Taking care of our clothes

As consumers, we can make more sustainable choices about how we use our clothes.

Timeless vs fast fashion

Fast fashion encourages us to replace our clothes constantly.

However, this might end up costing more than you think.

To get the true cost, you’ll need to think about both how often you’ll wear the item and how long it will likely last.
Explore the impact on greenhouse gas emissions from the textile industry if everyone in the world were to double the number of times they wore each item of clothing:
Double it!
Greenhouse gas emissions
That’s equal to
million tonnes of CO₂ per year
Europeans’ CO₂ emissions
Make your clothes last
Making your clothes last makes a difference. Here’s how to keep them in top shape:
Always follow the washing instructions provided in the care label. This will ensure a longer lifetime for your garment and be less damaging for the environment.

If the garment isn't really dirty, try airing it or putting it in the freezer to get rid of any smells.

Did you know?

Each year, an estimated half a million tonnes of plastic microfibres (equivalent to more than 50 billion plastic bottles) are released into the ocean from the washing of textiles.
Knitwear should be stored by folding it into a shelf or a drawer. Hanging knitwear on a hanger will cause the garment to stretch and lose its shape.

Shirts can be hung on a hanger. Make sure that your clothing rack is not too full – this will keep the clothing fresh and reduce wrinkling.

Do you need to buy something new?

More than 30% of the clothes in Europeans' wardrobes have not been used for at least a year.
Before you decide to throw a garment away, check if it can be repaired.

Buttons are easy to sew back on, zips can be replaced and even tears and holes can often be repaired easily by a tailor.
Caring for knitwear
Knitwear requires care to keep it looking neat. Remove pilling with a special cutter, a knitwear comb or a soft clothing brush.

Do not machine wash wool knits, as even wool washing programs can be too harsh.

You can air your knitwear to get rid of smells and hand wash cold with mild detergent if needed. After washing, gently squeeze the item to remove excess water, then lay flat to dry at room temperature.
When the time finally comes to get rid of an item of clothing, take it to a clothing recycling point or give it a second life by reselling.