5 Ways to Extend your Wardrobe's Lifespan

If you’re familiar with my Closet Detox Challenge, chances are that you’ve made sure that your wardrobe is filled with your best loved treasures that help you feel good, wear good, and do good. But once you’ve chosen the pieces that will fill your closet and won’t do harm, you’ll want to take good care of those pieces.

One of the things about the fashion industry as it currently exists that really bothers me is the lifespan of most clothes. And it probably won’t come as a surprise that most clothes have extremely short lifespans, especially where fast fashion is involved. These garments are based on quickly expiring trends and are not investment pieces, and so seams rip, colours fade and sweaters pill before you’re even over them. So it’s important not only to invest in quality when buying, but to take care of what you have.

Here are 5 ways to keep your faves looking fresh:

  1. Try a greener clean: 

    Green laundry care products are not only better for your health and the environment, they can also be more gentle on your clothes. Detergent that’s less harsh can result in softer clothes that don’t get dingy as fast. And dryer balls won’t leave behind the same clothes killing residue that fabric softener sheets do. Not down with the static that dryer balls can leave behind? Try a green static spray or some innovative fabric dryer sheets. Just be sure to follow all care instructions on the clothes’ labels.

  2. Steam when you can: 

    I personally love steaming over ironing because I find that it’s less abrasive on all clothes. And combining the Laundress’ Crease Release with my steamer makes it super quick and leaves clothes smelling amazing (bonus: some of those delicate fabrics can then be cleaned less often).

  3. Beware of the dry clean: 

    Conventional dry cleaning uses super harsh toxins to clean clothes that are not good for you, the environment, or the lifespan of your clothes. Luckily, more and more eco-friendly dry cleaners are cropping up all the time. A quick search will help you find one that’s local to you.

  4. Mend it: 

    Whether it’s a torn seam, lost button, or awful stain, there’s a lot that can be done with a piece that’s presumably had it before you toss it for good. Local tailors and cobblers can make your faves look brand new again, and even stains on faux leather bags and shoes can be removed with Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Pinterest is a great resources for troubleshooting your wardrobe when something goes wrong. And if it’s really beyond saving, taking pieces to a local seamstress for upcycling is always an option.

  5. Protect your clothes: 

    If you can afford it (full disclosure: I can’t!), invest in an HE washer that’s been designed without an agitator. And delicates (and anything that’s super special to you such as lace or anything with sequins attached), should be washed in mesh bags. Most of these bags of made of nylon or other polymers — which doesn’t exactly help with the microplastics problem. Organic cotton bags that were designed for produce can be used instead, although really (any Etsy makers reading?!) these should ideally have zippers for use with laundry. If you’ve ever come across anything like that, leave your resources in the comments below!

    Tips to Make your Clothes Last Longer

And leave any other laundry care tips that you’ve found handy. I’m always looking for ways to better care for my treasures!