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.
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