Cleaning Up the Environment, One Load at a Time
Thank you wool.
We sing the praises of wool daily, and once you discover how easy this natural and sustainable fiber is going to make your life, you will too.
In two words, LESS LAUNDRY.
Washing wool is easy, as it is naturally stain resistant, odor resistant, resilient, and antibacterial. But for those same reasons, NOT washing wool is easy too! And less washing means caring for wool is both easy and better for the planet.
But first, let’s find out why less laundry and natural fibers are important to help the fight against climate change.
Laundry is a dirty job, and we’re not talking about the dirt on your clothes.
We’re talking about the dirt OF your clothes - specifically synthetic and chemically-processed clothes.
The seemingly harmless household chore of doing laundry actually acts like a mini pollution bomb every time a load of synthetic clothing is washed. It’s a laundry bomb that releases 750,000 microplastics and toxic chemicals into the ocean with every load, adding to the already 14 million tons of non-degrading plastics collecting at the bottom of the ocean floor.
Unfortunately, people don’t think about the environment when they are doing their laundry. And thankfully when you are washing a premium quality wool or natural fiber garment, you don’t have to.
1. ONLY WASH AS NEEDED
Merino wool is stain resistant, odor resistant, resilient, anti-bacterial, and breathable, which means it only needs to be aired out between washings to keep it fresh.
Want to wash it more frequently? No problem! Follow the instructions on the label and your garment will retain its shape even after multiple washes, and you’ll never have to worry about polluting the ocean with microplastics
2. READ THE CARE LABEL FIRST
The key to preserving the life-span of your clothing is to follow the golden rule of all laundry: Always check your garment’s care labels and instructions first.
3. HAND WASH/MACHINE WASH WITH CARE
Can I wash my wool garment in the washing machine?
The answer is both yes and no. And here’s why - not all cold washes are created equal.
All washers add a little hot water to every cycle so it’s warm enough to properly dissolve detergent. And that means, if your cold water wash is warmer than the recommended 40°C, you run the risk of shrinking your wool garment.
MACHINE WASHING WOOL
In general, wool garments can be washed in a machine if you know your water temperature is 40°C or less. Either use the wool or delicate cycle, or use the cold water wash. And always use a natural and mild detergent (we love this DIY recipe by Julia Watkins!)
Nui Tip: While all Nui garments are incredibly durable, to prolong the life of our garments we recommend hand washing (for best results and always for our knits). For all other Nui garments - the Merino Silk, Merino Thermals, and other items other than the Merino Knits, if you wash in a machine, use a gentle or cold setting whenever possible. Please be sure to read the care label on your garment for specific wash instructions.
HAND WASHING WOOL
Hand washing is our preferred method of washing wool, and always for any knits. Use cold water (a maximum of 40°C). First fill the sink with water, then allow the detergent to dissolve. Add clothing and gently agitate. Do not rub, pull and wring out. Then rinse the clothing well and press the water out. Carefully pull the item back into shape.
4. LAY FLAT TO DRY
Stretchy and delicate wool knits can be placed on a light colored or white towel.
Special garment drying mesh screens are also available, which are designed to fit over the bathtub. Either way, while it is still wet, you can gently re-shape and size your garment then lay it flat to dry.
When drying, avoid direct sunlight, magnified sunlight (close to an outside window) or direct heat. We know it’s tempting to want to recreate those nostalgic Instagram photos with clothes blowing in the wind while hanging on a clothing line, but to avoid stretching and pulling, flat is where the drying is at.
The best part of skipping the dryer? Air drying clothing for just six months out of the year can eliminate up to 700 pounds of greenhouse gases annually.
5. A NOTE ON DRY CLEANING
Nui garments are designed to not require a professional cleaner. But if you must go that route, look for a green dry cleaning that uses water as the primary solvent. This type of cleaning can substantially reduce toxicity and CO2 emissions associated with garment care.
The primary chemical solvent used in dry-cleaning, perchloroethylene (or perc), is a toxic chemical capable of causing liver damage and respiratory failure, and can also lead to groundwater contamination and air poll
6. KILL THE PILL
Pilling refers to the tiny wool 'balls' or fuzz that may form on your wool garments with washing and wearing. It is caused by agitation and causes the short fibers to migrate to the surface.
Pilling can easily be removed with a 'de-pilling' comb and once removed they will generally stop forming after one or two washes.
To minimize pilling, be sure to use the gentle cycle of your washer, and turn your garments inside out. If washing by hand, wash carefully.
PUTTING THE CHILL ON LAUNDRY
WIth your new organic and natural fiber merino wool wardrobe, you have less laundry to do, and even when you do a load, you’re not hurting the planet.
But what about the other synthetic clothing in your closet?
As we have said before, sustainability is not about being perfect. We know most of us have synthetic fibers that we wear. And that’s ok.
And since the average American family washes about 300 loads of laundry per year using about 23 gallons of water per wash, we do want to mention an eco-friendly hack to lessen the amount of laundry you do overall.
Weird as it sounds, try putting not so dirty once worn skirts, trousers and dresses in a ziplock bag and place in your freezer overnight - the low temp kills bacteria & clothes feel fresh all over again.
Time to defrost dinner AND tomorrow’s outfit.
Where there is a will to help the planet thrive and live a sustainable life, there are many ways. And one of the most practical, fun, and easiest ways is by curating and maintaining a sustainable wardrobe that you love.
We’re here to make things that are good for you and good for the planet, and make sustainability simple.
WIth love, the Team at Nui
FOR MORE ABOUT NUI NATURAL FIBERS: -> https://www.nuiorganics.com/pages/materials
FOR MORE ABOUT MICROPLASTICS & HOW THEY AFFECT YOUR HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT: -> https://www.nuiorganics.com/blogs/news/why-your-clothing-choices-matter
FOR MORE ABOUT THE TOXIC CHEMICALS ON YOUR CLOTHING -> https://www.nuiorganics.com/blogs/news/the-intersection-of-minimalism-sustainability