Wear, Care, Repair, Recycling

A guide for garment caring


Simple changes in the way you wear, wash and care for your clothing can make a huge difference on the environment, as well as making sure your garments last as long as possible. Fashion Revolution tells us that by doubling the useful life of a garment from 1 year to 2 years, that alone will reduce emissions over the years by 24%. So there’s so many reasons to buy well and choose carefully. However, the way we wear our pieces is intrinsically linked to how long those garments will last, and conscious wearing can really impact the useful life of your garment, not to mention the options for re-selling or sharing in other ways once you no longer have a use for that piece in your wardrobe.
We’d love to share with you some of our top tips for extending the life of your carefully chosen pieces.

Prolonging the life of your garments

  • Choose well and buy carefully
  • Dress for the occasion
  • Don’t wear any one piece of clothing every day
  • Invest in "house clothes". As soon as you get home from work or your event, change into your house clothes. This can vastly increase the life of your clothing.
  • Follow the washing instructions carefully. We usually recommend gentle cold hand washing with an all-natural detergent as it’s gentle on the environment and your clothing *please use a specialised detergent to wash your wools and silks
  • Gentle cold hand wash (and we mean actually hand wash, not the hand wash setting on your washing machine)
  • Treat stains straight away
  • Wash less & only when necessary to reduce your use of water, energy and detergents
  • Never use a tumble dryer. Line dry your clothing out of direct sunlight
  • Store your clothing properly – either hang your clothes on good quality hangers or fold neatly. We love Marie Kondo’s folding tips!
  • Air clothing after wearing and before it is put away.
  • Some fabrics will naturally have the potential to pill, avoid rubbing from bags or belts, excessive friction can exacerbate pilling. Remove carefully with a pilling comb or de-piller, always try first in a discrete area.
  • Mend, repair and tailor as needed.


Fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world. It’s a nasty reality, but one that we can all play our part to reduce. Many of our customers don’t realise that up to 80 percent of a garment’s carbon footprint takes place after it has left the shop floor. We recommend keeping your washing to a minimum to prolong the life of your garments, and to reduce your use of water, energy and detergents. Try spot cleaning to remove any small marks to get more wear between washes. An eco-friendly baby wipe can work miracles, just make sure you test on an inconspicuous part of the garment first.

When a proper wash is needed, we recommend cold handwashing. It’s much kinder to your clothes and the environment. Not sure how to handwash? We’ve pulled together our expert tips to give you an easy step-by-step:

1. Make A Cold Wash Bath
Think of handwashing as giving your clothes a bath – you need to get the tub nice and ready before putting your Kuwaii garment into it! The force of water straight from a tap can cause stress on the fabric, and detergent can be more difficult to rinse out when poured directly onto clothing. So instead, fill your sink or basin with cool water and add the recommended dose of a good quality detergent as it’s filling – we love Dirt which is an Australian made eco-laundry detergent that is cruelty-free. Swish the detergent in the water to make sure it has completely dissolved, then lay your garment in the water and gently press it down to fully immerse it.

2. Be Gentle With Stains
Aggressive scrubbing can damage fabrics, especially fragile ones. Treat stains by gently working some natural stain remover or liquid detergent into the stain with your fingertips. Then, as it soaks, gently squeeze the sudsy water through the garment several times. Most garments will be clean in less than 5 minutes.

3. Cold, Clean Rinse
Holding garments under running water could stretch delicate fabrics. So instead, rinse your item the same way you washed it – in a sink of clean, cold water. When you’ve finished washing, scoop the entire garment out of the soapy water with both hands for support, and fill the sink or basin with clear water. Gently press the garment to immerse it into the water, and pull your garment gently back and forth through the water until there is no trace of suds left. You may need to replace the rinsing water to remove all the suds.

4. Remove Excess Water
Scoop your garment out of the water with both hands and gently squeeze excess water out, being careful not to twist or wring it. Then, lay it flat on an absorbent towel and roll the towel and garment together, gently squeezing as you go.

5. Flat Drying
To ensure that your favourite Kuwaii item keeps its perfect shape, lay your washed garment on top of a dry towel and carefully mould it back into shape, and then lay both the towel and the garment over the flat section of a clothes horse. Allow it to air dry in the shade, turning over once the top is dry to let the underneath dry, too. If the dry garment is wrinkled, check the care label for appropriate ironing temperature, and if necessary, press the garment gently to finish. To save valuable resources and extend the life of your clothing, never place your Kuwaii item in the tumble dryer.

Green Drycleaning
Sometimes, dry cleaning is necessary. Certain fabrics like silk, or special garments like jackets, will be damaged by washing, so in these cases we recommend using a green dry cleaner – like our friends at Daisy. While traditional dry cleaners use a toxic chemical called perchloroethylene to clean garments, eco conscious cleaners like Daisy are changing the dry-cleaning game by using water as the primary solvent. This type of cleaning is a lot less toxic, and reduces carbon emissions.


We believe that if you’re able to repair something, it’s much more likely to last. That’s fairly straightforward, but some things are much easier to repair than others. We select materials for our garments that are hard-wearing and easy to repair. We are proud to offer our life-long repairs program on any Kuwaii piece. You can bring back your most loved Kuwaii, and we will patch, darn and mend it back into your life. We have also helped customers with stained, ripped or torn Kuwaii garments, as we can replace damaged panels, invisibly mend tears, replace zips and buttons and sew up seams. You may pop in at any time to any of our stores to collect a spare button for your favourite well-loved Kuwaii item. If we don’t have one in stock in our stores, we can always arrange one for you.

Due to Health and Safety guidelines, we cannot accept any soiled or dirty garments for this program, so out of respect for our sewers, please ensure that any item brought for repair is freshly laundered. If the garment is deemed as unclean by our team we will charge a $50 cleaning and handling service fee to arrange dry cleaning of your garment.

Repairs are assessed on a case by case basis, and there may sometimes be a small fee for some more major repairs.

If you are thinking of altering or re-purposing a Kuwaii garment, please use our trusted alterations partners: My Perfect Fit

For over-dying a Kuwaii garment to update the colour or cover over a particularly bad stain: Cullachange


As a part of our Garment Recycling Program, Kuwaii is committing to accepting any Kuwaii piece: no matter how old, and giving it new life. We are happy to accept any item of Kuwaii – whether it is a piece of clothing or a shoe. For each item of Kuwaii you return, we will give you 10% off your next Kuwaii purchase to spend on the spot.

  • Repair: Garments in need of minor patching or repairs will be carefully mended. We keep an archive of past fabrics so that we are usually able to match fabrics for patches. These garments will then be prepared for re-sale or donation, depending on their condition.
  • Re-wear: Garments that are deemed still wearable will be prepared for re-selling to prolong their useful life.
  • Re-Use: Garments that are deemed unwearable or unrepairable will be made into other products such as cleaning cloths or rags

Our goal is to avoid any of our clothing ever hitting landfill, and this is another way for us to take this into our own control.

For more information on the program, or to bring a Kuwaii piece back to us, visit our Garment & Textile Recycling Program page here.