31 per cent are ‘shrinking their wardrobes’

A recent poll of 2,000 UK adults has revealed that 31 per cent own clothing they no longer wear due to incorrect washing, drying or ironing and are effectively ‘shrinking their wardrobes’.

31 per cent are  ‘shrinking their wardrobes’

The poll was performed as part of the ‘Love Your Clothes’ campaign developed by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to support the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP) 2020.

The plan includes a target to reduce the water and carbon impact of clothes by 15 per cent, and the ‘Love Your Clothes’ campaign was developed to help meet this target by changing they way consumers buy, use and dispose of clothing.

Love Your Clothes has now launched the ‘Know Your Care Labels #InsideOut’ challenge in collaboration with fabric care brand Ariel to educate the UK on clothing care labels.

 ‘Know Your Care Labels #InsideOut’

The poll revealed 27 per cent of people have as many as five items of clothing they’re not wearing.

Love Your Clothes says one of the major reasons for this is that many don’t know what the clothing care labels mean and damage their clothes by not laundering them correctly.

The poll also revealed that only nine per cent of adults recognise half of the 25 common care symbols (produced by Clevercare and Ginetex, the international association for textile care labelling) and this has resulted in around 39 million items not being worn in the last year.

Alongside the results from the poll, Love Your Clothes has also launched a ‘Know Your Care Labels #InsideOut’ quiz, designed to test the public’s knowledge of care labels and raise awareness of their meaning.

By following the care symbols correctly, the campaign says, the public can reduce the amount of clothing being ruined and extend its lifetime.

Challenge participants can download a free laundry care symbol guide and also have the chance to win a washing machine.

“Staggering how many clothes have been damaged”

Sarah Clayton, Head of Love Your Clothes, said: “It’s staggering how many clothes have been damaged as a result of not following care symbols. So before you put your next load of washing on, give our challenge a go, as a quick check of the label will really pay off in the way the clothes look, as people can keep wearing them for longer.”

Top five laundry tips from Love Your Clothes

  1. Sort your clothing into loads according to colour (light, dark, bright) and fabric (heavy, delicate). Any new garments that might run should be washed separately.
  2. Turn clothes inside out. This will protect prints on T-shirts; prevent the outside of garments from fading and pilling (bobbles) and stop things like buttons from snagging on other garments.
  3. Use the coolest, gentlest cycle possible for the type of clothes you’re washing. It saves energy AND makes your clothes last longer.
  4. Line-dry wherever possible. It’s tricky if you don’t have a garden, but a drying rack is a good alternative.
  5. Hanging garments up after ironing will keep them wrinkle-free.

The ‘Know Your Care Labels #InsideOut’ challenge is available at the Love Your Clothes website