Overwashing Your Clothes Could Be Killing the Planet

How many times have you looked at the teeny tiny care label stitched to the inside of one of your favorite tops and read the dreaded words “dry clean only”? Ughhh eye roll. THE WORST, am I right? Let’s be honest, care labels are down-right confusing, but The Care Label Project. created by AEG, strives to revamp the dated label model and make cleaning your clothes easy and cool. The organization was found to educate, inspire and change how people wash their clothes so we can, collectively, minimize mindless environmental devastation.

With the help of The Woolmark Company, Not Just a Label, Fashion Revolution, Adidas and a select group of 14 European emerging designers, the project created a “Don’t Overwash” care label.The out-dated label we use today has ruled the way we wash our clothes since the 50’s so a face-lift was long overdue. “Fast fashion has made people forget how to take care of their clothes. Today, 90% of all clothing is discarded far earlier than needed and as many as 70% of these are due to faded colors, shrinkage and misshaping.

The Care Label Project invites designers worldwide to use this new and improved care label for all production moving forward. To strengthen the initiative, the group of emerging designers created a sustainable Care Label Collection and also a modern care guide so consumers can finally understand how to truly take care of their clothes. Hallelujah! The care guide is straight to the point with three golden rules: wash less, use cold water and dry clean only when necessary. Music to a mother’s ears!

The Care Label Project also ventures to change the actions of brands and manufacturers challenging them to create more durable clothes that last, well, forever. “If you buy good quality denim jeans, you could wear them for maybe ten, twenty years. If you know how to look after, wash and care for them, they could live with you forever”, says Han Ates, Founder of Blackhorse Lane Ateliers and collaborating designer in the Care Label Project. Not you’re average fast-fashion denim, eh?

We live in a time where fast-fashion has consumed the retail world and  as a result, consumers have a warped perception on how they care for their garments – because most of the time the product is complete shit and people just throw it out after a few wears. That, my friends, is why we have overflowing, catastrophic landfills.. Popular to disbelief, 70 percent of clothes that are thrown out could be saved by better cleaning protocols.

The Care Label Project encourages positive, sustainable change within the fashion industry by reinventing old standards and fostering innovation of cleaning technology. Next time, think twice when you bring a bulk of clothes to the dry-cleaner or wash your clothes in steaming hot water. Even a little change can make a huge impact.


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