Six Steps to Extending the Life of Clothes

Each year around the world, about 92 million tonnes of textiles is thrown to landfill. This is the equivalent of a garbage truck full of clothes every SECOND!

This issue has so many moving parts so today we'll just look at how to make the clothes you do buy (or procure in some other way) last longer.

Step 1 - Only buy clothes you absolutely love so you'll want to wear them all the time until they wear right out!

Step 2 - Buy clothes that are well made. Check stitching, fabric quality, cords, elastics, zippers and reinforcing in high wear areas such as knees, elbows and butts. Learn from previous purchases about brand durability

Step 3 - Wear them for their intended purpose but treat them well when washing and drying. Some fabrics and clothing components, such as elastics, degrade quicker when left in the sun or given a workout in the tumble dryer

Step 4 - Protect them from mould and insects by keeping your wardrobe or storage place well ventilated and free of pesky silverfish or mice.

Step 5 - Repair your clothing when it shows signs of wear. This could be loose stitching, a missing button or worn holes.

Step 6 - Change your perspective of your loved piece of clothing if the repair means a patch or changing its appearance. Because you've bought an item that you love and don't want to part with until its threadbare, get creative and make your repair job a quirky improvement. (Don't do what my grandmother did as a surprise to my favourite acid wash jeans when I was teenager and put a big dark denim patch on the crotch and leg bottoms to address the trendy holes.)

As inspiration, I enjoyed the story of Patagonia's mobile repair unit that took their Worn Wear (#wornwear) service to the towns of America. They already had a 45 person team repairing arguably the best quality outdoor gear on the planet for customers that wouldn't let go of their favourite jacket or pants or shirt. Their hand crafted van attracted discovered people and stories that confirmed they were on the right track.

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