A sustainable laundry, why care?
At ettitude, we believe in creating products that are gentle on your skin and the planet. That’s why we created CleanBamboo™ one of the world’s most sustainable fabrics—as the foundation for all our products. But did you know that the overall environmental impact of the products you buy is also greatly affected by the way you choose to wash and dry them? Laundry contributes to household waste in the form of plastic waste and chemical residue from your laundry detergent packaging, CO2 from energy consumption and microplastics that come off your synthetic fabrics during the wash.
That’s why we’ve come up with these 8 sustainable laundry tips to help you minimize your impact and maximize the lifespan of your sustainable essentials:
Know your washing machine:
How many types of cycles do you use? The better you know them, the better your results. Your machine’s user guide will tell you how, and before you say you’ve lost it in the pile of 100 other manuals, you can always Google it. No more overdosing or temperature blasting—just clean, fresh laundry.
Use smart temperatures:
You already know that a long, hot shower is less eco-friendly than a quick, short one (and it’s also worse for your skin health). Well the same logic applies to your laundry—a long bath is less eco-friendly and can damage the lifespan of your most treasured essentials. Around 90% of the energy used by a typical washing machine is directed toward heating, while only 10% is used to operate the motor. It’s estimated that if every US household used only cold water for washing clothes, it would save 34 million tons of CO2! And if you need any more convincing, exposing garments to hot tub-level temperatures can put unnecessary stress on fabrics, shortening the lifespan of your clothing, sheets and towels.
The good news is that all ettitude products are designed to be laundered at low temperatures. For your other items, we created this easy guide:
Look for low impact packaging solutions.
If you’re a powder person, you’re probably already there, but if you’re a liquid person, make sure you look for concentrates or plastic-reducing packaging solutions. Our friends over at Dirt are a great sustainable laundry choice.
Choose environmentally friendly ingredients.
While a lot of brands are good at telling you what they don’t have, they can be downright awful at telling what they do contain.
Look for: no phosphates, no parabens, cruelty free, biodegradable ingredients.
One way to steer clear of the nasties is to choose 100% natural detergents, like soap nuts or white vinegar. White vinegar naturally balances the pH of soap, leaving your clothes soft and free of chemical residue. Add one cup of white vinegar to the washer during the rinse cycle to replace fabric softener. Or choose items that don’t need any fabric softener—our CleanBamboo gets softer all on its own, kinda like your favorite band tee.
Wash a full load:
If you don’t know the capacity of your washing machine, google is your friend. Only run the washing machine when it is full. A full set of ettitude sheets only takes up half of a standard size washing machine, which means you can get laundry day done in a flash while reducing water waste.
Sort by fabric:
Instead of sorting your laundry exclusively by color, consider additional sorting according to fabric, and only toss it in the wash when you have an adequately sized load. Certain items may be able to go a few more wears without needing a wash, and others may require specific laundering instructions to retain their shape and color. By taking the time to familiarize yourself with the recommended washing instructions for your items, you will prolong their life and reduce textile waste
Of course air drying your clothes is the best option, but if a clothesline is not available to you, consider purchasing a laundry rack or travel clothesline. There are plenty of innovative options online for line drying in an apartment.
Finally, the less you wash, the less impact you’re going to have on the earth! Do what you can to reduce the need to wash. A great system for your not-quite-dirty, not-quite-clean clothes is a good place to start. Using naturally antimicrobial bedding like our CleanBamboo™ Charcoal extends the wash cycle of your sheets. Another way to extend it further is by using a flat sheet to reduce the frequency at which you need to wash your duvet cover.
While laundry is unlikely to be the biggest environmental offender in your home, it’s one worth considering. A thousand little insults are responsible for the global issue we have on hand, which means you can help improve our position by making a thousand tiny changes. Together, our small actions add up to a better world, and laundry is a great place to start. As a bonus, the changes you make to minimize impact will also result in cost savings, longer product lifespans and the sparking of joy!
Let us know if you’d like to hear more sustainability tips, or share yours by commenting below.