How To Make your Clothing Last Longer

   

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So along with buying pieces that are made sustainably or ethically the other large part about sustainable fashion is caring more about each piece of clothing. Clothing isn't something that should be worn once and tossed in the garbage. You should buy clothing that you'll want to wear for years to come. Pieces that speak to you and who you are. So I wanted to give some of my tips to make every piece in your closet last longer:

  • be mindful of your deodorant, I would recommend a organic one that won't stain or react with your clothing fibers (make sure it is not oil based, those leave residue as well) I ruined way too many amazing white t-shirts because I would load up on deodorant and sweat it out onto my shirt. Chemicals in many kinds of deodorant react with different fibers and create your yellow, black, or blue pits.
  • Tide-to-go is a life saver. I have used it on sneakers I thought I couldn't save as well as many dry-clean only items. Sometimes you don't need to wash a shirt just because you spilled a drip of coffee on it 5 minutes into your day.
  • For your white pieces that are starting to look too dingy to wear try washing them with a little bleach. It's not worth throwing out a garment if it can be saved!
  • Buy a sweater shaver. Many sweaters pill easily and that is the nature of the fiber/nature of the friction you're creating while going about your day. I bought mine off of Amazon, It has made multiple sweaters of mine look like new and given them another life.
  • Unless your garment says 'dry clean only' I would say cold water wash anything you're not sure about. Hang or lay it dry, the dryer can cause shrinkage, pilling, unraveling, and permeant wrinkles to some fabrics.
  • never hang knits up !!!!!!!!!!! Knits stretch, that is just the nature of knits. Designers spend forever testing the stretch of the knits they are making. Some designers hang knits to give them some extra length. Once you buy your knit it is in the shape it is supposed to be. Hanging it can cause stretch in many different areas as well as misshape the shoulders. Fold them up and put them in a drawer or shelf where you can still see them when you get dressed.
  • Switch out clothes by season - fresh eyes on a garment can change it. If you've had a piece in the front of your closet for a year it is likely going to be overlooked because you're already sick of looking at it before you have even worn it. For fall/winter or vice versa box up your out of season clothing. Maybe take some extra tanks you wore too much last season also. Give your eyes a break from those pieces so that when you unbox them you can get excited about your clothes again. It makes a big difference and saves you some closet space.
  • Bag your shoes with some kind of mesh/fabric bag so they don't scuff. *also important to know suede shoes can collect dust and look 'dirty' and be hard to clean if not protected. If you're like me and stack your shoes because you don't have room for each pair put some old socks or rags in your boots and shoes to help them keep their shape, especially in the off season.
  • When spring rolls around put your nice winter coats in a garment bag in the back of your closet to protect them from dust while they sit there for months.
  • Invest in some nice hangers for your bigger pieces or even your finer woven pieces. Coats and jackets should have a thicker rounded hanger so it doesn't stretch out or create marks in your garment. Pants can be hung over pant hangers so you don't get marks from the clips on most pant hangers. * or put some foam or a piece of fabric between the clip and your pant so it isn't directly touching the fabric.
  • wash your jeans and anything else dyed inside-out to prolong fading. Additionally items like jeans and sweaters truly don't need to be washed that often. I try to avoid washing my jeans for as long as I possibly can. Washing, no matter how delicate you are, wears out fabric and can cause unwanted damage.
  • get your tights damp and then put them in a bag and in the freezer overnight, it helps them run less and last longer.
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switch to sustainable

   

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This is a quick guide to anyone who wants a sustainably made wardrobe but doesn't know how to start. Super simple, do whatever applies best to you.

CLEAR IT OUT

If you're like me you keep a lottt of info in your bookmarks tabs on your computer. So first step, delete all your fast fashion bookmarks. You don't need Forever 21 and H&M saved, you already know they exist. The less you see those brands at your convenience the less you'll purchase from them.

Go through your emails, unsubscribe from Topshop and Zara and anyone else who bombards you with too many emails as well as too many clothes.

Clear browsing data on your computer, idk if this helps anything but it makes me feel like i cleaned something and gives you a new start.

The number one place that tempts you wayyy too often is on Instagram. Unfollow the brands that produce pointless content. I understand following certain brands to see how they style their clothing, but, for brands like Forever 21, seeing their new product will only temp you to make a decision you'll regret later.

Next, take it to your closet. Go through allll of your clothing, if you haven't worn a piece in months on end then you don't need it in your closet. Maybe it's too precious to recycle so sell it on Poshmark or Depop, it will make you feel better about getting rid of a piece you still have some love for. Go through your dresser, even your underwear. If it has a hole in it you don't need it. Your stained 'period panties' have probably seen better days as well. Be mindful of what you're getting rid of, if you can't afford to get rid of your favorite jeans because you're not in the position to buy new ones yet, that's okay. But, once you find the right new pair don't forget to recycle the old. Once it's clean organize it a bit, even box up your winter sweaters so you can feel like they're new again next season.

Learn how to recycle your old clothing here http://www.aubreykrekeler.com/blog/properrecycling

 

REFRESH

Okay the annoying part is over and now you're starting fresh.

Subscribe to some favorite sustainable brands, through email, on Insta and bookmark some. They might be out of your price range but if you continuously follow them you'll get an idea of when they hold sales and in the future you can buy that piece you've been eyeing for a year. Take the time to search around, if a brand isn't inspiring you, move on. You don't want to overwhelm your Instagram or inbox with too many brands, take the time to find some you love. I always 'test run' brands. If I follow them for a while and I am not liking any of their photos/clothing then maybe they're not the right fit for me.

Make a list of items you desperately need in your wardrobe. Summer is finally here and maybe you've just realized you have no sandals to wear everyday. Prioritize items you need and then take the time to search for the perfect replacement. You'll thank yourself later.

Be mindful of what you’re purchasing, give yourself time to think about a piece before you buy it.

 

Feel free to DM me if you need help finding some sustainable brands that would suit you or check out my two blog posts dedicated to some amazing brands I have been following for a long time:

http://www.aubreykrekeler.com/blog/sustainablebrandspart2

http://www.aubreykrekeler.com/blog/sustainablebrands

 

Feel free to take this approach in all aspects of your life. With Cruelty free makeup brands or more sustainably made home goods or a million other things :))

 

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SIMPLE RECYCLING

   

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Welcome to 2018, where recycling is more important than ever and so easy to do from the comfort of your home!! If you're human, you're aware of how much consumerism there is in the world, creating so much trash. "The average American throws away about 65 pounds of clothing per year, and along with other textiles that get tossed, like sheets and bedding, the total comes out to 14.3 million tons of textile waste per year "  (source),  WHICH IS EFFING INSANE. I already created one post about minimizing waste, which you can read here, but the companies listed below are amazing. I’ve spent a lot of time researching, so I wanted to share what I found.

 

I thought it was important to focus on recycling because many donated clothing gets transported elsewhere and still ends up in a landfill. Obviously if you, for whatever reason, aren't able to recycle then donating is also an amazing option. Donating to any charity in your area, like Goodwill, Salvation Army, Vietnam Veterans of America, or any other local charity, can help support your community. My boyfriend has even directly gone up to a homeless man that we’ve seen around Cincinnati and given his clothing to them. There are so many people in need and the last thing you should ever do is simply toss a garment in the trash.

 

I am planning on moving this yearl, and I don't want to bring anything I don't wear often or that doesn't mean a lot to me. So, I decided to host a clothing swap with my friends. I just quickly group texted a bunch of friends asking if they were interested, and a lot of them were. We met at a friend’s house and all brought any clothing we didn't wear anymore. Then we let everyone walk around and try on and take whatever they liked. Everyone walked away with so much clothing that was new to them!! I am going to sound like a mom, but it literally brought me joy to see my friends get super excited about the pieces they were taking home. After that, I collected all of the leftover clothing, shoes, etc from everyone and recycled and donated to the places below.

 

Clothing Recycling

The Reformation

So Community Recycling is a program that allows people to ship their old gently used clothing to their headquarters where it will be recycled into new clothing and textiles. They only operate through businesses so the easiest one I found is Reformation.  All you have to do is set up an account with Reformation, aka just give them your email and create a password. Then through your account you request a shipping label. They generate a shipping label for FREE, all you have to do it print it, put your unwanted, old clothes in a box and ship it. If you don't have any old boxes you can get one from the Dollar Store or your local USPS. This program is amazing, you aren't required to buy something from Reformation, it is just a platform that makes it easier to recycle and if you end up finding something you love then you can also buy sustainably.

 

Bra Recycling

BraRecyclers

This entire company is dedicated to bras. A much needed, overlooked, part of clothing. This company takes your bras you don't need anymore and gives them to people who do need bras. Similar to the program above, all you have to do is fill out this form here. You wash your bras, fill out the form, grab a box and print the shipping label and then send the box on its way. Only thing not included is paid shipping, but just go to your local USPS and ship from there. I shipped just one box that  had about 8 bras in it and it was just $10.00. Sooo simple to help out someone in need. The Bra Recyclers then give those bras to over 80 organizations, including women's shelters, families in transition, women fighting and recovering from breast cancer, and victims of domestic violence, drug addiction, and human trafficking.

 

SHOE RECYCLING

Zappos For Good

Zappos has a super easy model to follow. Similar to Community Recycling all you have to do is box up your shoes keeping it under 50lbs, log into Zappos and print off your free shipping label and then drop off your box at your nearest USPS. So to my understanding this website allows you to donate your shoes that are still in wearable condition. I have yet to find a website or company that takes un-usable old shoes and recycles them. Let me know if you know of any!

 

Fabric recylcing

Fab Scrap

*Currently only available in New York*

My fellow designers and students, send your waste here. ALL you have to do is schedule a time for them to come pick up, you can also sign up for regularly scheduled pick-ups!! Literally that's it, put all your fabric in a bag and call them.

 

bedsheets/towels etc

I wasn't able to find any companies that properly dispose of things like bedsheets and towels. If they are in great condition obviously they can be donated but often that isn't the case. Best advice I can give is first check out local animal shelters in your area. They can use fabric for many different things! Secondly I would say keep them for a guest room, for a drop-cloth when painting, or tear it into rags for various household cleaning!

 

HOUSEHOLD RECYCLING

Earth911

A lot of other household products need to be recycled properly as well! There is a lottttt that should not go into the trash, which I think a lot of people don't realize. Here is a list of some common household products that need to be recycled differently. All of these items vary on your location. For any item you don't know how/where to recycle, go to this website. All you do is type in the product and your zipcode!

Household items that need to be recycled properly: Nail polish, Dehumidifiers/TV/Electronics, Batteries, Lightbulbs, Paint and more. Think before you throw away!

 

 

 

 

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SUSTAINABLE BRANDS PART 2

When I first started this page I shared some of my favorite sustainable designers. I think the first thing that stops people from buying sustainably is not being able to find clothing they like if they aren't familiar with small designers. There are soo many amazing, small designers out there that produce their clothing sustainably. I wanted to do a second round to share some more brands that I admire. They all vary in price but are all pieces that are worth saving up for. I find it so much easier to connect with smaller brands. You feel like you know each garment and in-turn feel a connection to your clothing.

Read my first blog post about sustainable brands here.

 

Ceramic/flower arrangement by Cassandra Tavukciyan

Ceramic/flower arrangement by Cassandra Tavukciyan

Paloma Wool

website \\ instagram

"Paloma Wool is my name and the name of this project, which is about getting dressed and about space or ideas that are created around the act of getting dressed."

I can't say enough good things about Paloma Wool. From the quality, to the price point, to the presentation, Paloma Wool has been one of my favorite brands since I first touched their clothing in person. Their pieces are made in Spain with thought and attention to detail. They design with the wearer in mind, creating pieces that you are comfortable wearing and happy to wear again and again.

 

 

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Ilana Kohn

website \\ instagram

"Ilana Kohn is a line of clothing and textiles designed and produced in NYC."

Ilana Kohn is known for her clean silhouettes and staple pieces. She started with four basic silhouettes and since has evolved into collections. The one pictured above is the piece I still dream about at night. The perfect jumpsuit, in my opinion. She focuses on quality and structure and each piece is welcoming to the wearer. 

 

 

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Faris

website \\ instagram

"Designed by Faris Du Graf in Seattle, Washington, FARIS celebrates the space between the levity of play and the gravity of embodiment.  Each collection builds on a vocabulary of bold, sculptural statements that aim to elevate the everyday and the rare occasion."

Every. single. Faris. design. is a piece of art. The sculptural elements and clean design make my heart burst. While each 'collection' varies you can still spot a Faris piece from the way its made and the structure it carries. You can feel the quality in the weight. They also sell a lot of their earrings as singles, which allows the wearer to create their own pair of earrings.

 

 

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Baserange

website \\ instagram

"Baserange is a line of sustainable under and easy wear. The collection favors a philosophy of creating clean, easy and accessible garments that exist somewhere between modern culture and the natural world."

Ugh, Baserange. If I had to pick one brand to wear for the rest of my life, this would be it. You can see the thought and care that is put into each piece. From interchanging garments that can move and form with your body to their loose silhouettes that make you feel like you're wearing pajamas. Their collections are always inter-changable sticking to a neutral color palette that makes you feel like the garment is an extension of yourself. Their fabric choice feels comforting and unique, allowing you to layer and layer the pieces.

 

 

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Elizabeth Suzann

website \\ instagram

"We are a label born out of dislike for excess and desire for quality. Practicality, elegance, comfort and attention to detail are at the forefront of our philosophy. We cut and sew all of our garments locally in our Nashville design studio using only the highest quality, natural fiber cloth We strive to create thoughtful, well-designed, and long-lasting garments. By ultimately creating seasonless pieces that can be worn a myriad of ways."

What I admire utmost about Elizabeth Suzann's designs is the care and heart she puts into each piece. Her brand evolves around the idea of transparency and inclusion. She creates clothing that is beautiful on all body types, while also having a sizing options that includes all body types. Through her Instagram alone you can learn about her employers, her background, her process, her inspiration, her passion, her studio, and how each piece is made from start to finish. She learns from her customers, to then give back the best piece she can create.

 

 

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Loeil

website \\ instagram

"LOÉIL is an online womenswear brand with a unique point of view. Born in the heart of Los Angeles in 2015. LOÉIL’s design is characterized by the unique combination of superb quality, innovative craftsmanship, and effortless understated minimalism."

Loeil's collections are always a surprise. They show their strength in being able to change their designs and aesthetic each season. While always maintaining clean and minimal designs. From incredibly colorful collections to all neutral collections there are always interesting pieces you want immediately. 

 

 

 

 

 

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