Clothes are an essential part of our lives, but they also have an environmental and social impact. The fashion industry is one of the most polluting and exploitative industries in the world, and the fast fashion model encourages overconsumption and waste. Therefore, it is important to consider how long our clothes should last and how we can extend their lifespan. In this article we will discuss about How Long Do Clothes Last on Average?
Factors Affecting the Lifespan of Clothes
The lifespan of clothes depends on various factors, such as:
The quality of the fabric and the construction: Some fabrics are more durable than others, and some garments are more well-made than others. For example, synthetic fibres may last longer than natural fibres, but they also have a higher environmental impact. Similarly, garments with sturdy seams, generous hem allowances and spare buttons may last longer than those with shoddy stitching and no room for alterations.
The frequency of wearing and washing: The more we wear and wash our clothes, the more they wear out. Washing clothes can cause fading, shrinking, stretching, pilling and tearing. Therefore, it is advisable to wash clothes only when they are dirty and to follow the care instructions on the label. To wash our clothes less frequently, some experts recommend using cold water and gentle detergents. They also suggest air-drying our clothes instead of using a dryer.
The style and fit of the clothes: Clothes that are trendy or seasonal may go out of fashion quickly, reducing their lifespan. The fit of our clothes can affect their lifespan. If they are too tight or too loose, they may not look good or feel comfortable after a while. Therefore, it is wise to choose clothes that are classic, versatile and fit well.
Personal attachment and care for the clothes: Clothes that we love and cherish may last longer than those that we don’t care about. This is because we are more likely to take good care of them, repair them when they are damaged, and restyle them when they are boring. We may also feel more satisfied with our wardrobe and less tempted to buy new things.
How Long Do Clothes Last on Average?
A study in Norway examined 620 items that 16 households threw away in six months. The study found that the average garment lasted 5.4 years. However, the garment was only worn for 4 years on average. The lifespan of the garment could also change based on its type, quality and the wearer’s preference.
There is a debate among experts about how long we should keep our clothes. Some say that we should only buy clothes that we can wear at least 30 times. This means that the clothes should last for 30 years at least. Others disagree and say that this is too short. They think that we should aim for clothes that can last for 3,000 years or more.
How long our clothes should last is not a simple question. However, we know that keeping our clothes longer is good for our wallets and the planet. Washing our clothes less often and fixing them when they break is a way to take good care of them. This can help them last longer and save resources. Another way is to change their look when we want and enjoy them for a long time.