10 ways take better care of your clothes and lower the carbon footprint

With more than 22 trillion pounds of textile landfilled annually in the US alone, taking good care of your clothes and making sure they last for as long as possible has never been more important.

Extending the lifespan of a garment is eco-friendly and can lessen emissions by 24% for each additional year of its lifespan, drastically reducing the environmental impact.

While it's true that Cobalt District clothing is made of premium fabric and is environmentally sustainable, our customers can also play a big role in significantly lowering the collective carbon footprint by taking better care of their clothes, and, thus, taking care of the environment. Here's how:

1. Only wash when needed
Washing garments too often can cause damage to the fibers and decrease its lifespan. If an item isn't dirty but needs to be freshened up, simply hang it in place with good access to fresh air to air out smoke, fumes, and smells.

2. Use protective mesh bags or wash inside out
All Cobalt District garments come with mesh bags that can be used to protect clothes during the wash. If you don't have one handy, then wash your clothes inside out - they will get just as clean. This way, any damage that the washer may cause would only be on the inside of your clothes and not on the outside.

3. Wash at low temperatures 
Washing at lower temperatures allows your clothes to look good for longer. It also reduces the emissions produced during the wash. For lightly soiled everyday loads, cold water works just fine. Exceptions may be items that are heavily soiled or items that come in close contact with your skin, such as underwear - which may need a higher temperature wash.

4. Use a specialized detergent
Use a specialized detergent for cold-water loads that can help neutralize the chlorine found in tap water, which can fade color. Use a small amount of detergent, as too much soap can leave a streaky residue on dark clothing.

5. Pay attention to care labels
Different materials need different approaches when it comes to washing. Follow care labels for any special instructions on how to take proper care of the garment. 

6. Cut down on dry cleaning
Dry cleaning is chemically intensive and environmentally taxing. If dry cleaning is the only option, look for eco-friendly cleaners offering non-toxic cleaning services.

7. Hang to dry after washing (if possible)
Your dryer tosses your clothes around to dry them, causing them damage over time. Air drying is much easier on your clothes, eliminates wrinkles and is a much more eco-friendly alternative to dryers.

8. Store properly
Pick a dry and cool place to store your clothes to protect them from things that can cause damage such as damp, heat and sunlight.

9. Repair any damage
Instead of discarding the garment for damages, consider making repairs. This will help keep the garment in a wearable state and out of landfills.

10. Alter to fit and refresh the style
Simple alterations such as taking in at the waist or shortening to mid or short lengths can make your garment feel like new, while also keeping your old favorites fresh with the latest styles. 

By following the steps above, not only will you keep your clothes fresh and in style for long but also help contribute to lowering the collective carbon footprint as well. If you wish to take it further and become a conscious consumer of fashion, follow these steps

Sources:
https://www.epa.gov/facts-and-figures-about-materials-waste-and-recycling/textiles-material-specific-data
https://prod-drupal-files.storage.googleapis.com/documents/resource/public/International%20Carbon%20Flows%20-%20Clothing%20-%20REPORT.pdf
https://iprefer30.eu/animations/UK/wash-brochure-uk.pdf
https://www.popsci.com/dry-cleaning-chemicals/