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.