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Let's REAL Talk: Taking care of planet-friendly fabrics

Let's REAL Talk: Taking care of planet-friendly fabrics


What’s the deal with our ‘planet-friendly fabrics’?

Textile production is super carbon intensive and clothing production emits more greenhouse gases than global shipping and aviation activities combined.

Did you know it takes 20,000 liters of water to make a single t-shirt and pair of jeans? Or that a garbage truck’s worth of textiles is sent to the landfill or burned every second?

We think that sucks. And while the ‘eco-friendly’ clothing movement is far from perfect, we’re doing our best to offer more sustainable alternatives for outdoor enthusiasts.

All of our products are made from organic, recycled, upcycled, or lower-impact materials – including recycled & organic cotton, bamboo, merino wool, recycled polyester, and Tencel™ Lyocell.

So how do you care for planet-friendly fabrics?

The golden question!

We select fabrics to avoid the dreaded ‘Dry Clean Only’ since we feel that sustainability should be easy and accessible. However, we do have a few fabrics that require a little more TLC.

While organic cotton and recycled polyester are fairly low-maintenance, fabrics made from more natural fibres like bamboo and merino wool can easily wrinkle or shrink if not washed properly. Our Bambino Hoodie (blended with merino wool and bamboo) will stay rightsized and wrinkle-free if you simply keep it out of the dryer.

Not all natural fabrics like to hang on to embellishments and designs the same way that synthetic clothing does either – no biggie though, just turn your garment inside out to prevent designs from pealing or wearing off. Remember, clothing will fade and wear down over time – but caring for your sustainable fabrics will help them last longer.

Be sure to check the 'take care' section on our product pages and read the care labels on our garments for specific wash instructions. If you're ever unsure, here's our rule of thumb:


Here are a few other ways to ensure your Outreal garments last as long as possible.


Tip 1: Wash only when necessary

Most people wash their clothes way too often, which naturally breaks down the fibers a little bit each time. Unless you hit a super sweaty trail or camped in your crewneck all weekend, we suggest only washing your Outreal pieces when they’re actually dirty. Wearing them several times between washes will work wonders for prolonging the quality and lifetime of your clothing.


Tip 2: Wash with cold water and use a natural detergent

Washing your garments with cold water prolongs the color of the dyes and helps keep the fabric from deteriorating. It helps avoid shrinkage as well.


Tip 3: Tumble dry with low heat or air dry

Along with washing on cold, the best thing you can do for your clothes is to hang them to dry. This prolongs the quality of the fabric and uses less energy too (woot!). But, if you need your shirt dried more quickly, toss it in the dryer on low heat with a few wool dryer balls to speed up dry time and reduce chemical exposure from dryer sheets.


Tip 4: Avoid ironing, but use low heat or a steamer when you do

It’s usually best to avoid heat on your garments to avoid damaging them, so stick to a lower heat and you’ll be good to go - wrinkle-free.


Tip 5: Hang up or fold along the seams

When you’re done wearing your garment and are in between washes, it’s best to store them hanging upright, instead of folded in a wardrobe. If you do need to fold them, try to fold the garments along the seams to best care for the stitching and avoid wrinkles.

Sustainable alternatives don’t need to be a compromise, peeps. Taking a little extra care will take you a long way.


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