40 ways to keep your clothes looking amazing

I’ve learned that striving for sustainable fashion involves a lot more than just buying from eco-fashion brands. It starts with making the most of the clothes you already have and that includes making them last longer.

My own style of dressing is fairly minimalist, in the main just leveraging plain staple items. For that reason, I shouldn’t have the need to be constantly buying clothes. I’ve figured out, however, that a good percentage of my clothes purchasing is to replace clothes that are looking worn and faded or have lost their shape. This is costing me money as well as damaging the environment with a continuous purchasing cycle.

Same for you? What can we do about it? Well, I sent a couple of days trying to read everything I could about how to make clothes longer. This is what I learned:

The 40 tips!

  1. Wash your clothes less often. This is the number one tip that I found everywhere. Other than underwear, you don’t need to wash everything after one wear
  2. Buy higher quality clothing
  3. Don’t dry-clean frequently
  4. Don’t overload your washing machine
  5. Wash at lower temperatures
  6. Use less detergent in your washing
  7. Wash inside out to preserve colour
  8. Avoid the tumble dryer, use a clothes-horse or washing line
  9. Store clothes somewhere cool and dry
  10. Fold knitwear, don’t hand them
  11. Use better quality wooden hangars
  12. Use the right settings on your iron for the garment you’re ironing
  13. Follow the laundry label instructions
  14. Iron inside out
  15. Handwash jumpers and delicates
  16. Treat stains quickly
  17. Sort your laundry into groups before washing
  18. Button and zip fastenings before washing so that they don’t snag other clothes
  19. Don’t overpack your wardrobe, gives clothes room to breathe
  20. Try steaming your clothes rather than ironing
  21. Keep shoes in dust bags
  22. Don’t keep clothes in plastic dry-cleaning covers
  23. Don’t dry dark colours in direct sunlight
  24. Stuff shoes with tissue paper to keep their shape
  25. Spot clean stains rather than washing the whole garment
  26. Use wooden shoe trees to maintain shape
  27. If wooden shoe trees would be too expensive, stuff your shoes with newspaper between use
  28. Rotate your shoes. Don’t wear the same pair every day
  29. Polish leather shoes. Use waterproof spray on suede.
  30. Replace soles before they wear too much and damage the rest of the shoe
  31. Clean white marks on leather shoes with distilled white vinegar on a cotton bud
  32. Avoid putting shoes by a radiator to dry them out
  33. Don’t just pile shoes on top of each other. Keep them in boxes, a rack or show organiser
  34. Dry woollens flat in their natural shape
  35. Dress according to your activity. If you’re doing something that’s likely to generate a mess, wear old clothes (this is fairly obvious but nonetheless a good reminder to me!)
  36. Use a stain remover pen to spot clean rather than washing the whole item
  37. Shower regularly and use deodorant. If you smell better, so will your clothes and hence they’ll need less washing.
  38. Check the furniture you use regularly, like your office chair or desk and consider how they’re rubbing on your clothing (e.g. shirt cuffs on the edge of a desk). Adjust position to compensate.
  39. Wear an apron when cooking! Again obvious, but I never do that!
  40. Moths are apparently on the increase in the UK! Keep moths away from your wardrobe; clean your wardrobe out regularly and hang dried lavender bags.

So there you go! Forty ways to reduce the need to buy as much clothing. What do you think? Are these practical? Are there any other tips that I’ve missed?

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