Paying some extra attention to how you wash and take care of your clothes will not only prolong their life, but also help minimize their environmental impact and save natural resources. The washing instructions on the label provide useful advice and are a good place to start. We've also put together a guide on how to keep your clothes looking their best. If you have any questions about things like stubborn stains, delicate fabrics or eco-friendly washing, our customer service team is happy to help.
Cotton is a true go-to staple when it comes to natural fibres. It’s extremely versatile, soft, breathable and easy to dye, and can be blended with a wide variety of other fabrics. From 2020, all of our cotton is sustainably sourced, which for us means either organic, sourced through BCI (the Better Cotton Initiative) or recycled. At the moment, this is the most sustainable way for us to work with cotton, but as we continue to grow so will our use of recycled cotton.
So organic cotton essentially means that it is rooted in non-genetically modified plants, which are then cultivated and harvested without the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides. It also enhances the fertility and biodiversity of the soil it’s grown in. When it comes to look and feel, it’s identical to conventional cotton. All the cotton in our denim is 100% GOTS and OCS certified organic. Read more about these certifications here:
Some of our cotton is sourced through the Better Cotton Initiative, BCI. BCI is a non-profit organisation that helps cotton growers to embrace more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable farming methods. It is linked to a mass balance system, where the cotton is not kept separate from other types of cotton on its journey from field to product. It is similar to the way, when you buy renewable electricity; you are contributing to cleaner energy production rather than ensuring that a specific kind of electricity comes out of your power sockets.
BCI works to train farmers to produce cotton in a way that cares for the environment through processesthat minimise the harmful impacts of fertilizers and pesticides as well as enhancing biodiversity and responsible land use. Through BCI and its Partners, farmers receive training on how to use water efficiently, care for the health of the soil and natural habitats, reduce use of the most harmful chemicals and apply decent work principles Basically, it is about taking a holistic approach to cotton production. Read more about it here.
There are two major benefits from using recycled cotton: it reduces the need for virgin material, and it reduces waste that otherwise might have gone to landfill. Recycled cotton can either come from waste and cut-offs created during production or from clothes gathered via garment collecting initiatives. Increasing our use of recycled cotton is the next step towards a more circular approach.
Because it is soft and fuzzy, cashmere can be prone to pilling, caused by rubbing during regular use. Although this is perfectly normal, we suggest that you treat your cashmere with extra care and wash it by hand or on a cool, delicate cycle in the washing machine. The best way to dry cashmere is on a flat towel, as hanging or twisting wet cashmere is likely to stretch the fibres. Pilling can be removed with a single-blade razor, taking extra care to glide across the fabric and not press down too hard.
Made from flax fibre, linen is durable, lovely to touch and keeps you cool during warmer seasons. It is also a good alternative from a sustainability point of view because the plant-to-harvest process is only approximately three months, it can grow in poor soil and requires little when it comes to fertilisers, pesticides and water.
Silk is a delicate material and should be treated as such. Check the label first – sometimes dry cleaning is the only recommended option. If the garment is washable, use cool water and a detergent for delicates and avoid stretching the garment while it’s wet. Avoid tumble-drying silk garments – this will most likely damage and shrink the fabric.
Woollen garments usually don’t have to be washed that often – try airing and spot cleaning them first. Use a detergent for delicates when you do wash them. Use the wool or hand wash cycle on your washing machine or even better, wash by hand. To avoid stretching the wool fibres, don’t wring wool clothes and always dry them flat. Ironing after washing helps to restore the material’s natural sheen – use a steam iron on the wool setting and a pressing cloth.
Wash jeans inside out to stop them fading. Take them out of the washing machine as soon as possible after the programme has ended to avoid creasing. Denim’s characteristic look is the result of a special dyeing method that can result in dry-bleeding, where small pigment particles remain on the surface and can rub off. This can be lessened by washing your new jeans in cold water a couple of times before you put them on. All the cotton in our denim is 100% GOTS and OCS certified organic. Read more about these certifications here:
Leather and suede are natural materials and can be sensitive, so remember to keep them away from humidity, heat and chemicals. All leather and suede needs to be conditioned once in a while to keep it soft and supple. To get rid of light stains, wipe the garment with a slightly damp cloth. Otherwise we recommend that leather items are taken to a specialist leather dry cleaner. Always dry leather or suede at normal room temperature.
Chunky-knits should be reshaped and dried flat to maintain their original shape.
Take off any removable details and do up Velcro and zip fastenings before washing. Wash nylon tights and delicate garments with details in a laundry bag.
Shoes & Bags
Invest some time and effort in your footwear and it will last you a lot longer. Here are a few of our top shoe care tips:
Cleaning your shoes regularly gives them a longer life, so remember to wipe off mud, dust and dirt after wearing them. For suede you can remove dry dirt with a special suede rubber that brushes the surface gently.
Use shoe trees after you’ve worn the shoes and when you store them. It helps to keep their shape and also to dry them out (our feet sweat an average of 5cl per day). Just make sure the shoe trees are the correct size, and use a shoe horn when putting your shoes on so the back isn’t crushed.
Wet shoes should be dried slowly in a natural, warm environment. Avoid heat (no hair dryers, fan heaters or radiators) because it will dry out and weaken the leather which can lead to cracking. Simply fill them with newspaper to help pull out the moisture. Before the shoes have dried completely you can tuck in shoe trees to make sure they return to their proper shape. Remember to give them some love with shoe polish or spray (depending on the type of leather or suede) once they are dry.
Salt stains can be hard on shoes during winter – if they aren’t dealt with the leather could be damaged. Special agents for salt stains are available from shoemakers.
We have leather soles on some of our shoes. Be kind to them and have your local shoemaker add a rubber sole if you plan to use them as everyday shoes in a cold, rainy or snowy climate. It’s also a good idea to check the heels for wear every once in a while and have them replaced if necessary.
We make some of our shoes using vegetable tanned leather. Each pair is hand-made and because this is a natural material it may have variations in colour and shade, which is a sign of quality. Over time your wear and tear may darken the leather and give it a personal touch and fantastic fit.
Avoid placingt leather shoes in direct sunlight since it can have a fading effect and dry them out. Renew the colour as necessary with specialist sprays in similar shades to the original leather – ask your local shoemaker for advice. We recommend that you test the spray on the least visible place on the shoe to make sure the colour matches.
New leather or suede shoes need to be treated before use so they are better protected against dirt and rainy days. Smooth and shiny leather should be conditioned with polish while a water repellent spray is the best choice for suede and dull leather.
For the best results, always use the correct shine and condition products for each material. Some shines are only for the surface and don’t nourish the leather while others may change its colour. If the leather seems shinier than before a treatment you can use a rubber brush to rub it and restore its matte appearance. Once you have the correct products avoid applying too much cream as the leather will not be able to breathe. If you have any questions about which products to use, ask your local shoemaker for advice or call & Other Stories Customer Service.
The “PETA-Approved Vegan” (PAV) is a certification owned and awarded by the animal protection organization PETA.
The following elements are included in the certification:
• Fibers/materials used in the product
• Dyes, prints, glues (part of the final product)
Read more here.
From day one, protect your bag with a reputable cream/treatment if it’s leather. Remember to wipe with the grain of leather to avoid ruining it. To clean dirt off a bag, wipe off with warm, soapy water using a damp cloth. Keep your bag stuffed while you’re not using it to help keep its shape better, and don’t leave it in direct sunlight because that could cause fading.
All our sunglasses have UV filter which offers 100% UV protection (both UVA & UVB). This also applies to uncoloured lenses. All metal parts on our eyewear are also nickel tested.
The ability of the lens to transmit visual light, meaning how tinted the lens is, is divided into filter categories 0-3 for different usage. Please note that sunglasses are not intended for direct viewing of the sun, e.g. during solar eclipse.
Uncoloured or slightly tinted
Very faint sunshine
To take good care of your sunglasses we recommend that you clean them with a soft, dry and lint free cloth and store them in a dust bag or eyewear case when not used to minimize the risk of impact damage.
Warning: Materials used to make sunglasses can expose you to chemicals including Bisphenol A, which is known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov
Our Face & Body products will stay fresh for longer if you store them on a shelf or in a cabinet. We know that these products have a tendency to end up on windowsills and radiators, but for best results do try to keep them away from direct sunlight and heat sources.
Treating your makeup brushes to a clean every now and then will extend their life and maximise their efficiency. Use our Brush Cleanser to easily clean, moisturise and recondition the brushes or wash them in warm water with baby shampoo or mild soap, rinse well and leave them to dry overnight on a flat towel. Try to preserve the brush shape – rub in the direction of the hairs to style them back to their former glory.
We’re convinced that everyone should be able to express their personality through clothes and care about our planet at the same time. That’s why we make sure to minimise the environmental cost of producing garments, but the greatest share of energy consumption in a garment’s life-cycle actually occurs when you wash it. Saving energy and enjoying your favourite clothes longer is easier than you think.
Here are a few tips that can help reduce your garment’s impact on the environment:
Unless your clothes are noticeably dirty, airing and brushing them between wears will keep them fresh longer. Cutting down on unnecessary laundry not only saves energy and water, but also prolongs your garment’s life.
We always label garments with the highest permitted temperature, but most detergents work just as well at lower temperatures, and washing at 40°C uses around half as much energy as washing at 60°C. However, we recommend that you wash heavily soiled clothes and underwear at the highest temperature allowed.
Sort the clothes according to colour and washing temperature. Fill up your washing machine, but don’t stuff too much in. A washing machine is full when you can fit your clenched fist on top of the washing without pushing down the clothes. Use an energy saving program – most modern washing machines have one.
Optical whiteners and phosphates found in many laundry detergents have a negative environmental impact, so choose ones that are eco-friendly. Dose the detergent as stated on the packaging – using too much detergent will not make your clothes cleaner. Fabric conditioners can be used to counter static electricity in acrylic garments but there’s no need to use the conditioner for the whole load.
The solvent used in the dry cleaning process is harmful to the environment when released into nature. That’s why you should only choose dry cleaning when necessary. You can also check with your local dry cleaners for greener methods that use carbon dioxide reclaimed from industry.
Tumble dryers and drying cabinets use a lot of energy, so it’s a better idea to hang your washing out to dry. To reduce drying time, spin the clothes well before taking them out of the washing machine. Heavy knits, wool and delicate items that might stretch should be dried flat.
Give away your clothes or recycle with us!
When you no longer have a use for your clothes, swap them with your friends or bring them to one of our stores and we’ll give them a new life. Read more about how you recycle with us.