How To Make Your Clothes Last Forever

How to Extend the life of your clothes sustainable fashion

We have all been there: you find that perfect pair of pants and wear them for years, only to see them fall apart before your eyes. 
Or maybe you are living on a budget, so you buy clothes at thrift stores and wind up with something that looks worn out after just a few washes. But there are ways to ensure your new clothes last longer than just one season.  

You can save money by doing less laundry; 
air drying your clothes instead of using the dryer will keep them from shrinking;
set the machine on gentle cycles and use cold water when possible;
treat stains immediately;
hand wash some things like delicates or socks;
avoid tumble dryers altogether;
keep your clothing away from sunlight and heat sources during storage (especially if it’s wool);
mend holes and tears as they arise instead of letting them get bigger over time.

These steps will help you keep your clothes in tip-top shape, so the pieces you have today can still be wearable next season

1 - Do less laundry

The more you wash your clothes, the faster they wear out. If you can get away with wearing a piece of clothing multiple times before washing it, then do so. This will save you time and money in the long run.

If you really must do laundry, try to make it at least two days between washes if possible—this will allow them time to air out and dry naturally. Airing your clothes between wears will also help dissolve any smells or humidity from the fabric.

Avoid washing something right away if it becomes dirty but not filthy. Simply wipe any spills with a rag as soon as they occur to prevent additional stains from developing on your clothing (and therefore making them harder to remove later). This way, you will be able to buy more time between washes, allowing you to schedule your laundry only when you can run full cycles.

2 - Treat stains before they set in

If you do get a stain on your clothes, the best thing to do is treat it as soon as possible. Allowing stains to set makes them much more difficult—and occasionally impossible—to remove.

Use an enzyme-based detergent safe for natural fibres if your clothes are made of cotton or other natural materials. If they are synthetic (such as polyester), use something specifically designed for that type of cloth.

The wrong cleaning solution could dissolve the embellishments and cause them to fall off if your dress has sequins or beads on it, so always use extreme caution when using any kind of cleaning agent!

This is especially helpful if they only have light dirt on them and not serious stains like blood or coffee.

3 - Use cold water

When you’re laundering your clothes, avoid the highest heat settings. Using cold water to wash your clothes is a great way to extend their lifespan, as it is more gentle on fabrics and protects them from damage. Cold water also helps prevent shrinkage and fading, so you can keep your garments looking crisp and new for longer. 

If you’re concerned about getting used to the idea of washing in cold water, there are lots of ways you can make it less of an adjustment:

  • Set your washing machine on a shorter cycle (if possible) or run smaller loads so that the finished product doesn’t take too long to dry.
  • Consider purchasing a drying rack and line-drying all or most of your clothes once they’ve been washed in cold water—this will cut down on electricity usage and help keep them smelling fresher for longer!
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4 - Set the machine to gentle cycles

If your washing machine has an option to choose “Gentle Cycle” or “Delicate Cycle,” choose that setting instead of the normal setting.

If your washing machine does not have a washing program and you want to mirror a gentle wash manually, you’ll want to select low heat, a slower spin cycle (which means using less water) and also avoid using an extra rinse cycle. Just by doing one quick rinse after the wash cycle has finished and allowing your clothes to air-dry, it will make a world of difference!

These changes will help keep your clothes from shrinking or fading due to heat exposure during washes —and if they’re already looking tired from wear and tear or improper care over time, then these steps will minimize damage even further.

5 - Hand wash your Delicate Clothes

If you are at all unsure if your clothes should be hand-washed, it’s always a good idea to check the tags.

  • Bra and Underwear: If you want to keep your bra and underwear in good shape for as long as possible, hand washing is an absolute must. Over time, these items can become stretched out and threadbare from excessive machine washing. Hand washing can help keep them from getting too worn out.

  • Hand wash wool: Wool sweaters tend to get more snagged by other clothing when they are washed together in the machine. This is due to their soft texture and natural elasticity which makes them more likely than other fabrics (like cotton) to catch on each other during the wash cycle (and sometimes even when hanging dry). It’s best not only for longevity reasons but also because you don’t want one snag ruining an otherwise perfectly good sweater!

  • Hand Wash Delicate Fabrics: Some items like silk blouses require delicate care because they have very fine fibres that can easily break apart over time due to regular wear. To ensure your silks have the best chance to last long, a gentle hand wash with luck warm water is recommended. 

6 - Air dry it

Air drying is better for your clothes, the environment and your wallet. You’ll save money by not running up the electric bill, and you’ll be doing something good for the planet as well.

The main reason that many people think they need to dry their clothes in a machine (or even put them in a dryer) is because they don’t have enough space on their balconies or porches to hang everything up. But if you’re willing to spend some time hanging things up by hand and letting them air out overnight, then this will not be an issue at all!

7 - Avoid tumble dryers altogether

You might not realise it, but your dryer is a massive energy hog. According to the Department of Energy, tumble dryers use more than 3 billion kilowatt hours per year in the United States—nearly as much electricity as all of the nation’s hot water heaters put together. That’s enough energy to power some 200 million refrigerators or 1 million homes for a year!

Not only does this cost you money, but it also takes an awful toll on your clothes: tumble dryers are notorious for shrinking clothing and leaving them worn out after repeated use. The heat from the machine causes fabric fibers to break down and clump together, eventually resulting in torn seams and holes along the hems of garments. Thanks to these two factors alone (not including drying time), it’s no wonder so many people throw out perfectly good clothes after just one washing session!

The good news is that you can avoid both issues by skipping the tumble cycle altogether—and save yourself some money while you’re at it!

8 - Keep your clothes away from sunlight and heat sources

It’s a good idea to keep your clothes away from sunlight and heat sources. Sunlight fades fabric, and heat can make it shrink or become brittle. If you want to wear that dress again later in the year but it’s still summer, store it away from direct sunlight as much as possible.

Heat also causes clothes made of synthetic fibres (such as polyester) to discolour with age (yellowing), fade faster and stiffen up—not exactly ideal for a nice outfit!

9 - Mend holes and tears as they arise instead of letting them get bigger.

We don’t want to sound like your mom, but if you can prevent a hole from getting bigger, why not? If a small tear occurs in one of your favorite clothes, don’t let it worsen. Use a needle and thread to sew up the hole as soon as possible. For larger holes or tears that need covering up entirely, buy patches from your local thrift store or sew one yourself with some help from YouTube videos (or friends who know how).

If you have an actual sewing machine at home (and we hope you do), this process is even easier. Just follow this step-by-step guide for repairing rips in clothes by hand or with other household items instead of buying expensive new garments—and save money for more worthwhile investments!

10 - Your clothing will last longer if you care for it properly

Clothes can be expensive, but they don’t have to be. You can find them made from natural fibres like cotton and wool, or synthetic ones like polyester. Some clothing is made with recycled materials; others are sustainable or organic. All of these options will help your clothes last longer!

If you’re looking for a way to reduce waste and save money at the same time, consider buying clothes made from natural fibres instead of synthetics. Natural fibres breathe well and allow moisture to evaporate quickly, which means they dry faster after being washed—and they’ll stay fresh longer because bacteria don’t thrive in the warmer environment. Synthetic fabrics tend to retain body heat and trap sweat closer to your skin than natural ones do—which means that if you work up a sweat at work during the summer months (or anywhere else), then your shirt sleeves might get clammy almost immediately afterwards due not just from sweat but also from trapped moisture that could otherwise escape easily through the breathable fabric instead!

I hope this article has given you some ideas for how to make your clothes last longer! It can be intimidating at first, but once you get into the habit of caring for your clothes properly they will last a long time. Your clothes will look better and last longer than ever before if you follow these simple tips and tricks—so go ahead and give them a try!