- reduces the amount of resources
- increases profit per item
- the cloth wears out quicker
- the customer will purchase a new one quicker
The washing powders currently used and conditioners and our habit of washing, showering etc wear clothes out , creating holes, tears and generally wearing them out as quickly as possible.
If you look at the make up of the resources used for your clothing you will find that 100% cotton garments have a reduced amount of cotton now and jumpers for sale are in fact no longer made of 100% wool in general but contain either cotton or acrylic. That explains why when the temperature dips and we reach for a sweater we can still be cold.
Looking at the resources for clothes and material we can source their origins either from :
- handmade materials
Most people had the skills to either make, mend or amend their clothes thus fewer clothes were necessary in their working wardrobe and every inch of painstakingly produced fabric was used, repaired and reused. What however are the real costs associated with these items.
As an example I will take socks. You can buy 5 pairs of socks for lets say £10. You will lose a few in the wash so they no longer match and as soon as a hole appears you throw them out. In comparison making woollen socks by knitting them yourself ;
- requires you to have a skill
- costs about £15 per pair
- takes many many hours knitting time
- requires special washing so as not to shrink them
- can be darned and repaired
- wool keeps your feet warm and absorbs liquid
- wool is a breathable material
- wool is a renewable material
The result is that you will only go through a certain number of handknitted socks per year compared to cotton/acrylic ones, will have fewer going through the wash, resulting in a greater appreciation of material and skill.
For years we have avoided clothes with a 'dry cleaning only' label. Not only because of the costs associated with this item of clothing and the savings that could be made but the idea of having them washed in silicone and the impact of residual chemicals that would interact with our skins and own body chemistry was unknown. You buy a suit that you have drycleaned every month at a cost of £20 each time and the suit ends up costing an additional £240 per year to maintain.
The sustainable wardrobe therefore contains no items that require dry cleaning only.
Questions to ponder:
- How many did you find.?
- What attracted you to this item of clothing?