By Jessie Moore|
October 28, 2021|
4 min read
Eco-friendly and sustainable laundry is better for the planet, better for your clothes, and better for your wallet.
Laundry is one of those things that everyone does automatically without a second thought. We don’t often stop to think about what we’re doing and how we can do it differently to be more sustainable. From knowing how to choose eco-friendly laundry detergent to understanding the processes that can make doing your laundry more sustainable, this guide has got you covered.
Can you really make a difference?
It really is worth making the effort with eco laundry. It’s very easy to feel deflated and defeated by the news of overwhelming climate change. The facts and figures thrown at us are shocking. It’s important to remember that every sustainable choice from every individual mounts up to a big difference.
Every time a person makes the switch to sustainable laundry, the positive change adds up. It’s taking time, but more and more people are choosing eco-friendly ways of washing their clothes and living their daily lives. The more individuals we get on board, the greater our collective impact will be.
It’s important to remember that you personally benefit from doing your laundry in a more sustainable way. It’s better for your clothes as eco-friendly laundry detergent is kinder to fabrics. It also costs less; for example, using lower temperatures requires less electricity.
Big changes vs little changes
When it comes to replacing your washing machine, try to choose the most eco-friendly machine that you can afford. Smart, energy-saving washing machines make a significant difference in terms of sustainability.
However, if you aren’t at the stage of needing to replace your machine, there are plenty of smaller changes that you can make to ensure your laundry routine is more sustainable.
1. Swap out your detergent for an eco-friendly laundry detergent
Choosing your detergent carefully is one of the easiest steps you can take towards having a more sustainable laundry routine. Make sure you choose an eco-friendly detergent to use.
Eco-friendly laundry detergent needs to be biodegradable and certainly vegan. Standard laundry detergents are not eco-friendly. They often contain phosphates which are harmful in waterways and optical brighteners. Many also contain palm oil. You should consider the packaging of your laundry detergent too, and avoid plastic where possible.
At Wearth, we stock some of the best available eco-friendly detergent in the UK. One of our most popular sustainable laundry products is Fill Laundry Powder. It’s an eco-laundry detergent made in Northamptonshire in the UK. The ingredients are vegan and cruelty free, as well as biodegradable.
If you prefer an eco-laundry liquid then we have two different excellent choices, both made in the UK. There’s Fill Laundry Liquid that comes in a recyclable glass bottle which can be refilled with product. It uses mild sugar surfactant and agents from chicory root and soy, making it vegan and cruelty free. Clothes Doctor’s No. 2 Signature Eco Wash is another alternative. This is made in Cornwall and is completely plastic free.
Alternatively, you can choose laundry detergent that literally grows on trees. Soapnuts are a completely eco-friendly natural surfactant.
2. Forgo softener altogether or choose an eco-friendly option
When it comes to laundry, softener is a big problem for sustainability. Many are full of petroleum, palm oil, and animal fats. They often include fillers which may be plastic-based, and certainly aren’t kind to the planet.
Many items really don’t need fabric softener. Even crunchy denim quickly softens up within minutes of being worn. However, we know that softener can prolong the life of some items, and for those in hard water areas, you may want to protect your clothes a little more.
Choosing a liquid detergent over powder is a good first step to ensuring your clothes come out of the laundry process softer. However, you can also choose an eco-friendly softener. Fill’s Fabric Conditioner comes in a glass bottle and can be refilled, making it a perfect eco-friendly fabric softener.
3. Choose clothes wisely
Making your laundry routine eco-friendly partly involves going ‘upstream’ in your process and thinking about the clothes that you buy, and therefore wash.
Many activewear items and swimming costumes actually shed microplastics each and every time they are washed. The synthetic fibres are released more when washed in the machine. So if you do have these items, they should be washed by hand to be more eco-friendly.
What’s more, the traditional laundry process isn’t great for activewear and can leave items failing to wick away moisture and failing to breathe. The Clothes Doctor Eco Clothes Wash for Sportswear is a great sustainable option to keep your activewear looking its best.
With smaller items that contain plastics (e.g. underwear with elastic), we recommend that you use laundry bags. These bags help to ensure the harmful fibres are caught and don’t escape into the waterways.
Cheap clothing, or fast fashion, is a big problem that no amount of eco-friendly laundry can totally solve. Often the fabrics used in these items contain lots of microplastics and they don’t last, becoming unwearable after just a few washes. Choose better quality items with sustainable fabrics that will last longer.
4. Wash clothes less often
Choosing eco-friendly laundry detergent is an excellent decision. However, before you reach for it you should always consider if something really needs to be washed. By choosing higher quality clothes and looking after them well, you are actually being kinder to the planet by needing to wash them less often.
Don’t automatically put something in the laundry basket after just one wear – consider if it can last longer. It’s about time we brought back the retro apron! You can easily protect your clothes with an apron that doesn’t need washing so often. How can you resist this gorgeous Bahar Floral Apron called Tikauo?
5. Opt for refills of detergent
Some of the largest plastic bottles that are discarded by households week after week are laundry detergent bottles. We strongly believe that choosing refillable laundry detergents is one of the easiest ways to make your laundry routine more sustainable.
We’ve got a growing range of refillable cleaning supplies to choose from.
This more conscious consumerism is one of the best eco-friendly laundry tips we have.
6. Turn down the temperature
Using hotter water uses more electricity, increasing our carbon footprint. Often we don’t need to wash things as hot as we do. Many eco-friendly detergents work very effectively at lower temperatures. Go 10°C cooler on each wash and see if you can even notice the difference.
Making changes to the way you do your laundry can be one of the simplest in-house steps to living a greener lifestyle. Shop our range of eco-friendly cleaning products to make your housework more sustainable.