Taking care of technical clothing is not hard and if you wash them the right way, you can significantly extend the lifetime of your garments. You can bring your favorite garments on more adventures and at the same time you reduce your overall environmental impact. What else can one ask for?
An important part of a textile product’s total environmental impact is related to how long the product can be used before it is worn out, how well it has been taken care of and finally, what happens to it when it can no longer be used for its original purpose. Actually, prolonging the lifetime of a garment by two will decrease its climate impact by 49 %*. So a good place to start is to choose clothing that is durable, timeless and made from recycled and/or recyclable fibers.
Then, the way you take care of your clothes whilst you are wearing them also makes a big difference. Not only for the environment, but also for the performance of your products. Cutting back on how frequently we use our washing machines is a huge win for our garments as well as for the environment.
Cutting back on how frequently we use our washing machines is a huge win for our garments as well as for the environment.
There are a number of environmentally certified detergents and cleansers available that reduce the impact of washing on the environment. How full a washing machine or dryer is plays the greatest role on the consumption of energy, water and detergent. In small households it can be difficult to fill a machine, and the washing instructions of many garments recommend to “wash separately”.
Remember to introduce heat to the garment after washing to reactivate the water resistant surface.
Avoid to use fabric softener. They have a negative impact on the garments performance and our environment. The fabric softener leaves a coating on the fibers of the garment, which affects the moisture transportation and breathability of the garment. Some of the substances in fabric softener are hard to break down for nature and harm water living organisms. They also contain perfumes and substances that can cause allergic reactions.
Make sure that zippers are zipped and velcro closures closed when washing. This will minimize the risk that fabrics get caught on sharp edges during the wash and begin to pill. A washing bag such as GuppyFriend in our webshop, will protect all fabrics and garments from being torn or stretched out in the washing machine. It will also limit microfiber leakage in the washing process, which means preventing microplastics from entering into rivers and oceans.
Most outer garments, especially shell layers and insulation garments, have DWR treatments - durable water repellency. The purpose of these is to make the outer fabric water resistant. When it wears off after a few seasons, the outer fabric of your shell layer will start to get wet even though the membrane will still keep water from passing through the garment. When this happens, you can re-apply the DWR with a wash-in product or a spray. You can buy OrganoTex, organic DWR, in the webshop or in our stores.
Clothing that is not very dirty can be aired out instead. Fresh air is good for both people and clothing.
We usually wash our clothes too much. Clothing that is not very dirty can be aired out instead. Fresh air is good for both people and clothing. It is often said that we spend more time doing laundry today than we did in the 1940s when washing machines were very rare.
Please contact us if you need more tips and advice on how to take care of your clothes in the best way for a long time. Visit our stores or reach out to us online to get help to repair garments, return them for recycling or purchase a washing bag and care products.
Download our Care Guide here
Long lasting products is at the heart of the Houdini design philosophy. If any part of your garment breaks before the garment itself is worn out, we will repair it for you free of charge.
Buy and sell used Houdini treasures in our Reuse sections. No clothes deserve to be abandoned. Give them a new chance instead.
* Sandin, et al. (2019). Environmental assessment of Swedish clothing comsumption: Six garments – sustainable futures. Mistra Future Fashion report series.