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Throwing your clothes in the washing basket is often more of a night-time ritual than anything else. Most of the time, a bit of time hanging outside in the sun is enough to freshen up most garments, as ultraviolet light from the sun has disinfectant properties that can help kill bacteria. Not only is this excellent for the environment, saving a whole lot of water and energy, washing your clothes less prolongs the lifetime of your garment as the heat and abrasion involved in laundering are reduced.
If you need to treat a stain, instead of throwing a whole garment in the wash, try spot-treating it instead. Remember, the faster you treat a stain, the more likely it is to be eliminated — so work fast! Spot treating is far kinder to the planet, your garment, and your wallet too. Plus, a more targeted clean standsa much better chance against that stain on your favourite tee.
Fill Your Washing Machine.
Wait until you have enough to comfortably fill your machine. Also, make sure you avoid overfilling your machine as heavy loads cause friction which wears clothes out faster and may also result in the garments being poorly washed.
Read the Care Label.
Care labels are there for a reason, so make sure you read them carefully. All AS Colour care labels can be found on the underside of the main label, except those in the shirts and polos, which are found on the inside left of the garment.
Pay special attention to our outerwear and hat care labels, as they have more specific washing instructions. They both prefer to be spot-cleaned, instead of being put through the washing machine, so opt for this instead.
Choose a Cool Washing Setting.
Modern washing machines and washing powder are able to do some pretty impressive cleaning using low temperatures. This is not only better for the environment, but it also puts less stress on your garments, prolonging their lives. Items such as sheets and underwear may require a slightly hotter temperature, but the majority of your AS Colour wardrobe will benefit from a cool wash.
Avoid the Dryer.
Choosing to line dry your garments instead of bundling them all into the dryer is one of the most significant decisions you can make to reduce your impact and keep your garments in tip-top condition. Remember to pop them on the line as soon as you can, to keep them as fresh as possible, and to avoid unnecessary creasing.
All garments are not made equal, so treat them as such. Sort your laundry to make sure you’re washing similar colours and types (heavier verses more delicate garments) together to avoid laundry casualties. An important thing to remember is to make sure no garments are going to cause harm to others mid-wash — close zippers, remove anything from pockets, unbutton buttons, etc. Also, remember that our hats and outwear prefer not to go through the washing machine.
Don't Dry Clean.
Traditional dry-cleaning is generally pretty harsh on the environment, and most dry-cleaners use the chemical Perc, which causes health issues and contributes to air pollution — so it’s really not a great option for anyone. Luckily, none of our garments require dry-cleaning so this can be avoided altogether.
When There's No Life Left...
Being responsible for your garments when they’re no longer able to be worn plays a huge part in looking after our planet. Around 75% of garments are sent to landfill by consumers, which means most of our clothes get put in a pile and generate methane as the waste decomposes. Methane is known to be 25 times more efficient than CO2 at trapping radiation, making it a huge global warming problem. So, when you need to dispose of them, leaving them to decompose in your compost bin or garden is a great alternative.
When it comes to our garments, over 90% of our offering is made from 100% natural fibres, and therefore will decompose. All you need to do is remove any non-natural fabric parts like thread (this can also be removed after the fabric has decomposed), labels, buttons, zippers, or snaps, and shred the fabric as much as possible (smaller pieces will decompose faster). Next, pop the shredded fabric in your compost bin or bury it in your garden, mixing 2 parts soil to 1 part fabric. Within a year the fabric should have decomposed.
For the small handful of our garments that aren’t made of 100% natural fibres, try and repurpose them when they’re at the end of their (first) life. Cut them up into rags and use as cleaning cloths or get creative and fashion them into produce bags, or use as cushion stuffing. There are plenty of options to extend the lifecycle of your garments, saving you from making additional purchases and therefore reducing your environmental impact.