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Coming to an environment-friendly clothing

Most people say they “just know” when a fabric needs to be washed, but what they may not know is that the average wash load contains 20 times more body oils and sweat than visible stains. These hidden soils can get trapped deep in the fabric of clothes and build up over time. Scientists have proved that cleaning dirty clothes is physically possible but that cloth should contain some more features to be environment friendly.

Researchers in Norway led a new scientific study to find how people wash their clothes depending on the materials of clothes. Resources needed for launderings – such as water, energy, and related greenhouse gas emissions have impacts on clothes.

Figure: Researchers in Norway led a new scientific study to find how people wash their clothes depending on the materials of clothes. Courtesy: Collected

Through this scientific research, wool textile education and knowledge sharing will ensure a sustainable future for wool.

The research is done on the results of a quantitative wardrobe survey of more than 200 consumers in each of China, Germany, Japan, the UK and the US each, with additional qualitative laundry diary data from 30 consumers in each country. This research brought quantified and robust data about the wider environmental impacts of washing when actively used. The study is showing that Woollen garments need the smallest water and energy use because it is washed less frequently than cotton, cellulosic, and synthetic-based clothes.

Deputy Chair of the International Wool Textile Organisation’s Sustainable Practices Working Group- Angus Ireland says about the positive eco-credentials of wool. To the fashion, textile trades, as well as the consumers-wool, is the ‘planet-friendly’ fibre of choice.

The world is now focusing concern about ‘fast fashion’ and the effect on the environment of synthetic textiles. Ensuring sustainability is more important than ever to ensure accurate environmental assessments for apparel. People recognized decades ago that there must be something else going on with fabric cleaning, so it has been identified now.

Laundering frequency is the most important indicator of energy consumption when clothes are being worn and washed. Here customer awareness of the laundering of different fibre types plays a vital part in sustainability.

Likewise, ‘wool’ is a kind of clothing that is naturally resistant to odor, stains, and wrinkles and for that it needs less washing.

Angus Ireland describes the fact that wool not only reduces energy and water consumption but also preserves the as-new look of the garment for longer. Frequent washing also drives the release of microfibres into the environment, like synthetic garments magnify the problem of microplastic pollution. While not a concern for biodegradable fibres such as wool.

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