Society is currently in the middle of an interesting battle between fast fashion vs. environmentally conscious clothing. Our landfills are rapidly increasing due to the influx of clothing and it appears this problem is going to continue unless we do something about it.
According to P&G commissioned research, 39 percent of people planned to wear the last item of clothing they purchased more than 30 times, however, in reality, more than 40 percent throw away the item after less than 10 wears.
In addition to this, nearly 70 percent stated the main reason they throw away clothes is because the garment has lost its shape, faded or started to look old.
While we may be shocked to read these statistics, the reality is we’ve probably all been there at some point. You have high hopes for an item but after a few spins in the washing machine, it’s just not quite the same.
It is important to purchase quality pieces from the start; however, you also need to maintain and care for your clothing to ensure you’re getting the most wears as possible.
Taking this into consideration, it is important to remember uniforms are a little different to your casual clothing.
You probably spend more time in them than any other item of clothing in your wardrobe, so they need a little more extra loving care! By looking after your uniforms, you can ensure you get as many wears as possible which means you’re not only doing your bit to reduce environmental waste, you’re also saving money!
Check out these simple laundry hacks to ensure you get the most out of your uniforms.
Read Fabric Care Labels
Do you ever read the washing instructions on the labels of your clothes? Many people don’t. However, when they do, they’re usually surprised by the instructions as they nearly always list something that they would not have considered. Some items should only be washed in certain temperatures, others should only be air-dried. We suggest you read and follow the instructions on each garment. The manufacturers know what’s best for your items.
It’s common to claim a stain on your work uniform – it’s a sign of hard work! However, if you want the stain to come out, the sooner you tackle it the better. While it’s not practical to carry a bottle of stain remover with you at work, there are stain remover pens like this one which are easy to carry in your pocket or to stash in your work cubicle.
Separate Your Laundry
If you’re working in the health or beauty space, your uniform is probably exposed to several situations throughout the day that your casual wear isn’t. Where possible, we suggest not only separating your laundry colours into lights and darks, but also washing your uniform separately. They most likely have different washing instructions and it’s also important not to stuff too much into the washing machine – clothes need space.
If you have zips on your garments – uniforms or otherwise, zip them up beforehand so nothing else catches.
Try a Drying Rack
Sometimes, dryers can, funnily enough, be drying on clothes. Dryers can cause clothing to fade and over-drying can also cause shrinkage and warping. Try letting your clothes dry on a drying rack or on the line and see if that makes a difference.
Use Quality Hangers
Don’t underestimate the importance of quality clothes hangers! Have you ever had the experience of hanging up your clothes and then noticing odd marks in the corners where your hanger has been sitting? If you invest in quality hangers like these, you should avoid those strain marks on your clothing.
Care for Wool
If you’re hand-washing woollen items, we recommend turning the garment inside out and gently agitating the item in a tub of water with detergent appropriate for woollen items for around 10 minutes. This will simulate a top loading washing machine. Once washed, gently squeeze out the water with no twisting and give it a good rinse before squeezing again and lying flat on a screen.
If you’re machine washing, follow the fabric care label to a tee! Again, we suggest turning your items inside out to reduce the ‘fuzzy appearance’ that can sometimes occur with woollen items. It’s also important to consider the water temperature, cold water is usually best, and to avoid detergents that include enzymes as these detergents can damage wool.
Air drying your items is typically the best way to care for wool. A gentle squeeze to ring out excess water before lying flat is best.
Next time you’re purchasing a new uniform, consider using these laundry hacks from the beginning to ensure your items are treated with loving care from the beginning.
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