Anything we can do to help save the planet is awesome. These tips and tricks also come with the added bonus of extending the life of your T-shirts, and lowering your water and electric bills. It’s a win/win!
1) Does it really need a wash?
Washing your shirt less will dramatically increase the shirt’s life cycle. The less you wash an item of clothing, the longer it will look as crisp as the day you brought it home.
Not washing clothing after every use (I’m not talking about your undies and socks here, people!) is really great for the planet. Less laundry saves water and uses less energy, whether it’s from running your washing machine, or heating water for hand washing.
2) Keep it cold.
Washing your t-shirts in cold water will maintain the brightness of both the color of your shirt and the colors of the print.
Also, here’s a fact: 90 percent of the energy used by a typical washing machine is to heat the water; only 10 percent is used to power the motor.
An even crazier fact: If every U.S. household used only cold water for washing clothes we would save 34 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions - that’s nearly 8 percent of the Kyoto target for the U.S.
3) Use Eco-Friendly Detergent
Hot water, harsh detergents, and aggressive spin cycles are the top 3 things that will trash a t-shirt.
Laundry detergents and laundry stain removers frequently contain alkylphenol ethoxylates, or APEs, which are common surfactants. APEs can damage the immune system, and they're suspected hormone disruptors.
Switching to a mild, eco-friendly detergent is better for your shirt, your skin, and the planet. Also buying concentrated detergents which cut down on plastic packaging and unnecessary added water, or - even better - finding a local refill store and cutting out the packaging altogether!
4) Ditch the dryer
There are upward of 88 million dryers in the U.S., each emitting more than a ton of carbon dioxide per year. Because dryers use so much energy, skipping it completely can make a real difference.
Heat and friction from dryers can seriously damage t-shirts. The best place to dry your t-shirts is outside (avoiding direct sunlight if possible), but if you don’t have an outside space, then a drying rack will do the trick.
If you have to use the dryer, stick to low heat and use the moisture sensor if available to cut down drying time.
5) When it's time… recycle!
As an eco-friendly print shop, we put sustainability first. All of our tees, hoodies, and sweaters are sourced from factories with the highest sustainability standards. We take the time to source fabrics made from USA Cotton, dyed with ecologically safe chemicals, and manufactured in an eco-friendly facility. You can read more about this here.
Because we print using water-based inks the designs on our shirts last longer. If, at some point in the future, you grow out of your shirt, please recycle the fabric or donate it for someone else to enjoy.
That said, no shirt lasts forever! At the end of its lifespan, our water-based ink ensures that the garment will safely decompose into the earth from which it came, leaving you with a clear conscience to go and buy a new one!