Not only are we passionate about inspiring people to be aware of what they put on their own and children's bodies - we also passionate about promoting a culture that embraces using less and providing education on how to look after garments to make them last as long a possible. We truly want to inspire a 'Buy Well & Consume Less' mentality.
Natural fibres are defined as a material directly obtained from an animal, vegetable, or mineral source and convertible into non-woven fabrics or woven cloth. They are better for you and your family, and kinder for the environment. Cotton, our personal fabric of choice, makes up 90% of the clothing we offer amongst silk and linen. Cotton and other natural fibre's like it produce a far better and longer lasting product than it's synthetic friends.
Cotton can be machine-washed, however it is highly dependant on the type of washing machine you have and the cycles it offers - particularly when you are looking at cotton knitwear.
I have had both a top loader and front loader over the years, and I can say, hand on heart, that front loaders provide a gentler wash reducing natural wear and tear on clothing. I've noticed holes appear in my clothing from the top loader, although this could be that now my washing loads are bigger due to three children (who seem to change clothes more often than a person ever should) on top of myself and my husband.
I believe all clothes should be washed in cold water, and this ethos goes for our clothing too. This helps to ensure that clothes don't shrink and fade, but really, clothing shouldn't be washed above 30 degree celsius as it can damage the fibres and reduce the longevity of a garment.
Hand washing is the safest way to ensure no damage is done to your clothing. When hand washing your garments always use a detergent that kind on your family, their skin and the environment. Cottonis quite versatile when it comes to what detergents you use, some of our favourites come from EcoStore that you can now shop here. Our ranges don't contain yarns like wool or synthetic yarns like nylon or polyester that require specialised washes or liquids. Coming from a family that suffers with skin allergies and eczema, it is really important to use a washing detergent that works for your family and their skin. We see pretty instant differences in our kid's skins if we change washing powders or liquids.
If you choose to hand wash, be sure not to over wring your clothing. Over wringing can break down the fibres and can also increases the amount you need to use a hot iron.
And lastly, always check the care labels of our garments - although a piece is cotton, the knit may require a special kind of laundering or drying. Which brings us to our next point...
Drying is actually a critical step in laundering clothing, particularly knitwear, correctly. Before you put your knitwear in the dryer or on the line, make sure there isno excess water left in the garment. A fully soaked garment won’t return to its original outer garment measurements.The best way to dryKnitwear is to lay it out flat, however, you can also hang your knitwear over the drying rack to avoid ugly peg marks and also prevent the knit stretching out of shape.
Avoid drying your knitwear infull sun. The Australian sun is super powerful (believe me I have tested this theory) and the UV in Australia is even stronger then the UV they use in the testing houses. Never over dry, leave knitwear, or your beautiful solid dyed garments out in full sun all day - it will bleach!
The key to caring for your garments is to avoid ironing. I try my hardest to not iron - in fact, I avoid it at all costs. If garments are hung right, it smooths down all the fibres that have been given a good ruffle up when washed and it restores your natural fibres to their silky best.
Remember to check your care label and amend your ironing setting to the suitable setting for the fabrication, if you choose to iron. On my more delicate or premium fibres, I often pop a cotton sheet between the iron and the fabric layer as an extra safe guard to prevent any damage an iron may cause.
Before you retire your knitwear for the warmer months, make sure your knitwear is clean, pressed and folded neatly so that when you go to pull it out again on a chilly evening, it is as beautiful as it was the day you put it away.
Again, I don’t recommend hanging knitwear, as it will drop no matter what yarn the garment is made from. The tighter the weave (like a 12 gauge knit) the less likely it is to happen. However, I always believe that folding your knitwear is best practice for increasing the longevity of the garment. Storing is also essential for keeping the garments shape, for example, I love to hang my woven dresses as this reduces the potential for ironing due to wrinkles.
MENDING AND ALTERING
Get creative with mending! Children’s clothing in particular lends itself to a little add on here and there. Add a decorative button, patch or a little embroidery over holes and tears. Remember that kids clothes will get holes and buttons will fall off, both are super easy to fix. Sew them back up or on, are alternatively, teach your kids to sew on a button! These small things can take a garment from not being functional to functional.
We also use deeper hems that allow parents to let down hemlines and get more wear from there garments.
We also have some extra washing tips that can help to extend the lifespan of your garments:
• Catch stains as they happen. Do not leave them to soak into the garment fibres - the longer you leave a stain, the worse it will become. A touch of Eucalyptus oil or Sard Soap can be very effective for stain removal.
• Don't forget to clean your washing machines and dryers to avoid build up of mould. Run a HOT wash with 2TB of bicarb, ½ cup vinegar and 1 TB Eucalyptus oil to give your machine a good clean.
• Separate your clothes out and launder with similar colours, washing in water also stops bleaching or cross colourations of garments.
• As your babies grow, launder and store your their clothes via size to make sure the clothing is free of stains and deters moths and other fabric easting nasties.
Caring for your clothes and teaching kids to invest in fibres and love their garments are all steps to less consumption and also contributes and reduces the fashion land waste.
Love your clothes and know your fibres. Reduce your impact on this amazing planet.