Susta-Style: Clothing Care And Cleaning

Susta-Style Wednesday By Holly Royce (- filling in for your normal Style Guru Bronte Hogarth who is currently taking the 1MW message to Brazil, find out more about that here).

A report from the Ecotextile news has a shown that the largest amounts of CO2 emission come not from the production or transportation of our clothing- but from the care and cleaning after we purchase.

Tumble drying that shirt? Add another 7kgs to your shirts carbon footprint.

Maybe ironing it too? Add another 4kgs.

A shirt is normally washed about 55 times in its lifecycle, so go ahead and times that number by 55. That’s 605KGs of carbon pollution in your garment’s life cycle.

What Can We Do-

To avoid an using an iron?

Hang your clothes up straight after the wash cycle is finished, still filled with water.
Water and gravity will work together to pull out most wrinkles. The more wrinkle prone an item is (think linen), the more water needs to be left in.
Proceed to fold dry clothes in a manner which will place your creases where they need to be, and then put them under other clothes in your wardrobe. The weight of the other clothes will be helpful for that ‘just ironed’ look.

To avoid using a tumble dryer?

Retractable clothes line, such a great idea!

Retractable clothes line, such a great idea!

Solar power, baby.
Nothing beats a toasty shirt straight off the line, soaked in the rays of the sun- plus drying this way actually helps your clothes to last longer! Turn them inside out if you are worried about colourfastness.
Weather not going your way? Use airing racks around your house and or balcony.


My partner and I don’t own a tumble dryer OR washing machine.

I know what you’re thinking – she must stink. Well yes I do, but not because my clothes aren’t clean.

Because it’s just the two of us, we save up a big basket of laundry which we take to the local Laundromat once a week. Their industrial washers and driers are more energy efficient than ordinary domestic versions. We realise this may not be a cost effective option for everyone,  so here are 6 more great eco-laundry tips from Tree

Tips for Greener Clothing and Laundry

1. Choose apparel in muted shades that won’t readily show dirt or stains
2. Select textured fabrics over flat weaves for the same reason
3. Read care labels before you make a purchase
4. Don’t buy clothes that need dry cleaning
5. Don’t buy clothing that must be hot washed
6. Wash on cold cycle, preferably with a front load washing machine

This was the second post in our susta-style journey.

The Susta-Style journey

Recycle, Share & Swap
Care & Cleaning
Repair & Rebirth
Knowledge & Research
Return on Investment

Check in next week for Repair and Rebirth.

For more information, check out our website: we are daughters, mothers, sisters and grandmothers getting on with practical climate action to live better for us and the planet. Join the movement at

3 responses to “Susta-Style: Clothing Care And Cleaning


  2. Pingback: First weapons of defence: Knowledge and Research | 1 Million Women·

  3. Pingback: Susta-Style: Return on Investment | 1 Million Women·

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s