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Blue jean baby

Initially seen on Cowboys and Bikers, denim was used to make durable, stiff trousers that could stand up to anything. As they became popular, consumers wanted that comfortable, worn-in look and feel from the start, without the effort.

But achieving this look came with the price of a whole lot of manufacturing processes that are damaging the environment. Aside from the chemicals that are heavy pollutants, denim is primarily made from cotton, a crop that needs a lot of water.

Say, 1800 gallons for a single pair of jeans.*

Not the most sustainable choice.

So what are the solutions?

Get your denim second-hand.

Often, buying second-hand will not only be cheaper, but it’s better for the environment as you are saving a pair from landfill. Depop, charity shops and Bandi are all great places to find some, to name a few!

Wash your jeans less often.

Unless you spilt an entire meal over them, you could get away with washing your jeans about once a month. Yes, you read that right! According to the Clothes Doctor** and the CEO of Levi’s***, many fabrics actually benefit from being washed less. Denim is one of them.

Frequent washing not only wears the material down and fades the colour, but also releases microfibres and chemicals into the environment. So, spot clean them when needed in-between washes to minimise this!

Repair, Rework or Recycle.

Please don’t throw your jeans away as soon as they get a hole!

You can patch them up or rework them into something entirely different. Turning jeans into shorts is a super straightforward example of how you can do this.

If there really is no saving them, pop them into textile recycling to be repurposed, avoiding landfill.

Buy sustainably produced denim.

If you are going to buy new, then check out the manufacturing processes of the company. Levi’s, for example, offers denim made of Hemp (which is a sustainable material), and they have their own tailor and repair shop for your jeans.

 

How to properly wash your clothes

Well, it’s actually a lot more complicated than that. When it comes to making your clothes last, one of the commonly overlooked, and most important, ways is how you wash them.

All of your clothes will have washing care labels inside of them, explaining how they should be cleaned, but aside from that, there are a few more things to consider when it comes to doing your laundry. So, to make everything a bit more simple, we’ve put everything you should know about cleaning your clothes into this handy little guide to ensure your clothes last as long as you do. You’re welcome.

How dirty is it?

Realistically, most clothing items don’t need to be washed straight away unless it’s stained. If you just want to wash it so that it’s “fresh”, then it might be time to invest in a fabric freshener, rather than wasting all that water and electricity when your clothes don’t need it!

Heavily stained clothing should be washed on a longer, heavy-duty cycle at a higher heat if the fabric allows it. Investing in a good stain remover will also help to reduce the number of times the items need to be washed to remove the stain.

What are you washing?

It’s tempting to throw them all into one wash, but you may actually be damaging your clothes by doing this. Lighter, more delicate fabrics can be damaged and worn down when washed with heavier materials. So don’t go washing your towels and jeans with that silk midi dress!

Items with buttons and zippers should also be washed separately to your delicates, as these can cause snags and tears!

Hand Wash?

Some items of clothing simply can’t withstand being put through the washing machine over and over again. Delicate garments, bras and fabrics such as silk will last best if you wash them by hand or at the very least put them on a delicate cycle. This prevents them from being thrown around in the washing machine, wearing down your clothes and shortening their lifespan. Making sure to invest in a non-bio, delicate laundry detergent will protect your clothes and still get them all fresh.

Hotting Up

Temperature is important, and it’s easy to overlook. Picking the wrong temperature can lead to items shrinking, the colour bleeding or simply not getting clean. To put it simply:
Cold: Delicate garments, fine materials, dark colours and anything that might shrink.

Warm: Synthetic fibres.
Hot: Whites, Cotton, bedding and heavily soiled clothing.

Microplastics

Nowadays, lots of clothes are made from synthetic fibres which contain a lot of, you guessed it, plastic. When washed, these tiny microplastics are shed from the clothing, making their way through the water systems and eventually end up in the ocean. To prevent this from happening, you can either fit your washing machine with a microplastic filter or buy a reusable wash bag to wash your clothes in. Both will catch the microplastics, allowing you to dispose of them safely and preventing them from entering the water system.

Learning how to correctly care for your clothes is such a simple step to ensure they last, taking care of what we already own to avoid excess textile waste and helping the environment. Not to worry if a garment reaches the end of its lifespan and you are looking for a replacement. Try swapping through Bandi to find the perfect fit!

 

How to swap

Our swapping is based entirely online, which has numerous benefits, but it does place more responsibility on the individual swapper, which can make things more complicated. But not to worry, as the team at Bandi have got you covered.

We are here to make sure that your swapping experience goes smoothly, and with the Facebook group ever-growing and the app launch on the horizon, we thought that we would share our guide to successful swapping in the hopes that it will help you on your swapping journey!

Take good pictures!

Sometimes, a good picture can make all the difference.

The first thing to do is make sure your clothes look the best they can! This may mean a quick iron, but it’ll be worth it when you start swapping.

Try to take pictures in natural light against a neutral background, as this will offer the most authentic representation of your pieces and give other swappers a good idea of what they are looking at!

If you have the time, modelling the clothes (nothing too fancy, don’t worry) can really uplift your post, as then others can see the fit and really imagine it on!

Be honest

This is super important.

When describing your item, make sure you are taking note of anything that should be mentioned. Does it have a small hole? Maybe a stain that might not be noticeable when worn, but is still there? These are all things that should be mentioned before agreeing to a swap to make it fair! If you can, sending pictures or videos of these flaws is an even better way to ensure everyone is happy with what they are receiving.

Think: “Would I be happy to receive this item?”

Make sure to talk to each other

We don’t want any miscommunications! Once you have both agreed on your swaps, make sure to keep each other updated as you go! This can be anything from letting the other swapper know what days you can post to sending them the postage receipt once it’s gone! Just keeping each other in the loop throughout the swap should ensure that no one is left wondering where their swap has ended up, and everyone is happy.

Stay active!

Keeping up to date with what’s being posted is easy when you stay active. Be the first to spot new gems and snap them up quickly! Keep your wardrobe refreshed! The more you upload, the more you have to swap.

Show it off!

Whether it’s on the next big night out* or just chilling at home, We LOVE seeing you in all your swaps! Take lots and lots of selfies (you know you want to ) and then send them over to us so we can share them with the rest of our swapping family. There is nothing that makes us happier than seeing all of you swapping and loving your finds through Bandi.

*fingers, toes and literally everything else crossed.

Happy Swapping!

 

Love is in the air

With 1 billion cards being sent worldwide (most of which are sent to landfill) and 100 million roses being tossed away after this special day, what changes can we make this year to keep our Valentines, Galentines, or even Palentines (yes we said that) eco-friendly?

Get creative with your gift-giving and see some of our suggestions and alternative ideas below.

Fresh cut flowers are overdone, why not buy a house plant to last a lifetime or some dried flowers that will last longer than a few weeks.

Get your oven on and bake something instead of buying plastic-covered sweets and chocolates, not only does this require your time and effort but can also bring that freshly baked yummy smell throughout your home.

With most of us being stuck in our homes, give your loved one something to look forward to. Planning an experience together is a great way to keep your gift sustainable instead of buying something just because. Writing IOUs and keeping them in a glass jar is the gift that can keep on giving.

Avoid buying pyjamas or underwear that will only be worn for this one occasion. Ask yourself, ‘do I really need this?’ before you purchase. If you do need it, buying from slow fashion and sustainable brands is always the best option.

Even on Valentine’s day itself, take a flask of tea to a park bench, go stargazing. There are so many things for you to do; make your own card, bring breakfast to the bed – as we have all learnt this year, it is the little things that make a difference.

At the end of the day, you know your loved ones better than anyone else, so be creative, be thoughtful, give them your time and show them love!

Organising your wardrobe

Over the lockdowns here in the UK, many people turned to their wardrobes, deciding that now was the perfect time to have a clearout and donate all their old things to Charity Shops. Whilst donating items is a great way to support your local charities, with around 67 million* items of unwanted clothing making their way to them, it might be time to look at how we consume and, in time, discard clothing. The place to start with this is in your wardrobe. It’s so easy for stuff to accumulate that this can feel utterly overwhelming when it comes to sorting through it all, but the team at Bandi are here to help.

Everyone has different ways that work for them, and it’s all about finding what works for you. Before we start ripping clothes off the hangers, a good place to start, no matter your organising style, is creating four separate piles to sort your clothes into.

Keep

The goal here is to love every item that you keep. You want to look at your wardrobe and have every piece be worn and loved. Ask yourself: What does this go with? How many times have I worn it in the past year? Do I genuinely love it? If you can answer all these questions, you will know which items belong in your “Keep” pile, ready to head back into your collection and which it may be time to send on their way. Once you have a wardrobe full of items you love, it will be much easier to decide if you really need that new t-shirt.

We know that some items may be sentimental, even if you no longer wear them. So instead of having them take up room in your wardrobe, fold them up and place them in a box that you can tuck away.

Swap

This is for all those pieces that are still in great condition, and you just know that someone else would love them. It’s okay if you have fallen out of love with them, and they just aren’t quite your style anymore; upload them to Bandi to find pieces to replace them! There will be someone who will love your old pieces, and it’s the perfect place to find something new for you.

Fix

Is that blouse missing a button? Are those trousers just a little too long? Into the fixing pile! In most cases, they aren’t a lost cause. Sometimes the items you love just need a little TLC. Grab a needle and thread, check out some youtube tutorials if you need a guide and get to bring them back to life! If it’s a more advanced fix, then taking your piece to a local tailor will have it looking as good as new.

Recycle

Sadly, some clothes will have reached the end of their life, and there is no amount of fixing them that will bring them back from the brink. Once you have organised all your clothes, take your recycling pile to your local textile recycling point to be used again to create something new. This way, you avoid sending them to landfill.

Now we have our designated piles; it’s time to open your wardrobe and get sorting.

Categories

A common suggestion is to completely empty your wardrobe onto a bed and then go from there, but we are trying to not get overwhelmed. Staring at a giant mound of all your clothes isn’t exactly calming! To avoid doing this, try removing items in categories, one group at a time. You might want to start with all your dresses or trousers; pick whatever feels like a comfortable place to start. From there, you can work on one section at a time, sorting each piece into its designated pile.

Try-On

If you have the time, a speedy and easy way to see what you think of an item is to simply try it on. Your body may have changed with your style, and something that was once your favourite top now just doesn’t suit you anymore. Working on the premise of “If it isn’t a hell yes, it’s a no” might seem brutal, but it works. If you aren’t quite ready to be totally cutthroat, then that’s okay. You can hang onto a couple of “maybe” pieces and use the following method to see if you actually end up wearing them!

Hanger Switch

Now you have nicely organised everything, it’s time to put everything you want to keep back in your wardrobe. But before you just hang everything in there without a care in the world. Here’s a trick that will make your life easier for the next time you need another clear-out. As you are placing everything on hangers, make sure that they all face the same way in your wardrobe. Then when you come to wear a piece and hang it back up, flip the hanger around. This way, you will know which items you are actually wearing and which ones it might be time to finally say goodbye to.