Care Label Project
WE WANT TO BREAK TODAY’S CARE HABITS
Why? 90% of the clothes we own are thrown away long before they should be, and we still insist on using outdated care instructions from the 1950s. A change is needed.
THE CARE LABEL PROJECT
CHALLENGING CARE LABELS
We have partnered with a wide range of emerging designers and clothing manufacturers who share our passion for innovation in the fashion industry. Together we have challenged a number of care labels by testing the designer’s garments using modern laundry equipment in our R&D lab.
What most of us don’t know is that the temperature labels represent the maximum washing temperature, not the recommended one. Washing at lower temperatures will extend the life of your garments, making them feel new and fresh longer. A lower temperature is also better for your electricity bill - going from 40 to 30 degrees for example can save up to 60% of the energy consumption.
The average laundry washing temperature across Europe is 41°C
Washing your garments and jeans less, in lower temperatures, will prolong their lifespan.
DRY CLEAN ONLY
Dry Clean Only is put on our most delicate fabrics and garments. While it might get your clothes clean, it’s a chemical-heavy process that’s both hard on the garment and the environment. Today, one out of three avoid purchasing garments labeled Dry Clean Only because of the hassle. But thanks to recent advancements in washing technology and laundry detergents, it’s now possible to use gentler washing cycles, lower temperatures and drying settings to wash some of your Dry Clean Only garments directly in the machine.
Some garments, however, are Dry Clean Only for a reason. They contain details or materials that could change colour or become misshapen if washed at home. Luckily, the chemicals are not your only option; many dry cleaners have started using greener methods such as wet cleaning and carbon dioxide solvents. So, if you have to visit the dry cleaner, make sure to pick one that is environmentally friendly.
55% use dry clean services from time to time, but only half of them are satisfied
Many dry-clean-only garments can be washed at lower temperatures in a machine.
Doriane van Overeem
DO NOT TUMBLE DRY
This care label is often seen as an enforcing instruction leading people to air drying instead. While it’s correct for some garments, a lot of sensitive materials such as outdoor and water repellent materials will last longer if they are tumble dried in the right cycle. With most modern technology you can even dry delicate fabrics like silk and wool. Look for tumble dryers marked with the Woolmark certification which let you dry even your finest wool with confidence.
70% inherit their care habits from their parents
I think you can tumble dry everything, if it’s just the right program.
HAND WASH ONLY
Many think that hand washing is the gentlest way to clean a delicate garment. This is what we have been taught by our parents and what the care label indicate. But today, with modern machines, this is no longer the case.
Hand washing consumes both time and water, and tends to stress the fibres. When you’re washing by hand and rub the garment against itself, you are usually rougher than you think. Instead, choose a gentle cycle with lower washing temperatures on your washer and you’ll get the job done without mistreating your garment. In fact, as many as 75% of us hand wash, but only one quarter are satisfied with the result.
Extending the life of clothing by an extra nine months would reduce carbon, waste and water footprints by around 20-30% each
Instead of hand-washing, you can wash a piece of knitwear on a gentle cycle.
THE CARE LABEL COLLECTION
Browse the collection of stunning garments from the 16 designers, all washed using AEG’s modern care advice, developed from tests in our R&D lab. These beautiful garments deserve to be treated right.
THE MODERN CARE GUIDE
Many still insist on using outdated care instructions from the 50s. We have developed a modern care guide in the AEG R&D lab.
When you’re washing by hand and rub the garment against itself, you are usually rougher than you think. Most garments marked hand wash only will benefit from being washed on a gentle cycle in a modern machine, instead of being exposed to old school hand washing that stresses the fibres.
Higher temperatures used to mean cleaner clothes, but it’s not entirely true anymore. Washing in lower temperatures saves a lot of energy and causes less strain on clothes, making them last longer.
For sensitive fabrics like silk, or for garments with details like buttons, zippers, etc it is often easier and gentler to use the steam program instead of an iron. If you are using an iron on these type of garments, make sure not to press too hard on the details and use the setting recommended in the care label.
When overfilling the machine, your clothes could easily become tangled, while underfilling is wasting energy, and therefore money. It’s also better to use automatic programs rather than timed cycles since the machine can avoid shrinkage by sensing the perfect moisture level in your fabrics.
Thanks to recent advancements in washing technology and laundry detergents, it’s now possible to use gentler washing cycles, lower temperatures and drying settings to wash even some Dry Clean Only garments directly in the machine without ruining them.
To emphasise the importance of thinking twice before you put your clothes in the washing machine we’re launching a completely new care label - Don’t overwash. Together with this, AEG have developed solutions to reduce the need to wash so frequently.
CARE LABEL PROJECT PARTNERS
We can’t do this alone. Our partners are a big part in the Care Label Project. Are you a fashion brand that wants to join the Care Label Project? We are giving away 20 000 “Don’t overwash”- care labels for free - together we can make real change happen. Click here!
The Woolmark Company is the global authority on wool. The Woolmark logo is one of the world’s most recognised and respected brands, providing assurance of the highest quality, and representing pioneering excellence and innovation from farm through to finished product. The Woolmark Company is a subsidiary of Australian Wool Innovation, a not-for-profit enterprise that conducts research, development and marketing along the worldwide supply chain for Australian wool on behalf of about 55,000 woolgrowers that help fund the company.
Fashion Revolution is a non-profit global organization that unites around an annual campaign, raising awareness on “the true cost of fashion”, showing the world that change is possible, and celebrating all those involved in creating a more sustainable future. Fashion Revolution started out their work focusing mostly on the production phase, but have now also started to look at after-care, and the possibilities of a more sustainable mindset.
NOT JUST A LABEL (NJAL) is the world’s leading designer platform for showcasing and nurturing today’s pioneers in contemporary fashion. NJAL encourages designers to produce fashion that is sustainable and supports local communities and artisanal craftsmanship. NJAL has pioneered a revolutionary approach to the fashion industry, outside of politics and the existing systems that are detrimental to the growth and integrity of its designers.
Electrolux is a global leader in home appliances, based on deep consumer insight and developed in close collaboration with professional users. Electrolux offer thoughtfully designed, innovative solutions for households and businesses, with products such as refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, small domestic appliances and more. Electrolux has received the 2017 Gold Class Award in RobecoSAM’s Sustainability Yearbook, an annual rating of the sustainability performance among the world’s largest companies.