Experts claim we should all wear smelly clothes to save the planet

Researchers have revealed that washing your clothes too often is having a devastating impact on the planet, and we should all cut back on cleaning as much as possible

A woman placing laundry into the drum of a washing machine.
Washing clothes less could also make your outfits last longer – saving you money

Putting on freshly washed clothes is always a good feeling – but experts have warned that using washing machines too frequently could be negatively impacting the planet.

A report from the Society of Chemical Industry claims people are washing their outfits too often, and it’s having a “huge environmental impact”.

The experts conducting the report suggest we should only be washing our jeans once a month, while jumpers should get a clean once a fortnight, and pyjamas are due a rinse once a week.

Underwear and gym clothes should still be washed after every wear, but underwear should ideally be washed by hand instead of in a washing machine.

Any tops should be washed every five wears, with bras making their way into the laundry basket once a week, and dresses between four and six wears.

Underwear should still be washed after every wear, but by hand


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And if saving the planet wasn’t a big enough reason to heed the experts’ warning, the report also claims washing clothes less often actually makes them last longer – saving you time and money.

Orsola de Castro, co-founder of sustainable clothing group Fashion Revolution, said: “Before washing machines were invented, washing was laborious and exhausting, so there were millions of ways to wash less and make clothes last between each wash.”

Fashion designer Stella McCartney, the daughter of Beatles legend Sir Paul McCartney, has also spoken about not washing clothes in the past – admitting she’s “not a fan” of cleaning.

In 2019, she said: “Basically, in life, rule of thumb: if you don’t absolutely have to clean anything, don’t clean it.

“I wouldn’t change my bra every day and I don’t just chuck stuff into a washing machine because it’s been worn. I am incredibly hygienic myself, but I’m not a fan of dry cleaning or any cleaning, really.

“And the rule on a bespoke suit is you do not clean it. You do not touch it. You let the dirt dry, and you brush it off.”

And if you want to feel as though you’ve cleaned your outfits without using too much water, some bizarre alternatives to actually washing your clothes include freezing your jeans and steaming your knitwear.

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