SUSTAINABLE THOUGHTS: AMANDA PERSSON
SUSTAINABLE THOUGHTS: AMANDA PERSSON
Amanda says YES to clothing care!! Amanda Persson, production manager at 5PREVIEW for many years, is something of a clothing care specialist. I have wondered for a long time: What’s her stain removal secret and what about all these outfits that always looks new and crispy?
Emeli: How would you describe your relationship with clothes, both work and private?
Amanda: At work, I’ve long been responsible for both the details of the garment’s fit and that the washing instructions that are in them correspond to reality. We wash all garments according to the washing instructions to see if they shrink or change shape in any other way. This has of course influenced how I relate to my own wardrobe. When I make conscious purchases I rather spend a little more on better quality, and then I give my clothes a lot of love so that they get a long life (and also a second hand value).
Emeli: What is quality for you? How do you know that you pay for “quality” and not for “the brand”?
Amanda: The first thing I do is to check the care label. I almost exclusively buy natural fibers and regenerated fibers such as cotton, wool, linen, tencel and viscose. I usually choose a bit thicker, stiffer fabrics, but that’s just a personal style preference. I also think thicker fabrics last longer in general. Then I check the production country and preferably choose garments made Europe or China. I exclude some Asian countries (Bangladesh, Pakistan, India) as I know that the working conditions there are not always fair, and that can also affect the quality of the garment.
Emeli: Is “cheap” equal as “bad quality”?
Amanda: Absolutely not! We know the companies’ pricing depends on a lot of factors and it can happen that factory workers sewing cheaper garments still get a good salary. And vice versa. Expensive is no guarantee of good working conditions. In the chain stores you can also find good quality garments, some of them are for example a lot better on making jeans than smaller more exclusive brands. In terms of quality though, almost always, a smaller production means higher quality. The chains produce maybe 100 000 pieces of one single garment, and it goes without saying that it’s impossible to keep a certain standard there.
Emeli: Do you take more care of expensive clothes you purchased, or do you give all garments the same love? Do all garments need the same treatment?
Amanda: More expensive garments always gets more love! They get to hang on the hangers, they’re properly folded and gently washed. If they get a stain, I usually remove only the stain instead of washing the whole garment, as to much laundry has a terrible effect on the garments.
Emeli: So cheaper garments could actually have a longer life if you would treat them a little better?
Amanda: Of course! I should try that...
Emeli: How do you do when you remove stains? You’re something of a specialist!
Amanda: The secret is called YES detergent (dishwashing detergent), and you find it everywhere you are! I put a few drops on the stain and gently rub in with plenty of lukewarm water. Usually the stain disappears without having to wash the whole garment, just rinse out the detergent afterwards, air dry and steam.
Emeli: Do you have any tips on washing? I’ve heard that the washing slowly destroys the garment...
Amanda: Larger, more voluminous garments in wool, cotton or linen I rarely or never wash. Those materials have the ability to auto clean somehow. After use I air them by an open window or on the balcony for an hour or so and then I put them back in the closet. Sometimes they get a quick steam with the hand steamer or I put them in the bathroom while having a hot shower. If they smell a little they can need to be put in lukewarm water with a micro amount of detergent in the sink for 10 minutes, rinse, air dry and steam. Hanging and folding the clothes is important as if they’re piled up on the floor or a chair they get worn and torn a lot faster (especially knitwear). When I use the washing machine I use the “hand wash-30 degrees-20 minutes-program”. Make sure the centrifuge is not too strong, as it may deform the clothes. I always use liquid detergent (the grains in the powder detergent also tear the clothes). Afterwards I let them air dry. Always.
Emeli: ...but garments like underwear or tight T-shirts?
Amanda: 40 degrees, same program. Of course I wash all this items after one use.
Emeli: What does sustainability mean to you?
Amanda: For me it definitely starts with a conscious consumption. A few years ago I sold almost all my clothes and after that I’ve slowly rebuilt my wardrobe. No impulse purchases, I always wait for at least 2 weeks if I get a craving, and usually it passes. If I buy it it also needs to fit with the rest of my stuff, to follow the red thread that i have in my wardrobe. Then I know that the garment will be combined and used for a long time. If any garents hang unused I sell them. A new pair of sneakers means that an old pair needs to go, who needs 20 pairs of sneakers anyway? My wardrobe is a really dynamic place! I’ve learned that many impulse purchases from the chain stores just take up space in the wardrobe, so I completely stopped shopping there. Sustainability for me is to not over consume. Organic fabrics is not a priority. But of course, if I can choose between two similar garments and one is organic, I choose that one.
Emeli: So you don’t find happiness by shopping?
Amanda: No, but maybe by taking care of what you have.
Emeli: One last question, about washing! Let’s say I got this big stain of chocolate ice cream on my white T-shirt and then I wash it in 30 degrees without removing the stain. The stain remains, but is it fixed into the fabic, or can I still do the YES treatment and get rid of it?
Amanda: Relax, if you didn’t iron the stain it’s not fixed. Just do the treatment and wash again and your T-shirt will be as new!