Fast fashion isn't good from an ethical or environmental point of view, and buying clothes that will last longer is also better value for money, because you get more use out of them. But could you be wearing your clothes out more quickly because you're not caring for them the right way? If you're doing any of these things, they could be ruining your clothes …
1. You Hang Your Sweaters
Do you hang your sweaters in your closet along with other clothes? Sweaters should never be stored on hangers; the weight of them will pull the knit out of shape and end up stretching them. The best way to store sweaters is to fold them and put them in a drawer or on a shelf.
2. Frequent Dry Cleaning
Expensive garments can cost you a lot more than the purchase price as you have to take them to the dry cleaners. What's more, dry cleaning is quite harsh and if you get the garments cleaned frequently they'll soon wear out. If the label just says 'dry-clean', you should be able to hand wash them. But if the label says 'dry-clean only, you'll be better off leaving it in the store.
3. Washing Bras in the Machine
I'll admit to being too lazy to wash my bras by hand - and that means they wear out more quickly. The heat can wreck the elastic, and the wires get bent from the movement of the machine. Wash your bras by hand and dry them on the line or on a hanger, but don't hang them by the strap - fold them in the middle.
4. Using Wire Hangers
Wire hangers may be cheap, but anything that is cheap is unlikely to be good quality. The wire is not supportive enough for the fabric of your clothes, and continued use will mean that your clothes lose their shape. Plastic hangers aren't much better. Spend a bit of cash on some wooden hangers, and your clothes will last longer.
5. You're Washing Your Jeans Right Way out
Some denim purists think that you should never wash jeans, as it ruins the dye. But most of us don't like the idea of wearing unwashed denim. So if you prefer to wash yours, fasten the zip and buttons, and turn the jeans inside out before putting them in the machine. This will help the denim last longer and avoid any damage from snagging.
6. You're Not Fastening Garments before Washing
Speaking of snagging, you should zip up garments and fasten buttons before washing. This isn't to stop the garment itself getting damaged, but rather to stop it damaging other garments. Also check the pockets to make sure that there's nothing in them; a lot of damage is caused to clothes and machines by loose coins and other forgotten objects.
7. You're Not Storing Your Shoes Properly
I have to put my hands up to this one as well. My shoes are just thrown jumbled into my closet, or left on the floor. And doing this will make them lose their shape, as well as get scuffed. Organise and store your shoes properly on a shoe rack or on a shelf.
Looking after your garments properly will prolong their life. You'll get much more use out of the clothes you love if you treat them properly!