Anyone who has never bought a piece of clothing that has been ruined after only a few washes, raise your hand! Deceptive advertising, capsule collections and the lure of something new; the world’s major retailers have got us used to buying poor quality clothing in a frenzy. Unfortunately, these quickly become unusable, and can’t even be repaired, winding up in the garbage. What if we rethink our wardrobe to make our purchases more profitable? Entraide diabétique du Québec has put together a little guide to help you carefully choose your clothes and, in this way, stop throwing your money out the window.
Reading the composition label: A necessary evil
Cotton, linen, elastane, Tencel, wool, polyester… A list of fabrics that can make your head spin! When it’s time to buy a new piece of clothing, get into the habit of reading the fabric composition label. This will let you know the quality of the garment and may help you avoid regretting your purchase. If you want to invest for the long term, consider cotton, wool, cashmere, bamboo or silk. For a few extra dollars, you will have a much more durable garment. When shopping with this in mind, make sure, however, that you choose clothes with a timeless style, because you will be keeping them longer than that last brightly coloured t-shirt you bought on the spur of the moment!
Clean it well to keep it looking its best
Once you know the composition of the garment, look at the care labels. Not sure what they mean? Consult the Guide to Apparel and Textile Care Symbols. This will give you information on how to wash your garment. In fact, some fabrics need to be dry-cleaned, while others need to be hand washed or even dried flat. If you’re the type of person who puts everything in the washer without worrying too much about this detail, avoid buying clothes that are too delicate to care for, as this can cause damage. However, it’s important to note that overly complex care can sometimes be a sign of a fragile or poor quality garment. If in doubt, buy something else instead!
Proper care, the key to longevity
To maximize the life of your clothes, avoid putting them in the dryer. In fact, most synthetic fibres tend to pill after only a few times in the washer and dryer, leaving unsightly little clumps of fabric on your clothes. However, pilling can be removed from a wool garment by placing it flat and using a fabric defuzzer or a wool comb.
Identify buttons that are starting to loosen and fasten them before they fall off. Even if you don’t have the great designers’ expertise, this simple precaution could extend the life of your garment. Also think about repairing before disposing of a garment. In the case of a complex repair, bring your garment to a seamstress. You may be surprised at what can be done to extend the life of a garment.
Buying online, a challenge within everyone’s reach
The pandemic has forced many of us to turn to online shopping. However, it can sometimes be difficult to make wise purchases when it comes time to place an order. If you already have some favourite brands, give them priority, as it will be easier to choose the right size. If you want to give a new brand a chance, make sure you have the option of easily returning your purchase or exchanging it for another size. Since you are shopping in the comfort of your own home, take the time you need to properly analyze the garment. Take your measurements to select the right size and also look at the reviews posted by previous buyers. In some cases, you will be convinced to buy, while in others, you will avoid a purchase that wouldn’t meet your needs. Always try to buy locally. In fact, in addition to supporting the Quebec economy, local designers are generally a guarantee of quality and durability, since it is easier for them to carry out truly effective quality control.
And lastly, when you no longer need your garment, consider giving it a second life. Since you will have made smart purchases, you will easily be able to dispose of your clothes in good condition by dropping them off in one of the many donation boxes of Entraide diabétique du Québec. On your marks, get set, buy!