Love your PJ's.... and our planet too!

You’ve done it. You’ve finally found the holy grail of nightwear; that perfect pair of PJs’. But then, disaster strikes, in a total rush you throw them in with some dirty (and typically bright red) football kit and that lovely shade of white has become a funny pale pink. Your new favourite PJ’s are ruined. It’s annoying and we know there are hundreds of other reasons why your once pristine pyjama set has lost its brand-new, fresh out of the box feel. Some of us will persevere and keep wearing them but in today’s throwaway society many will simply replace them, and your PJ’s will sadly head off on a journey to landfill.

Whilst the frustration of a ruined pair of favourite PJs’ is understandable, the impact on the world around us is a far greater concern. It’s estimated that £140M worth of clothing ends up in landfill every year*. The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP suggest that by extending the life of our clothing by just 9 months, we could save £5bn in the resources used to launder, supply and dispose of clothing. What’s more, extending the life of clothing has been identified as the single largest opportunity for the UK to reduce its carbon, water and waste footprint.

Making our nightwear last a little longer clearly has benefits for us (hooray we keep that box fresh feel a little longer) but more importantly has a huge role to play in helping to minimise our impact on our long-suffering planet. So how do we keep our PJ’s in perfect condition? At Fable & Eve, we’re lucky to be surrounded by some real experts in the field of fabrics, manufacturing and laundry. Here’s what they came up with:

#1. Choose wisely

Fabric and how a garment is made can tell you a lot about how it will wash and wear. Firstly, take a look at the insides, do the seams look well sewn, are there frayed edges and do the buttons seem secure? Any seam or part of the garment that doesn’t look great when you buy it will just get worse as it’s worn and washed. Fabric is another factor to consider, we choose blends using cotton, modal and lyocell for some pretty good reasons. Modal and lyocell and are plant-based fibres that are made using similar but much more environmentally-friendlier processes to synthetic fibres. For us, this is just one of their many benefits. The depth of colour you can achieve with these fibres is beautiful but as an added advantage, they also keep their colour after repeated washing and wearing. They also have much lower shrinkage rates than many other natural fibres and are also less prone to bobbling and becoming thin and patchy.

#2 Wash well

How we wash our nightwear not only has an impact on how well it will last but is probably one of the most significant factors in reducing our impact on the environment. Our top tips here are simple but effective. Firstly, it sounds obvious but always read the label and follow the instructions carefully. The instructions on the label are carefully considered in relation to how the fabric and garment was
made. The symbols you see on the label also give you a clear understanding of what the garment has been tested to do. If the tumble dry symbol is crossed out, it’s because when the manufacturer tested it, the garment didn’t pass.

Stains are a pain and can be a persistent problem. Treat them as soon as you notice them and check out natural rather than chemical ways to remove them. We like the trick of using soda crystals to remove coffee or tea stains (easily done whilst sipping your morning brew) Wash similar colours together to avoid staining from other items and always wash a PJ top with the bottoms, so they don’t end up as different shades. Overloading the machine is another common mistake and will prevent your PJ’s from getting really clean. We also like the tip of washing nightwear inside out to prevent the outer surface from getting roughed up by other items. Finally, much has been written about washing at lower temperatures and we firmly believe that 30C will do the job. Combined with an environmentally-friendly detergent, a smaller load (see above) and our tips above, there’s no reason why washing at a lower temp won’t keeping your PJ’s in pristine condition.

#3 Time to Dry

We know it’s easy but throwing your PJ’s in the tumble dryer really isn’t the greatest option for our planet and it doesn’t do your nightwear any favours either. Many of our styles can be tumble dried
but the best way to care for them and extend their life is to air dry them. Even better, drying them flat will really keep them in tip top condition. When fabric is wet, it becomes heavy and when you hang an item to dry, this extra weight will pull on the garment and stretch it.

#4 Can we fix it?

So many clothing items these days are thrown away because they’ve got a minor problem. A missing button, a fallen hem. We’ve got out of practice when it comes to picking up a needle and thread to make minor repairs, but we really could extend the life of our nightwear if we embraced this once popular habit. When we make our nightwear, we make sure all of our seams are built to last but accidents happen and it’s easy to catch a hem or pull off a button. All of our nightwear items come with a spare button, so there’s really no excuse not to dig out that needle and thread.

#5 When time’s really up, recycle

There comes a point when some things just get a bit too old and are beyond basic repairs. Sometimes, even with the best intentions, we just have a mishap with a wash load. This is the time to recycle. There’s really no need to throw away any old items of clothing as almost everything can be recycled. Donate to charity, take your items to a textile recycling point, cut things up for cleaning cloths but whatever you do, don’t just throw it your household bin.

Throwing things away is a bad habit we’ve got into as a planet and at Fable & Eve, we’re determined to do our bit to minimise the impact of our nightwear on the world around us. Of course, we want people to buy our products, but we’re committed to creating them in a way that means they will last. We hope with these tips, nightwear from Fable & Eve becomes a good investment and not a passing fad.

“There is no such thing as ‘away’. When we throw anything away it must go somewhere.”

Annie Leonard