Laundry has a significant impact on the planet. Just think about the millions of litres of precious water that pour down drains every day. International Wool Textile Organisation (IWTO) supports responsible consumption in the fashion industry. That includes sustainability in the production of clothing, but also in the way we wash and care for our garments. Scientists encourage us all to do less washing in order to minimize our environmental impact. Our washing methods can help us cut down on the amount of laundry we do and the impact it has, but it will also help if we choose clothing that requires less washing, such as wool.
Reducing Laundry for the Environment
Laundry has several simultaneous impacts on the environment. Choosing a shorter cycle on your washing machine, as well as opting to use less water for each cycle, helps to reduce water usage dramatically.
Detergent also playa a part. While eco-friendly alternatives are becoming increasingly more available, doing laundry with reduced frequency will help to reduce the amount of chemicals that get washed into wastewater systems each day.
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Why Wool Is a Better Choice
Choosing woollen garments can help you do less laundry. Even activewear and gym gear made from wool does not have to be washed as often as those produced with other fabrics. Unless these garments get stained and dirty, they can be aired out and worn again a good number of times before you need to launder them.
Wool naturally inhibits odour. Although human sweat has no scent itself, unpleasant odour can build up over time as bacteria develops on clothes. Wool’s natural characteristics create a micro-climate that limits that process, making woollen garments permanently odour resistant.
By absorbing moisture and keeping skin dry, wool reduces the amount of body odour that is caused by sweat and its contact with any bacteria on the body.
More Wool, Less Work
Studies show that we can dramatically reduce the impact on our environment by wearing more wool. Washing less frequently can reduce impacts by up to 20%. Taking good care of your clothing and increasing the number of times you wear each item has an even greater effect. Wool clothing has the potential to be used for a very long time – consumer surveys show that wool garments are kept for longer periods than garments of other fibre types.
Learn More About the Links Between Wool and Sustainability
For more information on wool and how its many environmental benefits, take a look at our fact sheets, statistics and guidelines. You can find all the resources you need here.