5 easy ways to reduce textile waste

Button down shirts hanging out of a washing machine

If you're feeling inspired coming out of Earth Month while simultaneously feeling overwhelmed, you're not alone! Try focusing on the smaller, more achievable things that you can do for the Earth. Remember, making mindful changes to your routines counts as taking action!

Since we look at things through the lens of garment care on this blog, here are a handful of easy things that you can do at home to reduce the amount of textile waste going to landfill:

1. Think carefully about buying new things

If a label says 'hand wash only' do you think you might toss the item in the washer, damaging the fabric? Would you give up on care after a few uses, relegating pieces to the donate pile? Would you keep microfiber pollution in mind when caring for synthetic materials? Make an effort to only buy things that you can realistically care for.

2. Treat your stains ASAP

Stains happen to the best of us, but once they set, we're less inclined to wear garments again (especially if the stain is in a visible area). Grab a stain stick or spray and pre-treat stains ASAP. The sooner you do it, the better your chances are of stains washing out.

A hand spraying stain spray onto coffee stained fabric

3. Wash less often, choose cold water & low heat

If something's dirty, by all means wash it. But if you think you can still get another wear, use a steamer or air it out to freshen it up. On wash day, choose cold water and low heat dry when loads aren’t heavily soiled. These settings are less harsh on fabrics and conserve energy. Bonus points for line drying!

4. Freshen up fabrics, mend holes & sew on buttons

Don't get rid of clothes, pillow cases and more because they have pilling (fuzz balls on the surface of fabric from wear and friction). Instead, de-pill or shave the fabric to refresh surfaces! Do some invisible or visible mending on holes and sew buttons back on. Et voilà! Your items will look brand new.

Components of a sewing kit laid out on an orange surface

5. Give your investment pieces a long life

Your clothes, bedding and home decor don't have to be expensive, but they should serve you well, fit your lifestyle and make you feel good. Curate mindfully and care for each piece in the best way possible so that you can enjoy them for many years to come.

Words by Mutia Adisoma
Photos by Alex Mill, Heidi's Bridge and Gerald Riedler

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