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Let’s save the planet with the ‘No Wash’ movement

Save earth with No Wash movement

The ‘no-wash’ movement, with over 15 million views on TikTok, has recently gained significant popularity, initially championed by British fashion designer Stella McCartney. McCartney’s message, as she conveyed to The Observer newspaper, is clear: “Basically in life, rule of thumb, if you don’t absolutely have to clean anything, don’t clean it.”

What is ‘No Wash’?

This trend encourages people to reduce the frequency of washing their clothes and hair or, in some cases, abstaining from washing altogether. The primary objective is to address concerns related to global warming. The production and use of carbon-intensive detergents have well-documented adverse effects on the environment. Likewise, the excessive consumption of water during bathing exacerbates environmental concerns.

The impact extends beyond ecological considerations. Washing machines alone account for up to 17% of total water consumption. With the cost-of-living crisis leading to rising expenses, this practice also offers a practical way to save money, effectively reducing household bills.

The core question revolves around hygiene and the ingrained habit of washing clothes after each wear. Many people do so without considering whether it is truly necessary. Sweat is often the main trigger for tossing garments into the laundry. However, for the majority, daily routines, especially in office environments, rarely induce significant sweating. This implies that clothing can often be worn for multiple occasions without developing unpleasant odors. Moreover, selecting breathable fabrics such as cotton or incorporating wool, known for its self-cleaning and odor-resistant properties, can contribute to this extended wearability.

It’s adaptable

McCartney’s “rule of thumb” is an adaptable guideline, but it’s essential to consider your living environment. In hotter climates, where sweating is difficult to avoid, wool may not be the most practical choice. In such regions, a more reasonable approach would be to commit to infrequent and cold washes rather than a complete ‘no-wash’ policy. This not only maintains personal hygiene but also aligns with environmental sustainability goals.

Additionally, washing clothes less frequently has the added benefit of prolonging the durability of garments, helping them last longer. This practice contributes positively to the environment by reducing textile waste and the energy expended in garment production.

In summary, the ‘no-wash’ movement, popularized by Stella McCartney, offers a thought-provoking perspective on personal hygiene, environmental conservation, and cost savings. While adopting a complete ‘no-wash’ policy may not be suitable for everyone, making conscious decisions to reduce washing frequency, embrace breathable fabrics, and minimize environmental impact is a step towards a more sustainable and economically prudent lifestyle.

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