When it comes to shopping ethical, it's all about buy less, buy better. At treen we do the leg work for you, researching each and every element of the brands and collections that we get behind from origin to design sourcing to durability - so that you can focus purely on investing in what you need. Finding pieces that fit seamlessly into your existing wardrobe is the goal, plus finding things that will work throughout the seasons and for many years to come. But once they are safely home with you, we want them to last as long as possible for you. How do we get the most out of our clothes?
We've broken down our tried and tested tips for making your wardrobe work for longer, from how best to wash denim to keeping those moths at bay - naturally. Grab a pen, you’re going to want to take notes.
Keep moths away, the kind way
Let’s face it, moths aren’t exactly the most loved creature we are lucky enough to share this planet with. Thanks to their bad rep for eating our clothes, it’s easy to dismiss them and sadly the typical means of preventing them for entering your wardrobe is to well, kill them, with sprays and chemical sticky pads. But before these products came into the market, the go-to way to prevent moth damage was all natural and cruelty free. Easy to spread discreetly around wardrobes and drawers, the solution is cedar wood. Grab hold of a pack from your local hardware store to protect knits and finer fabrics that moths love. Even better? Double down your protection with a few drops of lavender essential oil on each cedar ball or cube to further prevent moths from coming near (plus they absorb moisture).
Wash less, wash better!
It’s tempting, we know. Get in from a long day and throw your clothes straight in the laundry basket. More often than not we wash things that have a lot of wear in them yet. The most useful tip we’ve ever received in prolonging the life of our wardrobe is to hold back from washing as much as possible. It’s sounds odd but many fabrics including denim and cotton knits are self-cleaning, easily absorbing smells and moisture so your jumper probably doesn’t need that once a week spin in the machine. The sheer amount of water it takes to power a wash isn’t just ecologically unfriendly, it can also damage items, fading colours, altering the fit and shrinking the seams of our go-to pieces. In summary. Wash as little as possible, freshen up in between washes with a steamer and a laundry spray, hang up in fresh air and allow to breathe. When you do need to wash? 30 degrees does the trick, no matter how dirty.
Cotton bags are your best friend
Dust-bag, travel pouch, laundry bag. The uses are endless, and we include one with every purchase at treen because we have seen ourselves just how useful our organic cotton drawstring bags are at safeguarding your clothes. Top tips. When traveling, pack groups of items together in one, keep shoes or bags in another, and take a spare for that awkward laundry bag need mid-trip. Once back home use to keep vegan leather unscratched and intact by storing pieces in each. Keep knits away from those moths we mentioned with a few drops of lavender oil on. Protect delicate underwear, keep cashmere socks together and separate sections in your drawers with them to keep things safer for longer (plus have one at a reachable distance for groceries, gym kit, toiletries… we could go on, but we won’t).
Meet the game changer, the steamer
It’s possible the best thing we’ve ever invested in when it comes to clothes care. This miracle worker is ready to change up your whole approach thanks to its easy use. Steaming gets rid of creases and folds like ironing does, but without the harsh temperatures on delicate fabrics or difficult to reach pleats and tailoring. It can freshen up pieces to keep them out of the washing machine longer and is arguably fun. Yeah, we said that. Unsure? You can grab a travel sized, hand-held steamer to get used to the idea (then take away with you on trips or weddings!) then graduate to a full size for your place if you are as into them as we are. Cough* Phillips or Steamery* Cough. No product placement here. Oh, and whilst you are at it grab a de-bobbler or ‘fabric shaver’ from the same people to get rid of pilling on knits.
Repair and reuse
Rounding things off, it’s time to talk repairing. It’s not necessarily something we are used to doing anymore, with the rise in disposable - and therefore easily replaceable - fast fashion and sadly a pretty low expectation of our clothes to last. A ‘couple of years’ isn’t a long life for any item so when it comes to keeping good care of things and them giving back to you in the long term, we think learning how to fix our own clothes is pretty crucial (and again, fun!). Ask a friend, parent, grandparent or colleague if they already know how to sew for basic repairs, get on Youtube for one of thousands of short tutorials and give it a practice. Struggling to make it work? Head to your local sewing class (Edinburgh based The Remakery does these!) to learn more. Still not feeling it? Tailors are your friend. They can do so much more than just change the hemline or cut of a dress. Repair, patch, darn and recycle - repeat.
Have some of your own care tips and tricks to add to the conversation? We need your minds! Drop us a DM, comment on Instagram or send us an email to chat more about how you get the best life out of your clothes. Here if you need us as always.