Friday, 5 January 2018

What Are My Clothes Made Of?

Meet the Fabrics

This week, Madia & Matilda bring you their collective wisdom about fabrics, plus some cool stuff about being eco-friendly while you're being clothing friendly.

What d'you mean there's more ironing to do? Pass the wine Janice. 


Cotton: the Sturdy, Stand-By-Me Friend in the Squad
Cotton is pretty hardy, as fabrics go. Of the friendship group it's the dependable, wise friend you can always count on (who is also ultra-breathable and machine-washable). Cotton is a natural fibre which is lovely to wear next to the skin. 

Linen: the Comfy, Badass Grandma Who Has No Time for Your Rubbish
Another natural fibre, linen shares many of cotton's best qualities: it's breathable, durable and comfortable to wear. Linen's other great qualities are its amazing durability, non-stretchiness and keeps you cooler than cotton in the heat.

Silk: the Mind-Blowing, Ethereal, Emotionally Unstable Beauty Queen 
Silk is a natural fibre which is famously picky when it comes to care. However, it's such a beautiful fabric that many people just can't resist its charm. It's breathable, hypoallergenic and comfortable to wear, and that's just for starters! 




Wool: the Lovely Warm Grandad with the Scratchy Beard
Another natural, hypoallergenic fibre! Wool is incredible: cosy and comfy, both insulating and breathable, what's not to like?! (Unless you're vegan. Fair Play.) Wool is also dust-resistant (take that, dust allergies!). True, it can be scratchy, but nobody's perfect.

Polyester/Nylon: One Half of the Glam, Up-For-It Plastic Fantastics
Polyester and nylon are both man-made materials derived from plastic. They were invented in the '50s, and have enjoyed much fame since as a hardy material. Quick-drying and great at maintaining shape, polyester and nylon are good all-rounders. 

Acrylic: the Other Half of the Glam, Up-For-It Plastic Fantastics
Acrylic clothing is similar to polyester and nylon: versatile, easy to  wear and care for. Another synthetic plastic fibre, acrylic fibres were invented by the Germans in the '40s. If you're trying to buy less plastic, you may want to avoid buying acrylic clothing. 




Clothing Care and the Planet: Compatible?
Washing machines and electric dryers typically use lots of energy, but there are lots of ways you can cut down your energy consumption while giving your clothes great care. 
  • Wash your clothes less, e.g. wash jeans every week or so rather than every couple of days. Really, it's that simple! 
  • Use a biodegradable, petroleum-free washing detergent (see below!). Or you could use soap nuts, super cool little berries which are harvested largely from trees in India and Nepal. ("Chuck a few more nuts in the washing machine would you, honey?" Go on, you know you want an excuse to say that)
  • Give your dryer a rest (or send it into retirement) by letting your washing dry naturally. On a sunny, breezy day your washing could be dry in an hour. Amazing!
  • Make sure you're putting on full loads of washing instead of just a couple of items. This will save you money as well as reducing the amount of energy you use
  • Hand wash silk or wool items. This also reduces risk of the fabric warping or shrinking. Use a special wool/silk detergent and be gentle!
  • For other ways to make your clothing care greener, visit this link







Ecover and the Green Clean Crew
Ecover are champs of the green clean initiative. Created and based in Belgium, Ecover make effective cleaning products that smell amazing. You may have heard people saying that green cleaning products aren't as effective as mainstream, chemical-based ones, but it's just not true. Give it a go, and let us know what you think! Read more about the ethos of Ecover here.

Method also make beautiful clean products which clean beautifully well (try saying that three times fast!). Created by "former roommates" and fellow "superheroes" Adam and Eric, Method products are "gentler than a thousand puppy licks" and do a wonderful job of cleaning your home! How's that for endorsement?! For more about the Method method, click here.






Sincerely Madia & Matilda