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Did you know that an estimated 50% of the greenhouse gas emissions from clothing takes place in the consumer use stage? This principally arises from washing and drying, but also includes ironing and dry-cleaning too. So cherishing and protecting your clothes properly is both good for your clothes, and for the planet!

The Collaborative Store has teamed up with BLANC to give you the lowdown on how to reduce your fashion impact. As the country’s leader in eco-cleaning and sustainable aftercare, they believe aftercare should not be an afterthought and have shared the ABC’s of how to care for your clothes in a sustainable way and make them last.

Alter, mend, repair

Not wearing a given piece because it doesn’t fit quite right, or just because a hem or a button is missing is something we can all relate to. It may seem simple, but this stage is often overlooked by many! Here at BLANC, we believe that clothes worth wearing are worth repairing. Fixing a zip, patching a jumper, hemming a pair of jeans... It gives your clothes a new lease of life and helps the planet in a myriad of ways.

A common myth about tailoring is that it’s expensive and time-consuming, but having your clothes professionally altered and repaired is not only a simple effort but it’s also an affordable solution to clothes that need an upgrade. If you’re not too well acquainted with a needle and thread, BLANC is here to help. Our professional tailors work little miracles and can mend or adjust almost anything - to make it perfect, just for you. Just visit one of our stores - or schedule an online collection & delivery - and let us know your specific instructions.

Mending, patching and wear and tear, shouldn’t be viewed as imperfection either - it can often add a beautiful, unique feature to your garment that you wouldn’t get anywhere else. A true one-of-a-kind.

Buy less, choose well

If you’re in the market for something new, the key is to focus on quality and not quantity. As Vivienne Westwood very rightly suggests, the first thing to do to avoid ending up with an overstuffed closet is to buy less, less often - to buy more consciously. A rule to go by is to buy what you need, not what you want: investing in timeless pieces will ultimately save you time, money and the urge to always buy new.

One way to achieve this is to opt for more sustainable brands. Platforms such as Good on You and Zerrin are good for ethical brand directories and highlighting who might not be living up to their ’green’ claims. Whenever possible, it is wise to choose natural fabrics over synthetic ones when shopping for new clothes. Linen, cotton, wool and silk all derive from plants and will (if produced without harmful chemicals) biodegrade more easily than petroleum-based synthetics such as polyester and nylon which are actually made of plastic. Choosing better materials is essential to transform this industry for the better - you are supporting start-up companies creating new markets, and avoiding the toxic impacts associated with conventional textiles.

Check your detergent labels

Checking labels for cosmetics and cleaning products that are in contact with our skin is essential. Luckily, many brands - BLANC included - believe that washing your clothes shouldn’t ever cost the earth and many eco-friendly, non-toxic detergents on the market perform as good, if not better, as the conventional ones.

Conventional laundry products often contain optical whiteners, phosphates and other toxic additives which can cause algae blooms and negatively affect ecosystems and marine life. These chemicals make their way into groundwater and harm surrounding plant growth, but they can cause chemical reactions in our bodies, like asthma or skin irritation.

If you’re looking for something more natural, the Tangent GC Delicate Detergent with Yuzu is made from 100% natural substances and treats the cell structure of natural fabrics gently. For highly sensitive skins: try Bio D’s Fabric Conditioner, which leaves clothes soft, static-free and delicately fragranced and is perfectly suitable for sensitive skins. Finally, Attirecare's Crease Release spray to escape the tedious task of ironing. It is made from all-natural ingredients and magically leaves clothing crease-free, by simply spraying them after washing - a very clever time-saver.

Dry cleaning: make the switch to eco cleaning

Professional cleaning is conventionally quite a toxic business and one thing to know about traditional dry cleaning is that it is neither dry nor clean: it consists of soaking clothes in a petroleum-based solvent called Perchloroethylene (“PERC”), which is then evaporated at very high temperatures. PERC is highly toxic for your health and for the environment. This chemical accounts for 80%-85% of all dry cleaning fluids used by conventional dry cleaners to clean garments, despite being a probable human carcinogen and being banned in many countries already.

So for the clothes that require a professional hand, quit the dry cleaner and look for a professional eco cleaner like BLANC! Unlike conventional dry cleaners who soak clothes in toxic, carcinogenic chemicals, we use eco-technologies (including wet cleaning and liquid CO2 cleaning, which are the most sustainable and health-friendly methods of cleaning currently available) - gentle on textile fibres, yet efficient on stains.
Our process combines artisan care with expert tech to deliver a better quality clean and is kinder to your skin, your clothes and our planet.

Eco up your laundry routine at home

Did you know that 90% of the energy used by a washing machine is used to heat up the water, and only 10% is used to power the motor?
Washing at 30°C or 40°C (often lower than stated on the care label) can help you save a lot of energy - not to mention that it will make your clothes last longer! High temperatures do not get on well with textile fibres and consistently wear them out. As for the drying, skip the tumble dryer and favour line drying: it will again save some energy and eliminate the heat and friction happening in the dryer which significantly reduces the clothes lifespan.

Another thing you can do for a more eco-friendly routine is to invest in a Guppy Friend Washing Bag. You might not know about it but every time you wash synthetic fabrics (such as polyester), they release thousands of tiny microfibres. They go down our drains and eventually end up in our oceans and waterways. Clothes release half a million tonnes of microfibres into the ocean every year, equivalent to more than 50 billion plastic bottles - scary.

The Guppyfriend washing bag is a scientifically approved solution against microplastic pollution that filters out even the tiniest microfibres that shed from our clothes when washing. The washing bags not only help to stop microplastic pollution but also protects and prolongs the life of your clothes.

We hope that this has inspired you to give your wardrobe and new purchases some extra love, whilst reducing your environmental impact at the same time! If you need any aftercare help or advice, you can drop your clothes off at any of our London stores or book a pickup and delivery online - as well as any Tailoring & Alterations. We will help you prolong the life of your most beloved clothes, naturally, for many years to come.

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