It’s not often that one considers or nurtures their clothes in an effort prolong their closet-life. In fact, many of us are guilty of dumping their garments in the washing machine or handing them over to be hand washed without so much as reading the care instructions.
Don’t worry, if this was a garment-neglect anonymous meeting, I’d be the first to stand and introduce myself as the most uninterested, negligent handler of clothes (fashionable or otherwise) in the room – or at least I would have prior to the P&G Future Fabrics conference held earlier this month in Barcelona Spain.
Considering how much I love clothes and fashion, it’s a pity that I was never interested in getting a better understanding of how to care for my most treasured pieces.
Given the new direction the fashion landscape has taken with its embrace of edgy, sporty style, it was only a matter of time before manufacturers adapted fabrics to possess different qualities.
Here are the four main fabric elements as described in the conference that are changing the fashion landscape and, consequently, how we care for our garments.
Multi-strech. Let’s face it, ‘comfort’ is fast replacing ‘inconvenience’ when it comes to women’s fashionable hierarchy of needs. Even lingerie is adapting to have more elastic qualities – something that would change many women’s underwear experience since roughly 80% of women don’t wear the right bra. The more the fabric is able to adapt to your body type, the more comfortable it is for the wearer.
Increased use of Knits. Knits have now found their way into many closets thanks to their dynamic and chic quality. With the integration of technology and garments, it’s no surprise that 3D knits are becoming more and more popular.
Extreme Adaptability. In the day and age where lipsticks can be used as concealers, cellphones double up as bank accounts and your average pair of glasses can be used as a smartphone, it’s no surprise that clothes are becoming multi-functional too. Can that piece regulate temperature but still be lightweight? Is it stain and UV proof? These factors are becoming more and more important to consider.
Graphic Tech. This element has played a huge role in merging sports and fashion and with personalisation becoming a key factor for brands, it’s integral for the fabric and print to be unique.
Because of these changes in textiles, it’s important for consumers to become more aware of how best to handle and care for their garments in order to reduce wear and tear, starting with using the right products – from detergent to fabric softeners.
At the end of the day, fashion is only as exciting as it is wearable – and the less you care for your pieces, the less likely you’ll have them around long enough to fully enjoy them. It’s just as important for you to give your clothes the right attention and care as it was for your to fall in love with them in the first place!