16th May 2018

Longer lasting clothes to protect the environment

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Consumers could quadruple the life of their clothes if they follow a better fabric care formula, according to research.

Procter & Gamble’s leading brands, Ariel and Lenor, have revealed its ‘Long Live Fashion Formula’ could keep garments looking new for longer and help protect the environment.

Extending the life of one in five garments in Europe by just 10 per cent per year would save around 3million tonnes of carbon, according to WRAP – enough to power half a million homes annually.

Research by the two washing brands reveals the signs of ageing from washing and wearing can be greatly reduced with a simple switch to the formula, which is to change from powder to liquid or single-unit-dose format, adding a fabric conditioner and washing on a cold and quick cycle.

The research tested the stresses on garments when washing under different conditions with noticeable results in garment quality for those using the long live fashion principles.

Global clothing production has more than doubled in the last 15 years and the fashion industry is seen to be one of the most wasteful industries in the world.

Quadrupling the life of just one 3kg household basket of clothing would save 230kg CO2 – the carbon equivalent of driving nearly 600 miles. The life extension of that one basket would save 7,000 litres of water needed to create new clothes – much of which would be in water scarce regions.

Longer lasting clothes to protect the environment

Lenor’s clothes longevity initiative is one of the first under P&G’s newly announced Ambition 2030, the company’s new sustainability goals.

Bert Wouters, global vice president for fabric enhancers at Procter & Gamble, said: “Sourcing, production and recycling are the focus of a great deal of attention in fashion, but the impact of extending the life of clothes during the so-called ‘use phase’ has been largely ignored so far. We are delighted that the ‘Long Live Fashion Formula’ can help reduce the environmental burden of fashion.”

Dr Neil Lant, Procter & Gamble’s research fellow, said: “We care for our hair and skin to keep it in good condition, so caring for your ‘second skin’ of clothes shouldn’t be any different. Clothes are subjected to stresses that age them when we wear and wash them.

“By using a high-quality liquid detergent that is tough on stains but gentle on fabrics and designed to work in cooler/quicker washes, you can keep your favourite sweater looking new for much longer and reduce the environmental impact of your wardrobe.”