How you care for clothes seems to be a topic for discussion, especially with Stella McCartney saying “if you don’t absolutely have to clean anything, don’t clean it,”
How you care for your clothes has a significant impact on how long your clothing lasts, which ultimately impacts the environment and even your wallet.
When we created the Asmuss care labels, we wrote: “care for the earth and don’t over wash this garment”. We showed it to a friend who wasn’t sure that there was such a thing as over-washing or even what over-washing was. So we get it that you might find it a bit odd not to wash clothes after every wear.
Here is why reducing the amount you wash a garment is not only good for your clothes & you, but it is good for the environment.
One direct benefit of not washing your clothes after every wear is that you give yourself that little bit more time to get out there & have amazing experiences. Especially important when you’re travelling.
Not over washing our clothes means that you can save on money on energy, dry cleaning and laundry costs while you travel.
Washing your clothes less frequently will also allow your clothing to last longer, so you don’t have to buy replacements.
Less washing means you reduce your energy usage, especially if when you do a load of laundry, it is a cold wash.
Reducing the frequency of washes will also help reduce the number of microfibres end up in our oceans. The average UK household does five loads of washing every week, and every load of washing can shed up to 70,000 microfibres. (There are a couple of other ways to help reduce the number of microfibres that get into our waterways mentioned below).
How to wash clothes less
Orsola de Castro, a co-founder of sustainable fashion organisation Fashion Revolution, suggests “refreshing, sponging, brushing, airing and steaming” as steps to be taken before washing clothing.
Airing clothes is an excellent way of getting rid of odours without needing to wash them. The easiest way to do so is to hang clothes up as soon as they’ve been taken off. Letting the air circulate around the fibres of the fabric helps keep things fresh. Asmuss has used fabrics that have antibacterial properties, so airing our garments should always be the preference over washing.
As someone that doesn’t enjoy ironing, I have recently discovered the benefits of steaming. Especially as it helps extend the time between washes as steaming can kill bacteria on the clothes. Steaming is faster, easier & gentler on the clothing and if you are anything like me much less likely to get creases in the wrong places.
Several products on the market refresh garments. We haven’t tried these ourselves but let us know if you have a favourite natural product that you’d recommend.
If you do have a stain on your clothes, you could try a little bit of vinegar or bicarbonate of soda on a sponge and dab the stain out. For grease stains, try talcum powder and leave overnight to soak if stubborn. You might want to test this on somewhere inconspicuous if the fabric is delicate.
When in doubt, a quick sniff can determine the need for a wash.
Cold Washing Asmuss
When you do have to wash your Asmuss garments, we recommend washing them on a cold wash. This is because almost all of the energy used in a wash is to heat the water.
Washing clothes on cold will extend their life and release fewer microfibres as hotter washes wear out the fibres in a fabric.
Microfibres can be created when non-bio based man-made fabrics are washed (up to 700,000 per wash). Washing on cold will limit this, but we’d recommend the use of a Guppy Friend wash bag (which we use ourselves) or a Cora Ball (haven’t tested this out yet so we’d be interested in hearing about how effective they are).
Other benefits of washing clothes on cold are:
- Delicate, dark & brightly coloured clothing lasts better in a cold wash.
- Less shrinkage, fading of clothes.
- Some stains, such as sweat, set in a hotter wash.
- A cold wash will reduce the number of wrinkles in clothing (especially when combined with lower spin speeds).
To reduce the need for washing, dry cleaning or warm washes Asmuss:
- Has used fabrics that have antibacterial properties so that your clothing will stay fresh smelling for longer.
- Has used 37.5 Technology to help regulate your body temperature to help reduce any sweating.
- Don’t require dry-cleaning of garments. All Asmuss designs can be machine, or hand washed to reduce dry cleaning chemical use.
- Can be washed on cold or 30°C, whichever is the lowest temperature your washing machine goes to.
- Are quick drying so can be line dried. Asmuss garments should not be tumble dried.
We hope this helps makes caring for your clothes easier & gives you more time to experience the world while stepping lightly on it.