Third of Brits Are Shrinking Their Wardrobes

Research shows that clothing is ruined because Brits don't know their care labels.

  • 31% of Brits no longer wearing clothing due to incorrect washing, drying or ironing
  • 39 million items of clothing not worn in the past year
  • Only 9% of adults recognise half of common care labels

Around a third (31%) of Brits are no longer wearing items of clothing from their wardrobe due to washing, ironing or drying them incorrectly, says clothing campaign Love Your Clothes. It’s estimated that a staggering 39 million items haven’t been worn in the past year because of this.

A poll of 2000 adults found that over a quarter (27%) of people are not wearing as many as up to 5 items. A big reason for this is the damage caused by not knowing what the symbols on clothes actually mean. Only 9% of UK adults can identify more than half of the 25 common care symbols that regularly appear on the labels in our clothes.

To help the nation get their heads around following care labels, Love Your Clothes has teamed up with leading fabric care brand Ariel, by launching the ‘Know Your Care Labels #InsideOut’ challenge.

The challenge is to test your knowledge on how well you know common care symbols by taking a quiz on the Love Your Clothes website and there’s a chance you could win a brand new washing machine. You can also download a free handy designer care symbol guide to hang next to the washing machine or tumble dryer at home.

The ‘Know Your Care Labels #InsideOut’ challenge aims to get the general public to follow the care symbols on clothing labels when doing laundry, which will reduce the amount of clothing being ruined.

Sarah Clayton, Head of Love Your Clothes said: “It’s staggering how many clothes have been damaged as a result of not following care symbols. So before you put your next load of washing on give our challenge a go, as a quick check of the label will really pay off in the way the clothes look, as people can keep wearing them for longer.”

Top Five Laundry Tips from Love Your Clothes

1.    Sort your clothing into loads according to colour (light, dark, bright) and fabric (heavy, delicate). Any new garments that might run should be washed separately.

2.    Turn clothes inside out. This will protect prints on T-shirts; prevent the outside of garments from fading and pilling (bobbles) and stop things like buttons from snagging on other garments.

3.    Use the coolest, gentlest cycle possible for the type of clothes you're washing. It saves energy AND makes your clothes last longer.

4.    Line-dry wherever possible. It's tricky if you don’t have a garden, but a drying rack is a good alternative.

5.    Hanging garments up after ironing will keep them wrinkle-free.

Follow the challenge on Twitter and Facebook using #insideout

For further information contact:
Stephanie Campbell
Tel: 01295 817 859

Spokesperson and images available on request.

Notes to editors

  • The ‘Know Your Care Labels #InsideOut’ challenge is proudly supported by Ariel
  • Research is based on care symbols by Ginetex – The International Association for textile care labelling and Clevercare
  • Research undertaken 26th-29th April 2016