This July, we have teamed up with BLANC to help you care for your clothes and give them the long life they deserve. As the country’s leading aftercare specialist, it's fair to say they know a thing or two about how to care for clothes, and have shared the ABC of how to care for your clothes in a sustainable way and make them last.
Why should we care about aftercare?
Many elements contribute to the high environmental impact that the fashion industry has on the planet and its finite resources. Mainstream brands are increasingly concerned about this impact and we can see more and more sustainable fashion brands emerging, as well as some collectives & charities taking care of recycling or giving a second life to clothes.
However the consumer use phase (where clothes are worn, washed, dried, ironed, etc.) happening in the middle is often overlooked, even though it represents a third of the overall fashion environmental footprint and 20% of its carbon emissions... The good news is that this is the part of the garment’s lifespan which you can actually have an effect on. Because any fashion can become fast fashion if it’s not cared for properly.
What you can do to reduce your fashion footprint
Alter, mend, repair
Not wearing a given piece because it doesn’t fit quite right, or just because a hem or a button is missing is something we can all relate to. It may seem simple, but this stage is often overlooked by many! Something that our grandparents’ generations got very right, if you ask us - stitching up a hole or mending a button is both very simple and effective, plus the positive environmental knock-on effect is huge (it can take up to 20,000 litres to make a pair of jeans from scratch).
Mending, patching and wear and tear, shouldn’t be viewed as imperfection either - it can often add a beautiful, unique feature to your garment that you wouldn’t get anywhere else. A true one-of-a-kind. If you need something a bit more complex, specific or just feel a little clueless as to where to begin (we get it!), we offer in-store fitting appointments at BLANC.
Buy less, choose well
Less is more! The first thing to do to avoid ending up with an overstuffed closet is to buy less, less often - to buy more consciously. One way to achieve this is to opt for more sustainable brands: more and more shops and platforms are dedicated to connecting people with brands that are making a positive difference. If you’re at a loss to discover which brands are genuinely sustainable and are avoiding greenwashing, look no further than platforms such as Good on You: this app allows you to easily check the impact of your favourite fashion brands on the issues you care about. They frequently deep dive into mainstream fashion brands, cut through the greenwashing jargon to analyse how ethical they really are, and most importantly offer great alternatives to the ones that don’t make the cut.
Whenever possible, choose natural fabrics over synthetic ones when shopping for new clothes. Linen, cotton, wool and silk all derive from plants and will (if produced without harmful chemicals) biodegrade more easily than petroleum-based synthetics such as polyester and nylon which are actually made of plastic. Choosing better materials is essential to transform this industry for the better. Quality over quantity - always!
Check your detergent labels
Checking labels for cosmetics and cleaning products that come into contact with our skin is essential. Conventional laundry products often contain optical whiteners, phosphates and other toxic additives which can cause algae blooms and negatively affect ecosystems and marine life. These chemicals make their way into groundwater and harm surrounding plant growth, but they can cause chemical reactions in our bodies, like asthma or skin irritation.
If you’re looking for something more natural, the Tangent GC Delicate Detergent with Yuzu is made from 100% natural substances and treats the cell structure of natural fabrics gently. For highly sensitive skins: try Bio D’s Fabric Conditioner, which leaves clothes soft, static-free and delicately fragranced and is perfectly suitable for sensitive skins. Finally, Attirecare's Crease Release spray to escape the tedious task of ironing. It is made from all-natural ingredients and magically leaves clothing crease-free, by simply spraying them after washing - a very clever time-saver.Dry cleaning: make the switch to eco cleaning
Professional cleaning is conventionally quite a toxic business and one thing to know about traditional dry cleaning is that it is neither dry nor clean: it consists of soaking clothes in a petroleum-based solvent called Perchloroethylene (“PERC”), which is then evaporated at very high temperatures. PERC is highly toxic for your health and for the environment. This chemical accounts for 80%-85% of all dry cleaning fluids used by conventional dry cleaners to clean garments, despite being a probable human carcinogen and being banned in many countries already.
So for the clothes that require a professional hand, quit the dry cleaner and look for a professional eco cleaner like BLANC! Unlike conventional dry cleaners, we only use eco-technologies (including wet cleaning and liquid CO2 cleaning, which are the most sustainable and health-friendly methods of cleaning currently available) - gentle on textile fibres, yet efficient on stains. Our process combines artisan care with expert tech to deliver a better quality clean and is kinder to your skin, your clothes and our planet.Eco up your laundry routine at home
Did you know that 90% of the energy used by a washing machine is used to heat up the water, and only 10% is used to power the motor?
Washing at 30°C or 40°C (often lower than stated on the care label) can help you save a lot of energy - not to mention that it will make your clothes last longer! High temperatures do not get on well with textile fibres and consistently wear them out. As for the drying, skip the tumble dryer and favour line drying: it will again save some energy and eliminate the heat and friction happening in the dryer which significantly reduces the clothes lifespan.
Another thing you can do for a more eco-friendly routine is to invest in a Guppy Friend Washing Bag. You might not know about it but every time you wash synthetic fabrics (such as polyester), they release thousands of tiny microfibres. They go down our drains and eventually end up in our oceans and waterways. Clothes release half a million tonnes of microfibres into the ocean every year, equivalent to more than 50 billion plastic bottles - scary. The Guppyfriend washing bag is a scientifically approved solution against microplastic pollution that filters out even the tiniest microfibres that shed from our clothes when washing. The washing bags not only help to stop microplastic pollution but also protects and prolongs the life of your clothes.We hope that this has inspired you to give your wardrobe and new purchases some extra love, whilst reducing your environmental impact at the same time! If you need any aftercare help or advice, you can drop your clothes off at any BLANC London stores or book a home pickup and delivery online. We will help you prolong the life of your most beloved clothes, naturally, for many years to come.