Sustainable living

Sustainable clothing: Fabric care and choice 101

Leah Giblin, creator of clothing label Day Keeper, covers which fabrics to buy and avoid, how to reduce the impact of polyester and caring for natural fibres.

Sustainable clothing: Fabric care and choice 101

Learning to clean and care for our clothes prolongs their life and reduces the impact of textile waste on our environment.

You don’t need to wash most pieces of clothing after every wear. You can often reduce the need for washing an item by airing it out, spot cleaning small stains, or using a bacteria-killing spritz to keep your clothes smelling great.

Choosing clothes made of natural fibres, such as wool, silk, cotton and linen, is always best. Natural fibres have a lower environmental impact than synthetic fibres, such as polyester, elastane and nylon. These synthetic fibres contain plastics and shed microfibers when you wear, wash and dispose of them.

Watch the rest of our Sustainable clothing series. Learn how to shop your wardrobe and tips for upcycling old clothes.

Learn more about our free clothes swaps. Swapping is a clever and thrifty way to update your wardrobe, save money and help fight textile waste.

Published 4 August 2022, updated 13 October 2023