Imli Diaries

Tamarind Chutney

Air Your Dirty Laundry: Spinning Sustainability into Your Closet

To wash or not to wash, that is the question. Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the stains and odors of outstanding outfits, or to take arms against a sea of laundry, and by opposing, end them? 

We've all been there—standing in front of our closet, staring at those jeans from yesterday which still look surprisingly fresh. But then, the doubt creeps in: do they really need a spin in the washing machine or can we wear them just one more time? Ah, the eternal laundry conundrum! But fear not, we’re here to solve this dilemma for you. So, grab a seat and join us as we embark on a journey through the sudsy seas of laundry and sustainability.


Suds, Scrubs, and Sustainability

You may be wondering: what do my laundry habits have to do with sustainability? Well, hold onto your fabric softener, because it turns out your washing routine has a lot to do with the health of our planet!

In our quest for clean clothes, we often overlook the environmental toll our laundry habits exact. The average washing machine uses about 150 litres of water per load, and when multiplied by the billions of loads done annually worldwide... well, you get the idea. But water consumption is just the tip of the (melting) iceberg. Laundry detergents, particularly those laden with phosphates and synthetic fragrances, can contaminate water bodies, disrupting ecosystems and harming aquatic life. Moreover, the energy-intensive process of washing and drying clothes—especially at high temperatures— contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, further exacerbating climate change. In fact, studies show that washing machines emit around 62 million tonnes of greenhouse gases every year!

The materials in our clothing also play a role in environmental degradation. Microfibers shed from synthetic fabrics like polyester end up in our waterways, posing a threat to marine life and potentially entering our food chain. 

Less Washing, More Wearing

Cutting back on laundry isn't just eco-friendly; it also gives your garments an extended lease on life. Excessive washing subjects fabrics to harsh chemicals and mechanical agitation, accelerating wear and tear. Fibers break down, colors fade, and fabrics lose their shape with each cycle. However, by dialing back on laundry sessions, we can mitigate this damage significantly. Giving our clothes a breather allows them to maintain their integrity, ensuring they stay vibrant and snug for longer periods. Plus, it's not just about preserving the planet; it's about getting more bang for your buck. With each wash spared, you're adding more mileage to your wardrobe investment. And let's not forget the landfill impact—less washing means fewer worn-out clothes destined for disposal, contributing to a more sustainable fashion cycle.

Spin Cycle Secrets

Hold onto your socks, because the big reveal is here: we're about to solve your laundry conundrum…and, no, we’re not advocating for a stinky wardrobe, don’t worry!

 First off, when it comes to how often to wash your clothes, there's no one-size-fits-all answer. It  depends on factors like how much you sweat, the climate you live in, and the type of fabric your garments are made of. For instance, lightweight and moisture-wicking fabrics like workout gear may need more frequent washing, especially if you're hitting the gym regularly. On the other hand, durable fabrics like denim can go longer between washes without sacrificing freshness. 

This being said, here are some general guidelines on how to keep your threads fresh:

  1. Underwear and socks: a must-wash after each wear.
  2. Bras: wash after 2-4 wears to maintain shape and elasticity.
  3. T-shirts and tops: one and done—wash after every wear.
  4. Jeans: wash every 3-5 wears.
  5. Workout gear (e.g., leggings, sports bras): sweat it out, wash after every workout.
  6. Sweaters: stay cozy, wash every 3-4 wears.
  7. Outerwear (e.g., jackets, coats): use your judgment, wash as needed.
  8. Pajamas: wash every 2-3 wears, or more frequently if you sweat while sleeping.

Remember, these are just guidelines—your laundry, your rules!

And when you do tackle that pile of clothes lying on the chair, there are also loads of ways to make your washing routine more eco-friendly. Opt for cold water washes to save energy, choose eco-friendly detergents to reduce chemical runoff, spot clean stains to avoid unnecessary washes, air dry your clothes, and remember to separate clothing by color and fabric to prevent color bleeding and damage. Happy washing!



Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published