you. 

If a hole is too big to darn or fix, make it the feature! Patch it! You can create amazing patches and make a flaw a feature.  

 5) Be wary of washes

If you can, air your clothes to get another wear out of themWhen you do wash them, wash at 30degC and on gentler cycles to help them last longer. What to know more laundry tips on protecting your clothes and using less water? Here are 5 tips which will help.  

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