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5 steps to a more sustainable wardrobe

sustainable wardrobe

Here at Regal, we get to see beautiful new season garments all year round. But what happens to them after the first couple of wears? The average woman wears just 20% of her wardrobe. Is 80% of your collection languishing at the back of the closet? Here are some tips to turn your wardrobe into a sustainable fashion hub.

1. Restore old gems

How many times have you thrown out a beloved item because it’s ruined? Pause for a moment before your next disposal, and make sure it cannot be revived. Regal have restoration services for all sorts of issues:

  • Colour enrichment treatment to deepen and enrich faded dark colours.
  • Texturiser service to soften silks and delicate fabrics after an accidental trip to the washing machine.
  • Oxy whitening treatment to whitens your whites again, getting rid of that odd off-white tinge that they get over time.
  • Deodorising to extract strong odours, such as musty or smoky smells.
  • Dye run treatment to extract loose dyes that may have bled on your black and white stripes.
  • Fabric relaxation techniques to reshape and resize shrunken mishaps.
  • Stain removal to work on anything from mould to red wine, or even just those stubborn oily spots that don’t come out in the home wash
  • Repairs and alterations to fix zips, hems, or any damage preventing you from wearing your fave.
  • Delinting/de-pilling after you accidentally wash your clothes with your towels, or if your cat finds a home in your washing pile.

So don’t throw that item out yet, whether it has been washed incorrectly and has bled or stiffened, or if something was spilt that you thought was beyond saving, or time and age have faded and discoloured…. Using restoration treatments can renew your wardrobe and ensure your fashion choices are remaining sustainable.

2. Donate your pre-loved

If a garment is beyond even a Regal restoration treatment, or, maybe you just don’t love it anymore, don’t leave it sitting in your wardrobe. As supporters of the sustainable fashion industry (but also supporters of shopping!) Regal launched a charity initiative, The Care Label That Actually Cares. It is all about giving those unloved items a second life, while also supporting a great cause, Dove Hospice.

In this collaboration, garments can be dropped at any of our stores, and we will happily donate them to Dove Hospice. Even better, if Dove have garments in need of some TLC, we will spruce them up ready for their next home. We hope this will be an easy and guilt-free way to donate the old and make room for the new!

So, when you clear out the wardrobe, bring in a pile for cleaning, a pile for restoration, and a pile for donation too. If you would like to know more about the great work Dove Hospice does, you can find out more at www.dovehospice.org.nz.

The care label that actually cares

3. Shop quality

It all starts with the fashion you purchase and the brands you support. Spending on quality made garments, really does pay off in the long run. Too much fast fashion is filling up landfills and purchasing a few high-quality garments can fulfil your needs for years. Regal partners with so many amazing fashion brands, who send fabric samples for complimentary testing over and over until they are sure the fabrics do not bleed, fade, or damage. This means we are experienced with dealing with these fabrics to provide the best after-care, and it means the designers are not just using any old fabric off the shelf. The designers we work with make sure fabrics are colour-fast, have been pre-shrunk if needed, and can withstand proper delicate cleaning processes.

As well as creating high-quality fashion, so many local fashion designers go the extra mile to produce sustainable fashion in other ways. We love Karen Walker’s Dove Hospice initiative, where they take pre-loved, donated garments and give them a Karen Walker magic touch (after a Regal spruce up of course).

4. Clean with care

So much fashion is thrown out because it is cleaned in harsh chemicals, or not cleaned properly at all. By choosing a high quality, delicate cleaning service, you can take care of your garments properly for the long life they deserve. But, drycleaning is bad, you may say?

We are mindful of the impact drycleaning can historically have on the environment, so at Regal, we make sure we are doing everything possible to shift towards sustainable cleaning. Regal uses advanced cleaning methods based on biodegradable components while other local drycleaners may use Perchloroethylene which is much more aggressive. Regal has leading European drycleaning technology that recovers, distils, and reuses almost all the cleaning solution, to ensure minimum waste. The minimal amount of cleaning solution that cannot be retrieved is biodegradable. However, drycleaning is still not perfect, so Regal have gone a step further introducing delicate wet cleaning technology, which can be used to clean even ‘dryclean only’ garments, delicately and more sustainably. Regal also use biodegradable film, encourage recycling of hangers and packaging for reuse, and have gotten rid of those awful paper tags on every single garment, shifting to a paperless tracking system.

Taking your garments to a garment care specialist like Regal, not only avoids unnecessary negative environmental impact but also actually improves the longevity of your garments, reducing the turnover in your wardrobe.

5. Try marketplace and rental

Our partner (and neighbour) Designer Wardrobe is a great place to start when trying to improve the sustainability of your wardrobe. Next time you want to go shopping, take a look on their marketplace. ‘Secondhand clothes’ don’t always look like your childhood hand-me-downs. High quality, delicately worn, up-to-date fashion is available at Designer Wardrobe’s marketplace, and every time you purchase off a marketplace, you have found a new home for an existing piece of fashion. Imagine if your wardrobe was filled with all ‘pre-loved’ pieces that you ‘now-love’.

If you are just looking for something for a special event, try their rental garments. How many times do you think dresses are purchased for one-off use? Let them purchase the dress and share it with others that are striving for a more sustainable approach to fashion. And if you are worried about the environmental impact of drycleaning on these rental garments, see point 4 above, as Regal takes care of them all!

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