Here at Beyond Retro we want you to get the most out of your vintage clothes. The longer they last, the less goes to landfill. Plus there are plenty of eco-friendly ways to keep your special garments in tip top condition, follow our basic steps and they can be worn for generations to come!
Storing Your Vintage Clothing
- Keep your vintage clothes in a dry, dust-free place away from direct sunlight. Humidity or damp will damage delicate fibres, and sunlight can irreversibly fade vintage prints and colors.
- Keep vintage clothes stored where they can breathe, not in plastic covers like the ones you get from the dry cleaners. Long term, these are not healthy for the fabric of the clothes
- Hang your vintage clothes on wooden hangers, or for best protection, cloth-covered padded hangers. (Metal hangers can leave rust stains on your clothes and they also leave stretch marks that are very hard to get rid of).
Washing Your Vintage Clothes
Less is more. Repeated vigorous washing damages the fibres of clothing, increases your energy bill and has a negative impact on the environment. ¼ of the carbon footprint from the garment industry is from consumers washing and drying their clothes, which is easy to avoid:
- Unless clothes are dirty, you can simply spot wash them or brush them clean to remove any stains or debris.
- Turning clothes inside out to air or hanging them in humid places removes odour to keep clothes fresh without damaging the garment or the environment.
- Wash at 30 degrees where possible, use gentle cycles or lightly hand-wash - all these options are always better for the lifespan of vintage clothing. Plus, you’ll save on energy bills, switching from 40 to 30 for example can save up to 60% of the energy consumption.
- If you do need to wash your clothes, always hand-wash pre1960s vintage. If you’re concerned that the fabric is too delicate, don’t wash it at all! Never wash embroidered silks or satins, ever!
- Always air dry your garments when possible. Tumble driers use a lot of energy when all you need is a simple washing line or clothes horse.
- If you want to dry clean specialty vintage items that are durable enough for it, then use a reputable, eco-friendly dry cleaner that you can build up a relationship of trust with. Eco-friendly dry cleaners use non-toxic detergents that are better for your health and for the environment, and focus on saving energy wherever possible. You want someone you can trust to care for your precious pieces as much as you do!
- With all vintage clothing and shoes, try not to wear them two days in a row without airing them. This gives them a chance to breathe and restores it for the next wear.
Maintaining Your Vintage Clothes
- Repair, repair, repair! From a small rip to a larger hole make sure you repair your clothing as soon as you see an issue. They’ll only get bigger if you don’t.
- You can sew, crochet, cover with patches of material and more. Keep your eyes peeled on our social and blog for clever life hacks to make repairing easy breezy!
- Lube your zipper. Old metal zippers should be carefully lubed with graphite pencil, vaseline or zipper lube to keep them gliding smoothly through your clothing.
Most of all love your vintage clothes and respect them as you would a person of the same age!
Recycling Your Vintage Clothing
If you get tired of your clothing, and feel they no longer belong in your wardrobe, there are plenty of ways to make sure they continue their life in another way.
- Redesign or Upcycle: There are endless ways to upcycle products to update and refresh. Give your pieces a new look by cutting, cropping, reshaping, distressing and more.
- Swap: Pass on preloved pieces to friends or family, or attend a clothes swap where you can swap your wares for other items for your closet.
- Sell: From car-boot sales to depop and eBay, there are plenty of ways to give garments a second home and keep them being loved!
- Donate: Give your clothing to charity shops and recycling organisations, where they can either find another life as a piece, or be recycled into something new. Either way, it's saved from landfill.