The more you wash cloth, the shorter the life cycle of the item will be. The United Nations Environment programme found that if you wear your jeans at least three times before washing them, wash in cold water and hang dry without ironing you consume five times less energy. We encourage you to wipe away dirt and grime as a first resort. If washing is necessary, The Fableists clothes are made to survive a 30° C wash but please wash on the coldest setting you feel comfortable with, with a minimal amount of detergent on as gentle a cycle as possible and hang dry to save the clothes, your electricity bill and the planet. We recommend eco-friendly detergents, which have minimal aquatic toxicity and will biodegrade quickly and completely.
If you are concerned about bacteria that might survive a cold water wash, try a naturally antibacterial essential oil such as tea tree oil, peppermint, oregano, lavender, lemon, thyme or eucalyptus. This will not kill 100% of bacteria but will be very effective and will also give your washing a lovely, fresh scent. Hydrogen peroxide is a naturally occurring chemical and it is very effective at killing bacteria. It is safe on skin but does have a bleaching effect and should be used carefully. A top all round disinfecting product is plain old white vinegar. It will remove bacteria and stains and it also removes the build-up of soap scum and softens the water, leaving your washing soft and fluffy. All anti-bacterial products should be used in moderation so that they will remain effective.
We understand that you might need to use your tumble dryer – but do so wisely. Try to shorten the time of your load. Taking clothes out slightly damp and folding them immediately will reduce the need to iron (always a bonus!). You can also hang your load and then put it through the dryer on a quick cycle to soften them. Avoid dryer sheets, which are full of chemicals and break down organic fibres, which will shorten the life span of your clothes.
And now for the best news: Limit your ironing. This will preserve your sanity but ironing also uses energy (not just yours!) and deteriorates fabric. Obviously, some of your clothes require ironing but make the time to take your line-dried clothes down while still slightly damp, fold them promptly along the creases and pile them up. The folding and the weight will remove wrinkles.