On average we keep clothes for 2 years, but if we kept them just 9 months more, we would save a lot of energy, not to mention the planet. So how do we do this? Lucy spoke to Lucinda O'Connor, Founder of Clothes Doctor about caring for our clothes to make them last.
In episode 6 of Style With Substance we investigate why our clothes so often end up in landfill. It turns out that caring for your clothes is an important aspect of extending the life of your garments. Did you know that the average lifecycle of a garment in the UK is only 2.2 years? Every year we send around 300,000 tones of used clothing to Landfill and that’s just in the UK. According the WRAP, if we were to wear an item of clothing for just 9 more months, we can minimise its carbon, water and waste footprint by 20-30%. So whats stopping us? We chatted to Lucinda O'Connor, Founder of clothing repair brand Clothes Doctor to find out why mending matters and what you can do to love your clothes for longer.
Why Don't We repair Our Clothes?
Many of us are guilty of discarding things once a button has fallen off, or a zip has become stuck. The fast fashion we buy isn't meant to last, and so once it breaks, which it inevitably will... we chuck it in the bin. The solution to the problem seems simple. Buy Less, Choose Well, Make It Last. But hands up if you invested in something, then left it languishing in the back of your wardrobe because it had a stain on it, or the fit wasn't quite right? In her book, 'How to Break Up With Fast Fashion,' Lauren Bravo bemoans an era in which none of us know how to sew or wash our clothes! And she's right. A lot of us wouldn’t know where to begin when it comes to mending or alterations. Luckily mending is becoming cool again thanks to craftivists like Bryony at Tickover, Katerina Rodabaugh and Molly Martin (our fave Sashiko repairer).
Trusted Clothing Care
For those of us who don't know our thimbles from our thread, there are some incredible companies out there who have made it their business to care for our clothes. So you can wear them and love them for longer. Whether there is a scratch on your favourite leather handbag, or a pesky moth hole in your cashmere knit, they have you covered. In this episode we are speaking to Lulu O'Connor, Founder of Clothes Doctor. They know that the major hurdle standing in the way of you and the long life wear of your clothes is being able to fix and clean them. So Lulu created a company that would collect your items for repair or alternation and send them off the experts to sort for you. Clothes Doctor found that the most common issue when throwing out clothes was usually a broken zip. However dropped hems, missing buttons and moth holes were also high on the list. Not only do they have the expert hand to mend your garment, they will work hard to source the correct replacement zips, buttons and threads.
How Important Is It To Clean Your Clothes Properly
As we have learnt from fashion icons like Stella McCartney and Victoria Beckham, you don't have to wash your clothes all the time to keep them in good shape. Good storage, spot cleaning and a little attention are all they need to really shine. Washing, especially at high temperatures and when followed by tumble drying, degrades fibres over time. Not to mention the effect of micro plastics washed out of your synthetic clothes having a detrimental effect on the environment. Clothes Doctor offer eco friendly cleaning solutions too, as well as helpful tips on how to care for your clothes.
With thanks to our wonderful guest Lucinda O'Connor, Founder of Clothes Doctor
Mentioned In The Podcast
EAC (Environmental Auditing Committee) Fixing Fashion: Clothing Consumption & Sustainability
Clothes Doctor Clothing Care
Clothes Doctor Tips For Washing Clothing
How to break up with fast fashion by Lauren Bravo
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