Clothing that is made of sustainable materials, like organic cotton, is best for the planet and your skin! After wearing your favorite pieces, washing keeps you feeling comfortable and ready to wear them again! Your laundry routine can also impact the environment. Water, electricity, and chemical laundry detergents can cause excess waste while polluting our planet. That doesn’t sound clean at all!
The next time you are washing your organic cotton outfits, consider implementing one or all of these tips to start a new sustainable laundry routine.
Wash your clothes in cold water
Switching to cold water is one of the easiest ways to start being more sustainable with your laundry routine. Cold water uses less energy because it doesn’t need extra electricity to heat the water up. Your clothing will get just as clean in cold water and, as a bonus, you may also save money on your next energy bill! Hot water can also break down the soft fibers of your organic cotton clothing and make them wear out faster. If you want to extend the life of your favorite Blue Canoe pieces and also stay sustainable, then using cold water when washing is a must!
Use an Eco-Friendly Bag to Wash Clothing that Contains Microplastics
Organic cotton and bamboo clothing from Blue Canoe doesn’t contain microplastics, but clothing from many other brands does. If you find words like polyester, nylon, polyamide, or acrylic on a clothing label, there are microplastics in that clothing. When these items are washed, the microplastic fibers are released into the water and air. These pollute the air quality and end up back in our water supplies, rivers, and oceans. You can still protect the environment if you have items in your closet that contain synthetic fibers by washing them in a bag that is made to catch microplastics. These bags collect any plastics that shed off clothing in the washing machine so they don’t end up in the water. After washing, the microfibers can be disposed of safely.
Transition to a Green Detergent
Most regular laundry detergents are very harmful to the environment. Unfortunately, they don’t completely biodegrade and therefore end up contaminating water with toxins like arsenic and cadmium. Some studies have also shown that detergents can contain phosphates which build up in waterways and cause eutrophication. This is when the nutrients of a body of water get over-enriched which causes too much algae and plant life to grow. The water then gets murky and blocks out light which kills off plants and animals due to lack of oxygen. Green laundry detergents are made of clean ingredients that are less harmful and can be easily added to make your new laundry routine more sustainable.
In addition, typical laundry detergents don’t really wash out of your clothes. When that laundry detergent smell is still on your clothes, you may think it’s the smell of clean, but, it’s really the smell of toxic chemical fragrances and other chemicals that have remained in your clothing.
Hang Your Clothing Out to Dry
This one may be a no-brainer, but hanging clothing out to dry is one of the best ways to save energy. When you have organic cotton clothing, the heat from a dryer can also break down the fabric faster, just like washing in hot water does. Take advantage of nature’s built-in dryer and lay your clean clothes out in the sun! Even if you live in an apartment, a small drying rack or clothesline on a balcony can be a great way to maximize the life of your clothing and minimize the drain on planet earth.
Wear Your Clothing More Frequently and Wash Less
Quality clothing, like we make at Blue Canoe, will keep its shape and be wearable multiple times before needing a wash. The more times you can wear a garment, the fewer resources like water, electricity, and detergent you will need. Normalize being an outfit repeater and finding ways to wear your favorite items more than once before tossing them in the clothes hamper. It may not seem like you are doing much, but it’s little choices like this that make the biggest impact over time!
Now that you know how to start a sustainable laundry routine, take action by choosing one or two examples from this guide and make a difference when you wash your clothes!