The biggest change starts with the smallest act. Try these ideas from a company that knows a lot about caring for clothing and committing to sustainability — and add your own below.
1. Wash Less
The easiest thing to do is run your washing machine less often, using eco-friendly detergents whenever possible.
2. Switch to Cold Water
This simple act can cut your energy impact by up to 90 percent. When EILEEN FISHER labels call for machine washing, they call for cold water.
3. Choose Products from Plants Not Petroleum
Chemicals and dyes aren’t renewable and most don’t biodegrade. Look up anything you can’t pronounce—you can Google all the ingredients.
4. Line Dry
Conventional dryers are a huge energy culprit. “Line drying preserves fibers— and the life of your clothes,” says Jill, an EILEEN FISHER expert pattern maker.
5. Steam Instead of Iron
Steaming saves energy and freshens clothes, extending the time between dry cleanings.
6. Hand Wash Instead of Dry Clean
Read care labels and you’ll be surprised at how many fibers—wool, silk, cashmere, mohair—can be hand washed.
7. Go to a Green Dry Cleaner
The nasty facts about perc, a known carcinogen, make going out of your way to a greener cleaner worth it. If you can, bring a reusable dry cleaning bag or ask your cleaner to skip the plastic. And bring back your hangers to recycle. Most of our clothing can be washed at home and dried on the line.
for over 6 months I did a laundry-experiment. I tried all different detergents: conventional cheap ones, conventional brands, organic expensive ones, organic store brands, soap nuts. I tried all of it with all different wash cycles, temperatures and different degrees and kinds of dirt etc. We have a 5 year old son who plays in the woods and outside for the most part, I have a husband who does a lot of sports and sweating. this is the result I came up with: it is all about the lengths of the wash cycle and the temperature. I live in Europe and our washers have a different technique. = the water that runs into the machine is always cold. the washer heats it up and depending on the program / cycle you chose it heats up faster or if you chose the eco-cycle it always heats up slower and the program therefore takes up to 3 hours. but this is the key! the longer the cleaner and you could even put NO soap in at all. clothes with stains such as tomato or pumpkin seed oil you put in the sun and the sun will take it out in half an hour (during the summer time). Also you can compensate the non-bleach effect (in white laundry) of eco-soaps by hanging the laundry outside in the sun during summer time. the sun will do the bleaching!
Compost, even if you have to take a ride once a week or two to your favorite farm and give them your compost….do not throw food scraps or plants or peels or rotten fruits and veggies into your garbage bag….it will become a cyst on the face of our Mother Earth… it is well worth your effort…and it feels good…:)