Laundry – Could it be the Bane of Our Existence?


Admittedly, many of you consider laundry to be the bane of your existence. But, what you probably don’t realise is that laundry may be the bane of OUR existence. And we mean that quite literally! When we look at the entire lifespan of a garment, the most significant impact on the environment comes from the way we care for our clothes. Things like water use and pollution associated with washing, energy for drying and ironing make up 70% of a garments negative environmental footprint.

Here are some handy tips for reducing your laundry environmental footprint:

1. Use natural detergents and buy in bulk

Regular detergents may be harmful to your health, the environment and animal life all around the world. Aim for natural laundry detergents and always try to buy in those economical bulk sizes to avoid any unnecessary use of packaging. Or even better, make your detergents at home. 

2. Avoid the dryer

Reduce the use of the electric dryer to a minimum. Start using a clothesline again like your mother and grandmother used to. The dryer takes up a lot of electricity, which is completely unnecessary. Let the sun and wind do their magic. Hanging the clothes outdoors also takes out creases naturally, eliminating the need to iron them.

3. Responsible loads

There is no need to wash our clothes and dry them after 1-2 wears. Stretch that time to 4 -10 wears and divide the loads responsibly to eradicate any excess waste. Select the load size carefully on your washing machine and always use cold water for the wash – it makes no difference to your clothes.

4. Wear natural fibres

Clothes made of synthetic fibres like polyester, rayon, acrylic and spandex leech micro-plastics into our waterways and ocean whenever washed, contaminating the shorelines and harming marine life. A 2016 study by professor Richard Thompson of the University of Plymouth in the UK, found that as many as 700,000 fibres could be released in a single standard machine wash. Switch to 100% natural fibres like hemp, linen or organic cotton, which is easy to wash and care for, doesn’t wrinkle easily, is biodegradable and doesn’t introduce any harmful material into the environment. Check out Vegan Scouts ethical apparel range, all made from 100% organic cotton, ethically sourced and sustainably manufactured.

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