Spring is a time for letting go of what you no longer need, this makes it the perfect time to clear out your wardrobe.
Go through every item and place it into piles. One for keep, one for donate/sell, one for textile recycling and if you need one, a maybe pile. A good way to tackle the maybe pile is to think back to the last time you wore them. If you haven't worn them throughout any seasons of the year, it could be time to let them be loved by someone else.
This is a great opportunity to upload your garments to Save Your Wardrobe, the online wardrobe organisation app. This will ensure you never forget another garment again and don’t buy unnecessary pieces.
Before you pack all your winter warmers away for the long term, we recommend reading our blog on storage first. The most important step is making sure you have cleaned all the items before storing. This can be a laborious task but it is vital for pro-longing the garment's lifespan. If this seems like a daunting task, Oxwash are happy to take the stress off your hands. Simply book a collection and we'll have our laundry experts wash and dry your items. We can even add them to your storage bags if provided.
Studies show that most Brits will not wear at least 10% of their wardrobe brought this year. This can often be attributed to impulse buying. A good way to keep those impulse purchases at bay is look through your keep pile and make a wish list of items you need for the Spring/Summer season. This will give you time to think about the items and give a true evaluation on whether to buy. A top tip when deciding whether to invest in a new item of clothing is cost per wear. For example, if a new blazer costs £70 and you only wear it 3 times the cost per wear is £23.33. This may not seem too outrageous but if you do this calculation for every garment you already own and intend to buy it soon adds up!
The most sustainable clothes are the ones that you already own. This doesn't mean that we don't need to buy new from time to time. If you need to buy new, there are plenty of ethical options to choose from.
Many think of sustainable garments as those that are made from organic fabrics or recycled materials but there is much more to it. Companies that are truly ethical will ensure their workers are treated fairly. Their policies and practices should support worker safety, child labour laws, forced labour laws and fair living wages. They should also have measures in place regarding their carbon emissions, impact on waterways and safe usage of chemicals.
Here's an Oxwash approved list of brands and stores we recommend you check out for shopping more consciously.
Shopping new can also mean items that are new to you. Pre-loved and resale platforms have seen rapid growth throughout the pandemic and continue to do to so with a consumer shift to becoming more conscious. Here are some great platforms to find pre-loved items ranging from high-end to high-street - and even sell some of your own:
When sorting through your existing items, is there anything that needs a little TLC? You don't need to get rid of those jeans because the zip is broken or your favourite jumper because of a hole - repair them. You can have your garments conveniently repaired with the tap of a few buttons with apps like SOJO. They can connect you to a local seamstress and even have your items collected and delivered straight to your door.
You can even go a step further and learn how to mend your items yourself. For older generations mending would have been a way of life but amongst the younger generations these skills have almost completely died out. Thankfully with consumers starting to drive change the need to learn these crucial life skills has increased and with this we have seen an increase in mending and sewing workshops. We recommend Untied if you're based around London or Cambridge but there are workshops popping up in your local community and even online courses as recommended by Gathered.
With the arrival of Spring comes the need for lighter, airier fabrics, such as silk, linen, chiffon and lace. Due to the often delicate properties of these fabrics, they can be more prone to damage. In order to prolong their lifespan you need to make sure to take the correct care when washing them.
By law every garment must contain its own specific washing instructions. We advise to always read the label before washing anything for the first time as some fabric may require some extra care. This could be that they are hand-wash only or that high temperatures should be avoided. Here are some things to remember:
Delicate fabrics that hold a lot of colour - think of all the bright pinks this season - can often be prone to bleeding. To check what the garment will behave like, dip a small section on the underside in warm water and check to see if it runs. If it does, you should wash this separately or by-hand to avoid the dye leaching into other garments.
Hand washing is much more delicate on an item than putting it through a machine cycle which can aggravate the fibres. It also allows you to have more control over how the material is behaving. As if something isn't looking right, you can catch it straight away.
Rinse cool water over the garment to set the fabric. Make sure to press the fabric rather than wring it as this can cause damage to the fibres, which in time can create a hole.