Don’t Overwash: it’s time to change the way we care

By Fashion Revolution

7 years ago

The fashion industry’s new young designers and manufacturers AEG and Electrolux are shaking up laundry day

25% of the carbon footprint of a garment comes from the way we care for it. On top of that, 90% of our clothing is thrown away long before it needs to be, due to our culture of ‘fast fashion’ and outdated laundry habits. It’s time for a change.

To promote smarter care habits and prolong the life of our clothing, The Care Label Project a collaboration between the fashion industry and washing machine manufactures that we’re proud to be partnering with – launches this month.


 “This project highlights simplicity, common sense and how a deeper understanding can really have a huge effect on the way we view, consume and care for our clothes: in essence, how to love our clothes for a long time and become emotionally engaged with the clothes that we already own.”

Orsola De Castro
Founder and Creative Director, Fashion Revolution


To create the sea-change required to shift habits, educate the population and reduce our environmental impact, we need to educate ourselves. Of course, the first step is choosing high quality, sustainably made clothing. Step two is to learn how to make it last by learning how to care better – not just reading the care labels, but knowing what they really mean.


“If you buy good quality denim jeans, you could wear them for maybe ten, twenty years. If you know how to look after, wash and care for them, they could live with you forever.”

Han Ates
Founder of Blackhorse Lane Ateliers and collaborating designer in the Care Label Project


The Care Label Project is creating a new care symbol – Don’t Overwash – to inspire consumers to wash their clothes less, to avoid the harsh and damaging dry cleaning process and to use lower washing temperatures. So far, 18,200 garments are bearing the new label. The new care symbol is launched alongside an exclusive collection of designer garments and a ‘Modern Care Guide’ – to update our inherited washing habits with lab-tested advice for how to care for today’s fabrics. The initiative is a long-term collaboration aiming to result in smarter fabrics and washing technologies.


“People think that it’s difficult to care for wool. They think they can’t wash it or tumble dry it. But new technologies mean you can tumble dry wool easily. You don’t have to fear wool anymore.”

Tim Labenda
Woolmark Prize winner and collaborating designer in the Care Label Project


Four short films featuring selected design partners in the Care Label Project give an insight into the attitude of the fashion industry’s up-and-coming designers and shed light on the most commonly misleading care symbols – Dry Clean Only, Do Not Tumble Dry, Wash at 40º and Hand Wash Only.

The project has gathered a wide spread of support and partnerships – from conscious outerwear Houdini to Woolmark Prize winner Tim Labenda and sustainable pioneers Blackhorse Lane Ateliers and Tom Cridland.


“By collaborating with both manufacturers and the fashion industry, we create a much needed bridge of knowledge between our industries to take responsibility from the first step of producing a garment, to caring for it and prolonging its life.”

Ian Banes
Senior Vice President, Laundry at AEG

See the films and learn about the project at

Are you a designer who would like to join the Care Label Project? Email us at