By Alexis Kuri @alexiskurit
Creative Director/ CEO & Co-Founder of Nour De La Garza
Doing laundry isn’t everyone’s favorite chore, but it’s one everyone has to do. I bet you never thought twice about what the environmental impact would be? Well, I am here to let you know your laundry routine needs to have a serious “glow-down.” Why? Because if you are washing your clothing a day after you wore it or sending it to the dry cleaners, no amount of plastic reduction is going to help with your carbon footprint.
So, I guess your next questions is: how can I be more conscious when taking care of my old and new wardrobe pieces? “HOW WILL I AVOID THE B.O!” Well, in regards to the B.O… that’s another article but when it comes to helping save the world one laundry wash at a time – I. GOT. YOU.
THE “I AM STILL DOING MY LAUNDRY BUT DOING-SO CONSCIOUSLY AND THEREFORE MORE ENVIRONMENTALLY GLAMOROUS” LIST:
This list will not only help extend the life of your dearly, beloved… senior year in college blouse you can’t seem to spring clean away, it will also help save the environment! Can I get a **woot woot!!**
1) Re-use your clothing!
It goes by saying that less laundry = less harm, so the obvious thing to do is avoid washing your clothes after each use. Having said that, we all have those unmentionable moments when washing is a MUST but for the 98% of the time that it’s not, make sure to keep your dirty pile light by wearing each item up to 3 times before you wash it.
2) Stain Control
How many times have you tossed an item onto the dirty pile because your soup, sauce or salsa took a detour on your collar or sleeve? Next time try to simply wash the stain off and put it back in your closet before it hits the dirty pile.
3) Get a NEW detergent!
Not only do the most popular detergents have harmful ingredients for the environment, they may also be harmful to you! So, what can you do? When shopping for detergents look for the following: readily biodegradable and phosphate-free and made from plant- and vegetable-based ingredients (instead of petroleum-based). Chances are that if they are good to the environment, they will be good to you.
For those of us who want to take it up a notch and add a DIY, look into replacing your fabric softener with a cup of white vinegar which naturally balances the pH of soap or using baking soda to remove those sneaky odors.
4) Hand-washing… but hear me out
Hand-washing may sound like a little over the top, especially when you avoid it at all costs when it is already a requirement… But let me tell you why it’s not a bad idea, like at all. The way your washing machine works is by agitating your clothing making them rub against each other to clean the dirt away. This rubbing may cause your clothing micro damage which in the long run will make it last … about a season. So, handwashing is the best delicate cycle. As a bonus, did I mention you use way less water than your machine as well?
5) Hang your dirty laundry out to dry
Normally it is done outside, however, they can be hung inside as well. So why stop using your handy dryer? Not only will it save you some $$ it will reduce the average household’s carbon footprint by a whopping 2,400 pounds a year. Another perk? You know the lint you clean out, yeah… that’s proof of your clothing actually wearing away!
6) Skip the dry-cleaners
Most dry cleaners use the chemical perchloroethylene (also called “perc”), which is very dangerous for humans. This chemical is linked to cancer, bodily irritations, and reduced fertility!
The easiest way to avoid the dry cleaners is by avoiding purchases that require it! Check those labels, ladies!!
For those who can’t avoid it, here are some dry-cleaning alternatives: if you have to, make sure you search for businesses that use liquid carbon dioxide. Wet cleaning (uses computer-controlled washers) is also a safer option.
7) Cold-wash only
Many of us like a hot shower but our clothes don’t need it. 90% of the power your washing machine uses is to heat the water for its wash cycle- WOW! That leaves 10% of actual washing… which is what you bought it for in the first place. So what else does washing your clothes do? Not only does it save you money and reduces for carbon footprint – it helps reduce your clothing color bleeding or fading.
This list is so easy, you can start now! As far as what Nour De La Garza is doing for the environment, we wanted to make sure that you had the opportunity to own quality garments that will not cost you or the environment more after each dry-cleaning. That is why all our pieces are machine wash cold or handwash only and lay flat to dry. I hope this helps you stay conscious about the environment while enjoying your favorite fashion staples longer.
What are you doing to lessen your carbon footprint? Comment below!