Over to You: The Care Cycle
Did you know that clothing's greatest environmental impact happens during the care cycle? It's sometimes hard to imagine, but care—washing, drying, ironing and dry cleaning—uses more energy and toxins than raising fiber, spinning, dyeing, manufacturing or transportation.
One of the simplest ways to minimize the impact of care is to machine wash clothes in cold water, using non-petroleum, eco-friendly soaps. Instead of sending sweaters to the dry cleaner, wash them by using the instructions below.
A step-by-step guide:
- Read our care labels and you'll find that, in most cases, merino, cashmere, alpaca and mohair can be washed with these simple steps.
- Fill a basin with cool water. Add mild soap, preferably an eco-friendly variety.
- Place sweater in water and swirl gently.
- Rinse. Drain the basin and gently press sweater to remove excess water, being careful not to wring or twist.
- Spread sweater on a thick, dry towel. Roll towel the way you would a yoga mat, pressing as you go. Do not twist towel.
- Unroll. Lay sweater on a dry towel on a flat, waterproof surface. Reshape sweater. Spread arms out straight, push ribbing together, align collar and button any buttons. If there is a belt, dry it separately. After 12 to 24 hours (depending on the thickness of knit), turn sweater over and spread out on a dry towel. You won't need to reshape but you can pat and fluff.
- Once completely dry, your sweater should be ready to wear. If any wrinkles or folds remain, use a steamer to remove.