Consumer use stands for the majority, approximately 2/3, of the environmental footprint of a garment.
By doing something about that, we can make a big difference, and it all starts by washing less.
A fresh product can be washed less. According to an independent life-cycle analysis, using a Polygiene-treated product more than once after washing drastically reduces the environmental impact of the garment compared to the environmental impact of an untreated garment that is washed after each use. Water and energy are saved, CO2 is reduced and the amount of microplastics can also be reduced by doing fewer wash loads.
Only by saving every 10th wash, the consumers could save 47 million tons (Megatons) of CO2 and 4.5 billion of cubic meters of freshwater globally. And if we could wash half as much, it turns out to be 235 million tons of CO2 and 22.5 billion cubic meters of water. In total, that is about 6 times Sweden’s total emissions!
We can also work to reduce the amount of textile waste due to odor and excessive washing. Without washing and bacterial growth, the material lasts longer. In fact, when manufacturers want to test clothes for wear and tear, they simply use washing machines, which says something about the wear and tear every wash means to a garment. So, your clothes will last longer, and you don’t need to buy new ones to the same extent.
Also, products do not need to be prematurely discarded due to odor. This prolongs the lifetime of a garment and reduces the use of energy and water. If we used our clothes for just nine months longer before discarding them, we would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 16%, water usage by about 20% and waste by 8%. And why stop at nine months, if the clothes stay fresh and look new?
Of course, washing less also helps us save time.
Skipping a wash load per week actually saves us three days in a year.
This time saved we can use for something more interesting.
Because honestly, there are more fun things to do than washing, right?