May 04, 2020 4 min read
Being stuck indoors for prolonged periods of time has dramatically changed how we view our surroundings. It has given us the free-time to really appreciate everything, all the while reconsidering certain aspects of our lives to we’d like to improve. The rise of mass-produced items somehow caused us to turn a blind-eye to caring for what we had, instead, we were consumed by the idea of what we could purchase next.
We had little to no experience of how to make what we owned last and a lack of awareness for care-related products, ones to help extend the lifespan of our personal belongings - like the beautiful light-wash denim pants near the front of your wardrobe, or your favourite leather bag.
For the smart-individuals who do take great care of their special garments (kudos to you!), there seemed to be little options out there. Dry-cleaning requires travel, pick-up schedules, and can become costly depending how many times you visit. And strong chemical solvents, which leave your home smelling of incredibly strong odours and can have a horrible effect on the environment.
The most important and single-reason we even begin our search for garment cleaning products, is simply, how efficiently it cleans. Does it remove dirt & grime? How about visible and bothersome stains? Does it kill bacteria at the molecular level?
Many of you are probably aware that different cleaning ingredients are used for different situations. For example, red wine stains will require something a little more diligent to get rid of in contrast to stripping your clothes of bad smell or everyday pollutants. A good tip when beginning to learn & research how to clean your garments is to find the care label instructions, and understand the suggested washing instructions as well as what the garment is composed of. This will assist you in finding the best way to clean your wares.
Don't get me wrong, dry-cleaning services are quite essential. However, it’s common knowledge that most utilize harsh chemicals & high temperatures in the dry-cleaning process, which can end up damaging your garment in the short-term and even reducing its total lifespan in the long-run. Chemicals such asperchloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene (dry-cleaning fluids) are harmful to both humans & the environment, plus the difficulty of cleaning it up.
If you decide to make use of dry-cleaning services, please be sure to locate a 'green' dry-cleaner near you. Ultimately you want to search for a dry cleaner that at the minimum does not use such chemicals as perchloroethylene (PERC), allows you to bring back and recycle hangers, and utilizes plastics and packaging which can be recycled.
In terms of washing & drying machines, they too have become the question of concern because of the energy-intensive nature of the equipment and the wear and tear on clothing. When in doubt, wash on cold and hang to dry. There are also many garments which are listed on their care instructions to be dry-cleaned but are perfectly fine being hand washed. In this case, be sure to do your research. But a great example is cashmere, which gets better as it is hand washed. And a great option for a cleaner, should you be interested, is to create your own DIY.
However, there is a considerable lack of options in the market when it comes to garment-care products that are both effective & environmentally-friendly.
I know this doesn't directly affect the cleanliness or the longevity of your belongings, but I feel you shouldn't have to sacrifice your personal aesthetic when it comes to cleaning products. It's a nice added-touch considering a lot of cleaning products look like they should be underneath the sink. It never hurt to consider a little style in your cleaning kit!
If you were looking for a product that works, considers the environment, and is packaged beautifully - you're not alone in your pursuit. In our own search for how to care for our clothing and homes better, we came across Attirecare. This is not the only option, but it happens to be our favourite.
Attirecare has a wide range of products, some, like the Crease Release spray, seem to be magic. But what we were drawn to most is their consideration for how the products were produced and packaged.
All products are hand made in a family-run factory using organic ingredients and no harsh chemicals. All of the formulas are environmentally friendly, ethically made, biodegradable and do exactly what they say on the label. And the packaging can be reused or is fully recyclable.
Internally, Founder Sebastian Collinge and co-founder Abigail Brookes, ensure that the company and production work in a circular nature ensuring nothing goes to waste.
Prior to our current global situation, we were so used to being pushed to purchase ‘now’ without much thought of the longevity of the item itself, and learning how to properly care for these items was always second-priority.
With many of our horizons changing as the quarantine days go on, we are slowly coming to realize that not only do we need to take care of ourselves and one another but our personal belongings too. The act of simply throwing away a worn-out shirt shouldn't be the first option. Preserving the longevity and the craftsmanship of pieces may even open your scope to a newfound appreciation.