How to take care of your wardrobe

Give your clothes some TLC this Earth Day with these expert tips from some of our favourite brands.

As, this Earth Day, we’re encouraged to ‘invest in our planet’, we’ve been thinking about what this looks like for our wardrobes. For many of us, this means buying less and investing in what we already own. So, this spring, we’ll be treating our clothes to a sartorial spa session – giving each much-loved piece a longer lifespan.


Help handbags keep their shape

With a different handbag for almost every look (just us?), we’re constantly switching between styles. When it comes to storing yours between uses, Furla advises you stuff your handbag with tissue paper – not the shoulder strap – to maintain the bag’s shape. Plus, store it inside the protective dust bag it came with to keep away dirt from sensitive materials, especially suede.

Need to give your favourite a spruce up? Furla recommends using a gentle cleansing milk and lightly moistened cloth to freshen up anything leather.

Is your favourite handbag looking a little tired? Nip into the Coach boutique while you’re here, they’ll clean your piece while you shop.


Make denim last longer

A planet saver and time saver in one: washing your denim jeans and jackets less often can prolong their life, according to Tommy Hilfiger, as the machine can shrink and fade the fabric. Instead, place your denim in the freezer for 24 hours to kill bacteria and freshen up your weekend regulars.

When you do wash them, the brand recommends turning them inside out first, to preserve the colour, using a cool wash and allowing them to air dry outside.

Want to try cropped jeans this season? Take your denim into Levi’s for their complimentary alteration service… they’ve even a selection of fun patches to add a pop of colour.


Handwash your lingerie

Another wardrobe essential that doesn’t appreciate the washing machine: your lingerie. According to the experts at Calvin Klein Underwear, we should all be handwashing bras to keep them in good shape.

They advise using lukewarm water and delicate laundry detergent ¬– leaving the bra to soak for an hour before rinsing it with cold water and hanging to dry from the centre front grove (the bit between the cups). For an extra deep clean, you can use a toothbrush to give your delicates a scrub, which won’t damage the shape or material.


Polish and protect your trainers

Keep your sneakers looking box-fresh with Timberland’s three-step process. First up, the ‘Sole Brightener’ cleans and whitens your rubber sole. Simply press down to dispense, scrub away the dirt and then wipe clean with a cloth. Then, the ‘Waximum’ leather protector – made from beeswax and coconut oil – buffs, polishes and protects your leather outer (whether waxed or oiled) to like new. Buff in small circles using a sponge and leave to dry.

Finally, spritz a little ‘Air Raider’ refresher inside each shoe to keep them smelling sweet.


Wash your wool properly

Our favourite winter warmer is another material that survives best with little washing – simply air your jumpers outside before giving them a onceover with a clothing brush to release the material’s natural oils. When you do wash them, garment bags are your friend, as is the ‘delicate’ washing machine setting. Remember to dry and store your wool jumpers flat so you don’t damage the fibres or twist the shape.

We all know wool and cashmere are prone to pilling, but your little-known secret weapon is the freezer, surprisingly. Place jumpers in there for a few minutes before each wear to help prevent pilling.


Note any specific instructions

Be sure to check the label for washing and care advice on any new purchases, as these can vary hugely by brand. For example, when it comes to their much-loved polo T-shirts, Lacoste recommends washing without fabric softener – it won’t give any suppleness to your polo and can even damage the fibres.

Plus, since ‘Petit Piqué’ cotton is a mesh that loves freedom, allow it to air dry. It won’t appreciate the tumble dryer so, for the sake of the planet and your shirt, banish that.

We love Timberland’s ‘Timberloop’ initiative, starting this April. Simply drop off your old clothing or footwear into the boutique and they’ll repair or recycle it into something new.


Be gentle when removing creases

A steamer is a quick and easy alternative to ironing, especially when you’re working with delicate fabrics, such as silk. Use long and slow movements, working from inside the piece, so the steam really penetrates the fabric and eases out any creases. Don’t own a steamer? Simply hang your outfit of the day in the bathroom while you’re taking a hot shower.

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