It’s OK to Not Wash Your Clothes

Want to save the planet? Reduce how often you wash your clothes, you don’t need to wash your shirt that you wore for only one day. This is something you can start doing today to help make a better tomorrow.

When it comes to your wardrobe overall you can alter what clothes you buy to ensure that you barely need to do laundry at all. There are new companies and clothing lines that focus on making clothes which are designed to survive multiple wears without getting dirty. I think it would be great to never have to launder anything again!

Decades of marketing from the cleaning industry has conditioned many people to throw their clothes in the laundry after one day’s wear, even though this is rarely necessary. So one of the biggest challenges for brands pitching clothes that don’t need to be washed frequently is to convince people that they will not be gross, smelly, or dirty if they aren’t constantly doing loads of laundry.

Bishop, for his part, decided to create wool blends with other materials, including nylon and linen to achieve different effects. Synthetic fibers, for instance, are able to make clothes more durable because they are hardier. This was a difficult decision, because while wool and other natural fibers are biodegradable, nylon, polyester, and other synthetics are plastic-based so they will not decompose, but sit in landfills forever. “We had some difficult decisions to make when it came to sustainability,” Bishop says. “But we decided that our goal as a brand was to make it easier for people to own fewer clothes, and keep them for longer. So we decided to incorporate synthetics.”

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Stopping Microfibres from Entering our Ecosystem

The impact that microfibres have on our environment are little known, but new research is coming out that makes microfibres look almost as bad as microbeads (which have been banned in a lot of places). Thankfully people are already working on solutions from better clothing processing to filters put on laundry machines. For now, the best thing you can do to alleviate additional pressure on the environment from your fashion choices is to simple buy less clothing.

Jollimore’s Lint luv-r could be a key weapon of defence against microfibres. After an ecologist in California first documented the pollutant as a global problem in 2011, several researchers became interested in testing Jollimore’s filter. (One test is showing it can catch over 80 percent of fibres.) Ross’s team is studying filters, including the Lint luv-r, as viable household solutions, and conducting a kind of forensic analysis on microfibre samples—matching a single fibre to its source. “I liken it to studying snowflakes,” he says. “We’re not talking about a chemical that we can measure in the lab.” Although the study of microfibres is still in early stages, the fact that our clothing could be poisoning waterways around the world would be an enormous hurdle for a clothing industry that has faced immense criticism over its lack of environmental responsibility.

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