Ignore the council to wash in colder water to save the environment. Instead, raise the temperature and wash less often. This is one of the tips in a new dissertation on the environmental impact of clothing.
In research, it has been found that the vast majority of the climate impact from clothes, 70 percent, comes from manufacturing. 4 percent of a garment’s climate impact comes from transport during production and from transport between the manufacturing country ánd the destination. A much larger part, 22 percent of the garment’s total climate impact, comes from the journey between the store and the home, which is often done by car. How you wash your clothes, on the other hand, has very little impact on the climate – 3 percent based on the total environmental impact.
We have been told that it is very important to wash at 30 degrees, but the washing temperature has a negligible effect on the total climate impact of the garment. If you wash at 30 degrees and it doesn’t get as clean as at 60 degrees, you have to wash more often instead.
This is how the garment affects the climate
- 70 percent of a garment’s climate impact occurs during production.
- 4 percent of the impact comes from the transport of garments from the manufacturing country to the store.
- 22 percent of the climate impact comes from the customer’s journey to and from the store.
- 3 percent of the climate impact comes from washing and drying.
- 1 percent of the impact comes from waste management.
Washing clothes is often bad because the laundry wears clothes and shortens the service life. Being careful with their clothes so that they last a long time is the single biggest effort you can make to reduce the environmental impact of your clothing consumption.
The common man is not aware of the environmental impact that clothing production has had. I think it is unsurprising to slant-dry, because it wears so hard on the garments, she says.
Washing clothes is often bad because the laundry leads to premature wear and shortens the clothes’ lifelenght. Being careful with their clothes so that they last a long time is the single biggest effort you can make to reduce the environmental impact of your clothing consumption.
The common man is not aware of the environmental impact that clothing production has had. I think it is unsurprising to slant-dry because it wears so hard on the garments, she says.
At the same time, she says she understands that those who live in the apartment may have to tumble their clothes for practical reasons. Getting the clothes to last a long time and being able to use for a long time is so important in environmental terms that for example, thinks it is good to use chlorine to remove difficult stains, if it means that the clothes can be used longer.
The clothing industry has not come as far as the food industry in terms of eco-labeling of goods. Although there are many different labels, as a consumer it can be difficult to value them and know what they mean.
We need to adapt more to international labels. When buying, she still thinks it is more important to think about buying clothes that you will use often and longer than looking at the eco-label or the price.
Major part of the environmental impact from garments is during the actual production, and especially in the first steps that are about materials and dyeing. She believes that the textile industry is lagging behind when it comes to climate action.
If you look at the fashion industry and the climate impact, we have a lot left to do. Water and chemical issues have long been the focus, but we see that energy sources in a factory are at least as important, she says.
Tips for making your clothes last longer
Laundry wears on the clothes. Do not wash your clothes unless they are dirty. Maybe it is enough to wipe the garment or to iron it to make it possible to use again. If the clothing has been stained, it may be enough to remove it instead of washing the entire garment.
Air drying the laundry is gentler than tumbling it and makes the garments last longer.
Many garments, such as shirts or skirts, feel good about hanging on the hanger. However, knitted sweaters can get ugly from the same treatment.
It is advantageous to wool garments, preferably outdoors in slightly humid weather, instead of being washed. If you get stains or dirt on your wool sweater, remove them immediately. If weathering does not help, the garment can be washed carefully as instructed.
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