Zara publishes a guide for clothing care and reducing its environmental footprint
Aware that moving towards a more fully sustainable world of fashion will only be possible as a result of a firm commitment agreed upon by all parties involved in the sector, including ourselves from our role as consumers, the Spanish chain Zara has just published your guide to clothing care. A sum of advice and warnings with which we promise to be able to extend the useful life of the garments that we keep in our wardrobe, while we manage to reduce the environmental impact during the care processes of our garments, thus contributing to making them some pieces of a more sustainable nature, beyond the materials or processes that have been followed for their preparation.
Preceded by a first point from which the fashion chain invites us to remember those specific symbols that we will find on the label of each of our garments, symbols that will help us to treat them correctly during the washing and ironing stages. , the guide is made up of a total of 14 points that range from the recommendation to reduce the washing of garments, to their subsequent recycling. The option is reserved only for those garments that we no longer use and/or that have reached the end of their useful life, and Zara itself demands that we do not throw them away in any of the cases, but that we allow them to enjoy a new life by introducing them, via physical channel or online, in its used clothing collection program.
“With this guide to caring for clothes we want to help you extend the life of your clothes and reduce the environmental impact of care processes”, they synthesize from Zara itself. In this same respect, they add from the main fashion chain of the Spanish Inditex Group, “taking care of your clothes is taking care of the environment and the best way to extend their useful life”; a sum of reasons that have led them to decide on the publication of this guide, with which “you can reduce the wear and tear on clothes and the amount of water and energy you consume when washing, drying and caring for your clothes”.
1.- Know the symbols for garment care
As we well anticipated, as the first step of this guide, an elementary step, Zara invites us to remember the meaning of the symbols that we will find on the garment label. From the symbol for machine washing at a maximum temperature of 95 degrees to the symbol for not washing, hand washing in cold water, or the recommendation not to immerse in water or dry cleaning, they are shown as a whole as an ocean of symbols that it is not always easy to remember by heart. , however, some icons that, having them clear, either by memory or after consultation, have the great potential of allowing us to extend, in a more than considerable way, the useful life of some garments that we can also keep in the best possible conditions.
“This guide will help you keep your garments in better condition while taking care of the planet,” they emphasize from Zara; but “as each product requires specific washing and cleaning care”, they add, “it is important to pay attention to the symbols that appear on the labels”.
2.- Hanging clothes
As a second recommendation to successfully achieve the objectives of this guide, Zara invites us to bet on the practice of hanging clothes instead of using a dryer. An appliance that, they point out, also “consumes a lot of energy”. And if this were not by itself a reason to take into good consideration, even more so in an environment like the current one with skyrocketing electricity and gas prices, it is that in addition to “hanging the clothes, instead of using the dryer, helps to take care of your garments as it reduces the wear and tear on the fabrics, produces fewer wrinkles, does not shrink clothes, prevents peeling and does not consume energy”.
3.- Air the clothes
Just as the chain invites us to rule out the use of the dryer, it also invites us to reduce the use we give to the washing machine instead of hanging our clothes “in the open air to ventilate them”. “Laundering clothes is a process that gradually wears out the fabrics while consuming water and energy,” Zara points out, while “sometimes you just need to air the garments or brush them to make them look like new”.
4.- Correct pilling
The unsightly balls that usually appear in certain garments with their use should not be a reason for us to discard or end up condemning a certain of our garments to oblivion, for which Zara calls us so that, first, we try to avoid and, second, let’s try to correct those “little balls” that form “in fibers such as wool or cotton”, and whose formation is called “pilling”. “It is easy for it to appear but it is not a reason to discard a garment,” they explain while pointing out that “you can reduce its formation by turning the clothes inside out before washing them or remove them using an electric lint remover.”
5.- Washing machines at full load and low temperatures
To reduce the use of resources that the washing machine entails while contributing to the care of the garments, we recommend turning them on at full load and in low-temperature programs; since “each wash consumes water and energy”, and “filling the washing machine, washes are reduced”, in addition to the fact that “garments wear less”. However, they add from Zara, “avoid overloading it to obtain a good result”, and in any case use “washing at low temperatures”, which “is more delicate with garments, does not shrink them, helps maintain colors and consumes less energy”.
6.- Gentle spins
In line with the previous point, “use a gentle spin program when washing your garments”, since “gentle spins reduce piling helping you to take care of your garments and thus reducing their environmental impact as it reduces the release of microfibers.
Faced with the inevitable wear and tear of the garments, the chain invites us to “make small repairs at home, such as sewing on buttons, fixing seams or small holes” to “make your clothes useful”. Given the case that, assuming you are not particularly skilled with the thread and the needle, the best option, “if you cannot do it yourself”, is to go “to a professional”.
8.- Turn the clothes inside out
To help “maintain the colors and protect the fabrics while maintaining the original quality of the garment”, and in the same sense that we have already been able to see in some of the previous tips in this guide, Zara advises us to “turn them around”. ” to “reduce the wear of garments in the washing process”.
9.- Special care for the point
Knitwear, especially protagonists in our wardrobes during the Autumn/Winter season, has characteristics that require special care; Mainly as a consequence of the fact that “knitwear has elasticity”, and “that is why when you hang them they can lose their original shape”, they explain from the Spanish chain. “To prevent them from becoming deformed”, they add, “dry them flat and store them folded in the closet”, and also “to maintain their original elasticity, wash them by hand or with programs for delicate clothes”.
10.- Clean your shoes
Beyond clothing, the already common slippers that we use daily have also been included in this guide. In his case, under Zara’s recommendation that “if you get used to cleaning your sneakers from time to time, you will make them last longer and avoid generating waste that has an impact on the environment”, by using, for example, more abrasive products with the presence of chemicals for deep cleaning or repair. To do this, “you can clean them by hand with soap and water, using a small brush in case of difficult stains.”
11.- Professional (and respectful) washing
If the piece requires special care, “if professional cleaning of your garments is necessary,” Zara points out, “try to find dry cleaners with wet cleaning systems for garments that allow it, or dry systems that use technologies more respectful of the environment”.
12.- Leather care
For leather goods, whether garments or accessories, the Spanish chain emphasize that this material is presented as “resistant but delicate”. For this reason, and especially about clothing or jackets, “avoid humidity, heat, chemical products or rain, as they can damage it”, while against the appearance of “soft stains, use a damp cloth, and for the most difficult ones go to a dry cleaner”, and “if it gets wet, let it air dry”. “For the rest of the accessories,” they point out, “clean them regularly with a cotton cloth or a soft brush and use environmentally friendly cleaning products.”
13.- Take care of your jeans
Jeans are a key piece that is present in every wardrobe, but their widespread use does not guarantee that we are giving them the most optimal care and that the characteristics of their fabric require. About him, “denim is a resistant fabric that can last a long time if it is properly cared for”, they underline from Zara. In this regard, “remember that jeans do not have to be washed every day”, so “air them”, they advise us. While if you are against it, “you need to wash them, close the zippers and buttons, turn them inside out to prevent them from losing color, choose low-temperature washing machine programs and avoid using the dryer.”
14.- Recycling, a commitment to the future
As the last step of this guide, from the star chain of the Inditex Group, they invite us to contribute, in an also conscious and committed way, to this fashion industry that we are so passionate about, and in which we participate so much with each garment of clothes that we buy and wear daily, allowing each one of them, as well as the raw materials that compose them, to have a new useful life through its used clothing collection program.
“Once you no longer use your clothes, don’t throw them away, you can bring them to our stores and give them a new life,” they explain from Zara. An example of their particular commitment to a circular system within the fashion industry, which they practice in association with nearly 95 non-profit organizations.