We’ve teamed up with BLANC, the eco-friendly garment care specialist, to help you eco-up your laundry routine. Here are their top eco washing tips to make your laundry days sustainable… because the first step to a sustainable wardrobe is to care for what you already have!
Sustainable, ethical fashion starts at home. How are you caring for the clothes in your wardrobe?
Hello, we are BLANC, a natural dry cleaning, tailoring and laundry service across London. We clean all clothes, even the most delicate ones, in a natural and sustainable way and want all your garments to live a long and healthy life even when you’re doing your laundry at home. Here are our top tips to eco washing your garments.
1. Only wash when you need to
Our first tip is to only wash your clothes when you need to. It’s easy to find oneself doing laundry for the sake of it. According to Energy Saving Trust, the average UK household puts a wash on about five times a week, which is not only bad for the environment but for your clothes too. Washing them too often leads to wearing them out faster and as a result, they won’t last as long. If your garment hasn’t been put through a sweaty workout or a morning coffee spill incident, you can definitely wear them more than once before throwing them into the washing machine. For clothes that are not too dirty, airing and brushing them can be enough.
2. Wash at lower temperatures
When your laundry bag is full and it’s time for a wash, read the care label to ensure your clothes are taken care of properly. The basic rule for preserving a garment is to respect temperature requirements for the wash cycle and the drying. Did you know that 90% of the energy used by a typical washing machine is used to heat the water and only 10% is used to power the motor?
This is why washing at 30℃ or 40℃ (often lower than stated on the care label) can help you save a lot of energy. And it will make your clothes last longer as high temperatures are not good friends with textile fibres and wear them out. In other words, you don’t need to wash your basics at 60℃. As for the drying, skip the tumble dryer and favour line drying: it will again save some energy and eliminate the heat and frictions happening in the dryer which significantly reduces the clothes lifespan.
3. Use eco-friendly detergents
Laundry detergent that doesn’t cost the earth – Bio D Washing Powder
Just like for the food we eat, checking labels for cosmetics and cleaning products that are in contact with our skin is essential. Conventional laundry detergents contain toxic chemicals that can be irritating to the skin and a potential hormone disruptor. Not to mention those chemicals are also harmful to the planet: optical whiteners, phosphates and additives in conventional laundry products can cause algal blooms that negatively affect ecosystems and marine life.
What laundry detergent is best for the environment?
Luckily, there are eco-friendly laundry detergents, which are natural, safe and do not contain any chemicals or additives. Ecover‘s Laundry Stain Remover will turn even the most stubborn stains into nothing but a memory – and the best part is that the ingredients are completely plant-based!
As for the washing, Ecozone Soap Nuts is not only very effective but also wallet-friendly. Each bag lasts for 100 washes, which sums up to around 5p per wash – sustainable living doesn’t have to be expensive! If you suffer from allergies or have sensitive skin, Bio D’s Washing Powder is fragrance-free, non-biological and accredited by Allergy UK. It is gentle on even the most sensitive skin as well as being very efficient from washing to rinse cycle. To get that extra soft finish of your favourite pieces, the Tangent GC Fabric Softener will leave your clothes luxuriously soft and easy to iron.
4. Use a GuppyFriend washing bag
Synthetic fabrics such as polyester, acrylic and viscose release thousands of tiny microfibres during a wash: for each washing cycle, 700,000 microfibres can shed from your clothes. These go down our drains and end up in our oceans and waterways. When microfibres enter the water they behave like sponges. They absorb many nasty chemicals that linger in the ocean. These chemicals could leach into the bodies of any animal that consume them and eventually might even end up on our plates.
It’s safe to say that it is nothing we would want to be eating and certainly not something that wildlife should suffer from. We, therefore, recommend having a GuppyFriend Washing Bag to hand. It 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 micro-plastic pollution but also protects and prolongs the life of your clothes.
5. Make the switch to wet cleaning
For the clothes you have that require a professional clean, one more thing you can do is to quit the dry cleaner and look for a professional wet cleaner like BLANC. Conventional dry cleaning is not really dry: it consists of soaking your clothes in a petroleum-based solvent called Perchlorethylene (“Perc”), which is considered highly toxic for the health and for the environment. At BLANC, we have replaced this toxic chemical used by traditional dry cleaners by an innovative health-friendly and efficient alternative: wet cleaning. Our process results in softer, fresher garments and reduces the exposure to unnecessary chemicals in your life.
Using wet cleaning has a positive impact on clothes: while dry cleaning can damage your clothes and deteriorate the fabric fibres because of the high temperatures and harsher chemicals used in the process, wet cleaning helps your clothes last longer by using lower temperatures and natural detergents. You can read more about our process here. Finally, wet cleaning is the most environmentally friendly professional method of garment cleaning. It does not generate hazardous waste, nor does the process create air pollution. It reduces the potential for water and soil contamination.
Protecting your skin, your clothes and the planet is our number one priority at BLANC. You can either drop your clothes off at any of our London stores or simply book a pickup and delivery online.
Get 50% off your first clean with BLANC using the code BLANCFARMDROP at one of their stores or online. Valid until 31 August 2019. Applies to a maximum bill of £100 on garments dry cleaning (household, tailoring and leather are not included).
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