An announcement from Procter & Gamble’s leading brands, Ariel and Lenor, have claimed its ‘Long Live Fashion Formula’ could extend the life of clothes by four times, keeping them looking new for longer. By switching from a powder to liquid or single-unit-dose format like Ariel pods, adding a Fabric Conditioner, such as Lenor, and washing on a cold and quick cycle, consumers can quadruple the life of their clothes. Extending the life of one in five garments in Europe by just 10% per year would save enough carbon to power half a million homes annually.
Global clothing production has more than doubled in the last 15 years but consumers keep clothes for just half the amount of time.1 With more than 20% discarded because they have lost their shape, colour or integrity, the fashion industry is seen to be one of the most wasteful industries in the world.
But with better fabric care, fashion can live for much longer, keeping our favourite garments out of landfills. Research by Ariel and Lenor shows the signs of aging from washing and wearing can be vastly reduced with a simple switch to the ‘Long Live Fashion Formula.’
Long Live Fashion Formula:
- Step 1 – Use a High Quality Liquid Detergent like Ariel Pods: Ariel is specifically formulated to deliver an outstanding clean, even at cooler temperatures and in quick cycles. Liquids, gels and pods are tough on stains but gentle on fabrics, keeping them clean and fresh without damaging them.
- Step 2 – Wash in Cold + Quick cycles: Washing at 40˚C uses more than double the amount of energy as washing in a Cold and Quick cycle, contributing to our individual carbon footprints. It also puts nearly double the amount of stress on your clothes with quick and cool cycles shown to extend the life of garments significantly.
- Step 3 – Add Lenor to the Drawer: Like hair conditioners keep the texture of your hair smooth, fabric conditioners keep the fibres of garments intact so they don’t lose integrity over time. This helps to protect garments from losing shape and colour, as well as stopping them from bobbling.
The research tested the stresses on garments when washing under different conditions and showed remarkable differences in garment quality for those using the long live fashion principles. Clothes require maintenance to preserve their beauty. Like hair care and skin care, keeping fabrics in good condition relies on a routine to minimise the impact of environmental factors like wear and tear.
In an Ariel/Lenor trial, 18 typical household laundry basket garments were tested, including a bodycon dress, polo shirt, printed t-shirt and denim jeans. The ‘Long Live Fashion Formula’ on average four times the lifetime of garments over 50 washes.
Quadrupling the life of just one 3kg household basket of clothing would save 230kg CO2 – the carbon equivalent of driving nearly 600 miles (870km). The life extension of just that one basket would save 7,000 litres of water needed to create new clothes – much of which would be in water scarce regions.
According to WRAP, if we extended the life of just one in five items in European wardrobes by only 10%, we could save 3 million tonnes in CO2 per year that would be generated from creating new clothes. This is equal to enough carbon to power half a million homes for a year. It could also save 150 million litres of water a year, enough to fill Big Ben 32 times over and would divert 6.4 million tonnes of clothing from landfill.
The clothes longevity initiative by Lenor is one of the first under P&G’s newly announced Ambition 2030, the company’s new sustainability goals aimed at enabling and inspiring responsible consumption among consumers – a role perfectly suited to the ‘Long Live Fashion Formula.’
Speaking about the announcement at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit, the Global VP for Fabric Enhancers at Procter & Gamble, Bert Wouters, said: “Sourcing, production and recycling are the focus of a great deal of attention in fashion, but the impact of extending the life of clothes during the so called ‘use phase’ has been largely ignored so far. We are delighted that the ‘Long Live Fashion Formula’ can help reduce the environmental burden of fashion.”
Procter & Gamble’s Research Fellow, Dr Neil Lant added: “We care for our hair and skin to keep it in good condition, so caring for your ‘second skin’ of clothes shouldn’t be any different. Clothes are subjected to stresses that age them when we wear and wash them. By using a high-quality liquid detergent that is tough on stains but gentle on fabrics and designed to work in cooler/quicker washes, and adding a fabric conditioner like Lenor, you can keep your favourite sweater looking new for much longer and reduce the environmental impact of your wardrobe.”