We’re here to give you some really good news: up to two-thirds of clothes’ carbon footprint occurs after you take it home. That’s incredible because most of all that nasty stuff is in your hands to fix. The extra good news is that it’s not even hard stuff to do. Here are some easy ways to make a difference.
Only wash as needed
Not only will you save water and detergent, your clothes will last way longer. Next time you don’t do laundry in a while, you’re not being lazy you’re just being a super good person.
Skip the dryer
Line drying your clothes for just six months out of the year can eliminate up to 700 pounds of greenhouse gases annually. That’s the same energy as driving a Prius 1,800 miles, which is a super long road trip. Also hanging your clothes to dry looks super chic and Italian.
Keep it cold
When you do the wash, set your washer to “cold” to save energy and help your clothes live a little longer (heat can break fibers down). Also, switching from hot water to cold or warm can help prevent 500 lbs of CO2 from entering the atmosphere every year. That’s the same energy as a 30-minute blow dry twice a week for a year. Pass the round brush.
If it’s only dirty in one teeny place, exercise that spot cleaner.
Consider bagging and putting it in the freezer for a day or two - this will kill bacteria and odors, keep your jeans in better shape and is just a chill way to do laundry that your science teacher would have loved.
Green dry cleaning
Some professional cleaners now offer green dry cleaning that use water as the primary solvent. This type of cleaning can substantially reduce toxicity and CO2 emissions associated with garment care.
The primary chemical solvent used in dry-cleaning, perchloroethylene (or perc), is a toxic chemical capable of causing liver damage and respiratory failure. Yikes. It can also lead to groundwater contamination and air pollution. So even if your cleaners advertises as “green” or “organic,” be sure to ask if they use perc, hydrocarbons, or D-5 cleaners, and be sure to avoid the toxic stuff. Just say no to perc.
There are donation centers pretty much everywhere. Try your local Goodwill, Salvation Army, American Red Cross or Dress For Success (a non-profit organization that provides interview suits and career development for low-income women).
We throw away so much mostly because our garbage cans are way closer than the nearest recycling center. That's why we’ve launched RefRecycling. It's the easiest way for you to recycle all those clothes you probably shouldn't wear again. You can print a RefRecycling shipping label from your account online or pick one up in stores. Then, simply slap that on the box your stuff came in (or any other box), fill it up with whatever you want to recycle, have it picked up at your door, and we'll do the rest. You can login to your Reformation profile and log the label number to track your shipments and see where your old stuff is going, and the positive environmental impact you made. So that you know your old clothes are in good hands, we've teamed up with CR. They'll sort your clothes to either be responsibly reused or recycled. Check out the RefRecycling dashboard to get started.