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Dear hiker friends, as you know, the countryside is our playground... and that is why we respect it! One of the easy things we can do to protect our planet is to change the way we wash our clothes. We offer you our tips for more eco-friendly washing.
Have you ever heard of micro waste? When you wash synthetic clothes, microparticles of plastic fibres enter the waste water and cannot be effectively filtered either by washing machines or by sewage treatment plants. On a worldwide scale, this results in massive pollution of the oceans, which affects the aquatic fauna and then enters the food chain.
Hiking clothes are often made of technical and therefore synthetic materials. Don't panic! You can reconcile the technical performance of your equipment with respect for the environment. To wash properly but avoid discharging micro waste, you can use washing bags that filter these synthetic particles. Simply put your clothes in the bag, sorted by colour, wash them as usual, and remove the fibres collected in the hem of the bag and put them in the dustbin.
Another environmentally friendly solution: make your own detergent. Numerous blogs offer easy home-made formulas.
You can also choose to use soap nuts. These are the shells of the berries of the Sapindus Mukorossi tree in the Himalayas. They release vegetable saponin, a molecule that produces lather and is effective for washing above 30°C. You can buy soap nuts on numerous websites and in organic shops.
Detergent may contain surfactants and other polluting chemical substances. To limit the impact on the planet of washing our clothes, first preferably choose an eco-friendly detergent, using the composition and labels as a guide. As well as being less harmful for the environment, they are less allergenic and less harmful for the skin.
Whichever one you choose,
You can also limit the use of additional products such as fabric softeners, disinfectants and perfumes to reduce the environmental impact of washing.
Do you have a formula for eco-friendly detergent? Feel free to share it in the comments!
If possible, dry your washing outside instead of using a tumble-dryer. You will save electricity and wear out your clothes less quickly.
To save energy, it is recommended to use the eco mode on your washing machine which washes at a lower temperature and therefore uses less electricity. You can also use the cold wash cycle. According to a study by the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME), a washing cycle at 30°C uses two times less energy than a washing cycle at 60°C
Only wash your clothes when they are dirty! That may seem obvious, but we sometimes tend to wash clothes that we could easily wear one or two more times.
Take care of the planet... and your washing! Apart from changing our washing habits, it is a good idea to take care of our clothes, to make them last longer.
And when your hiking clothes are too used from all that walking... it’s up to you to recycle them. You can put them in recycling bins, or give them a new lease of life yourself.
Do you have an idea for transforming clothes? Feel free to share your tips with other hikers!
At Quechua, to limit the impact of our equipment, we have chosen to use recycled materials for essential hiking gear such as fleeces.
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