Wash your dirty laundry – sustainably.
Text by Mirjana Bernstorf
The good news is that even if your laundry basket is overflowing, it’s not a sign that you’ve lost control of the household. In fact, says Corinna Williams from the ultra-hip laundromat Celsious in Brooklyn, you’ve done everything right. She explains why and shares her three top hacks for more sustainable washing, which detergents are good for our clothes and the environment, and how to cut back on the resources we use.
A cleaner clean
Appalled at how dull and dingy most New York laundrettes were, sisters Corinna and Theresa Williams decided to open their own laundromat in 2017 in Williamsburg. In doing so, they casually revolutionised the business. In place of bright neon strip lights and battered machines, Celsious has inviting spaces, the most energy-efficient washers and used to have a popular café. Before the pandemic took off, people would come here to sip a Coco-Matcha, hold meetings or even do yoga while their laundry happily tumbled. For HARD COPY, the inspirational sisters share their three best hacks for truly sustainable washing and some laundry-related insight.
3 cleaning hacks
Let your dirty washing pile up! Ideally, you should be filling your washing machine right to the top. This not only saves water, energy and detergent, it also gives you better results. In a full machine, the items rub against each other, which removes dirt and stains. It’s the same principle as a washboard!
Use a low temperature (30° C) and an eco-cycle as often as possible. This saves resources and protects the fabric of your favourite clothes, prolonging their lifespan. If you use a tumble dryer, pick a lower temperature or, ideally, dry your clothes on a clothes line to save water and electricity.
Unscented eco-friendly detergent without bleach is better for the environment. And remember: less is more! If you overdose your laundry deter-gent you’ll end up having to wash more often because the machine will struggle to rinse out the excess detergent, leaving sticky residues in your clothes that attract dirt and dust.
CLOSED × DFNS Denim Spray
We teamed up with DFNS to create our own biodegradable, water based denim spray. The laundry spray refreshes, reshapes and revives your denims – without requiring washing.
Fight the stains
What’s really important is that you tackle the stain as quickly as possible before it has time to really sink in. If you haven’t got any stain remover then at least rinse the spot with water. What you do next depends on what kind of stain it is: treat fatty stains (oil, chocolate, make-up) with a soap product like our Wunderbar or gall soap. Dampen the spot, rub on the soap, ideally with a toothbrush or a stain brush and then pop it in the machine (take care with delicate fabrics). Skip this step for delicate textiles like wool or silk. Do not scrub, but instead pre-treat those with a stain spray and hand wash after. For acidic stains (fruit, tea, coffee) it’s best to rinse the spot with white vinegar and then rinse in water. Red wine or blood? Put an oxy-product like our Supersalt on the damp stain, add some water until it forms a grainy paste, leave for ten minutes and then rinse thoroughly.
Corewash by Celsious
Corewash is an eco-friendly laundry powder with only three ingredients (baking soda, washing soda and organic castile soap). It is ideal for everyday laundry.
TGC041 Delicate Detergent
Ideal for delicates made of cashmere or silk, this yuzu-scented liquid detergent is made by Tangent GC in Sweden. It is vegan and organic.
Pure Laundry Detergent by Everdrop
This laundry detergent is specially adapted to the water hardness in your area, reducing the surfactants needed by up to 50%. In its Pure series, Everdrop uses no fragrance or colourants and produces in Germany.
Guppyfriend Washing Bag
The innovative Guppyfriend washing bag by Langbrett prevents micro-plastic fibres from polluting rivers and oceans through wastewater when synthetic materials are washed. It also reduces fibre abrasion by 86% – a small investment with a big impact!
Use Supersalt to boost the brightness of greying and yellowing whites or remove stains. The formula is non-toxic, fragrance-free and biodegradable.
Clean it up!
How to take care of your spring wardrobe.
Text by Mirjana Bernstorf
The moment the first rays of the sun hint at warmer temperatures and we start thinking about ditching the thick alpaca jumper in favour of a thinner jacket is when it’s time to treat your wardrobe to a refresher session. We’ve put together a list of tips and products to help you with garment care. A new spring laundry routine awaits with much more fun and less hassle.
Treat your wardrobe to a blast of fresh air and wipe down all the shelves with a duster. For an instantaneous refresher simply grab a bottle of laundry mist and spray into the cupboard – your clothes will smell as if they’ve been freshly laundered. Alternatively, drive out the stale smell of winter with a scented candle.
How to make a laundry mist
You will need: a spray bottle that holds at least 100ml, distilled water, alcohol (vodka), essential oil, e.g. lavender. Fill the bottle with one half distilled water and one half alcohol. Add about 10 –20 drops of essential oil and shake well. Your homemade laundry mist is ready to use! Dried lavender sprigs can be added for a pretty look.
Clearing out & organising
Now is the perfect time to clear out your wardrobe. Matching hangers and organising your clothes by colour make for a pulled-together look. If you’re very fussy when it comes to organising your stuff, turn to the Netflix series “The Home Edit” or pick up some tips from Marie Kondo. There are many Instagram accounts that provide inspiration on how to reduce your belongings so that you’re left with the true essentials.
External storage is a great solution if you don’t have a walkin wardrobe. To make space for your spring clothes, store your winter jackets, coats and thick jumpers in the attic, in the garage or in a dry cellar. Stow all items in breathable laundry bags and hang them on clothes racks or stack them in boxes. Lavender bags and cedar blocks provide protection against moths. Accessories are best stored in transparent plastic boxes.
Before packing your woolly jumpers off to slumber throughout spring, wash them gently with an enzyme-free wool detergent. High-quality lint razors are a good investment for jumpers with pilling; delicate cashmere pieces should be treated with a steam iron. An everyday hack: stack your wool jumpers with shirts made of cotton or synthetic fibres, as moths cannot digest these materials and are deterred by them.
Winter boots always benefit from an extra portion of leather care. Then insert shoe trees and pad out with tissue paper. To keep them dustfree, place in cotton bags and store in shoe boxes. Check!
If you want to get your denim fit for spring simply hang your items in the bathroom after taking a hot shower. The steam will get your jeans back into shape in next to no time. Our tip: don’t wash your denim too often; instead, pop it in the freezer for a few hours. This will refresh your jeans. But remember: freezing doesn’t kill all bacteria, and they may begin to smell once they’ve warmed up again.
Silk & Lace
Silk garments love a blast of fresh air after being worn. Don’t put silk items in the washing machine; instead, take them to the dry cleaner or wash them by hand in lukewarm or cold water using special silk shampoo. Our tip: take delicate lacy undies into the shower with you and wash with shampoo. This keeps the lace looking beautiful – and you save time.
Attirecare from Manchester offers a wide range of handmade care products.
Refreshing wool & cashmere spray by Gröna Gredelina.
Stylish steamer and pilo fabric shaver by Steamery Stockholm.
The room & pillow spray calming contains lavender oil by Susanne Kaufmann.
The shoe grease TGC031 will make your shoes last longer.
Everyday detergent with kiyomi perfume by TANGENTGC
Sneaker protector generates an invisible barrier against dirt by Sneaker Lab
Text by Mirjana Bernstorf
Anyone who has ever rushed to protect their leather handbag by putting it under their raincoat in a shower or has a passion for polishing their shoes to a mirror shine will love these tips on leather care. We asked our accessories designer Claudia Müller to share her recommendations for caring for leather bags and shoes and reveal how to spot top-quality leather.
All about leather
It’s a lot like buying clothes – you can tell the quality of the leather by its feel and its structure. If it feels warm and waxy then the quality is good. For our Closed bags it’s important that the leather has a natural feel and a clear, smooth grain. That’s something you only get with high-quality raw mate-rials. Another quality feature is the colour depth. If the raw edges have the same colour as the surface, then that means the leather is dyed all the way through.
Closed leather standards
We use high-quality leather, from the top European tanneries that have been working in their craft for generations. We only use by-products from the food industry and for each batch of leather we have a certificate that shows where the raw material comes from (e.g. from Norway or Ireland). Our leathers are sourced from selected Italian and Portuguese tanneries, with our handbags being made in Portugal and shoes in Italy. Which means we have only short transport distances in the whole process.
Vegetable-tanned leather can have fine lines or small, darker patches because the surface is natural and has not been heavily processed. This unevenness is a sign of good quality. Bark, fruit or chestnuts are used for vegetable-tanning, and it is a time-consuming but very gentle process. Leather that has been gently processed develops a beautiful patina over time. In contrast, heavily processed leather is often even coated with a thin plastic film to imitate a perfectly smooth surface. The natural feel and characteristics of the leather are lost as a result. This type of leather does not age beautifully, instead it becomes brittle.
How to take care for your bag
I would apply waterproofing agents only to our suede bags, but not to our vegetable-tanned bags; it would be a real shame to spray the natural surface with chemicals. If you get caught in the rain, it’s better to wear your bag under your coat for a short time; that protects it better than a waterproofing spray. Also, I would avoid placing the bag on the floor and I would keep it away from rough surfaces.
From time to time, apply a lotion with natural bamboo extract to care for your leather bags; this protects the leather and stops it from drying out and cracking. And I would always store leather bags in the cloth bag they come in.
I recommend gently brushing suede with a special brush and erasing the stain with a piece of natural rubber. For smooth leather, apply a leather lotion to the entire bag. Often, you’ll find that the stain becomes less obvious as you continue to use the bag and the mark fades slightly.
How to take care for your shoes
Caring & storing
Ideally, you should only wear your leather shoes for one day; clean them lightly after taking them off and give them a well-earned day’s rest with shoe trees in them. I also recommend storing them in breathable fabric covers. Every few weeks, you can rub them down with a leather care lotion to nourish and protect your shoes.
Grin and bear it for a day, because high-quality leather will give way after a day at the very latest. If they’re still pinching then take them to a shoemaker and get the spot in question softened
Leather Nourisher with beeswax by Liquiproof Labs. The product is non-toxic, eco-friendly and suitable for most kinds of
TGCO32 Neutral Shoe Polish by Tangentgc adds a natural shine and gently nourishes
Text by Mirjana Bernstorf
Wearing a lambskin coat always feels a bit like being hugged by a sophisticated, loving aunt. Warm, soft, protective and a little extravagant. Wrapping yourself in the high-quality natural material enhances any winter look. When well taken care of and in sus-tainable quality, even the next generation can benefit from the precious heirloom.
All about lambskin
Hardly any natural material protects you as well from the cold as lambskin does. Even when the temperature drops below zero, the dense wool offers a high level of thermal protection. When it gets warmer, the lambskin evens out the temperature. The delicate material immediately absorbs perspiration moisture, passing it on to the air seven times faster than synthetic fibres. This way, natural breathing of the skin is guaranteed.
Closed lambskin standards
Ecologically sound without any compromises! For jackets and coats, Closed only uses lambskin from European merino lambs as a by-product of the meat industry. The leather is tanned in an environmentally friendly way, without bleaching agents and with low water consumption. We work with one of the leading tanneries, the Spanish family company La Doma from Catalonia. (You can read the interview with creative director Elvira Fatjo on page 36.) The elaborate finishing takes place at the Turkish production site Otto in Istanbul. The company specialises in leather and skins and is well-known for its intricate double-face processing. For this, skins with the same wool characteristics and a similar colour shade need to be identified. A further challenge are the seams, as there are only limited possibilities to sew with reversible garments.
How to take care for your lambskin coat
Airing & storage
Lambskin has a self-cleaning power in fresh air, so the coat should be aired from time to time. To store it, we recommend a cool, dry cupboard.
Shaking the coat is expressly permitted! This prevents dust from settling on it. In addition, the skin can be groomed with a fine brush.
Cleaning & stains
In the case of persistent stains, always contact a trained leather specialist who has experience with cleaning lambskin.
Avoid wearing your lambskin coat in heavy rain or snow. If your be-loved coat does get wet, don’t treat it with heat – let it dry in the open air and then brush the suede gently.
How to mend a broken heart
(… or garment)
Text by Mirjana Bernstorf, Illustration by Kissi Ussuki
Start by getting hold of a selection of needles, thread and a thimble. Mending clothes is back in trend. Check the hashtags #mindfulmending or #visiblemending on Instagram for loads of mending projects, because nothing is more sustainable than wearing your clothes for as long as possible rather than binning that high-quality cashmere jumper or your favourite jeans the first time a hole or a tear appears. The good news is that you don’t need to train as a tailor – all you need are just a few basics to be able to darn and stitch as invisibly as possible. We’ve compiled a short basic tutorial with all the tips and tricks you need to get started. Happy mending!
Repair a small hole in your favourite denims
To repair a hole in a pair of jeans you will need a needle, thread in the same shade as the denim and, optionally, a patch. The following method is for a small hole. If the hole is bigger we recommend using a sewing machine and choosing a robust patch to ensure that your jeans don’t rip apart again the next time you wear them.
Start by snipping off all loose threads around the hole. If the hole is small, then you can repair it without a patch.
Thread the needle and knot it twice at the end to ensure that the thread is securely fastened in the thick denim. Sew around the sides of the hole and keep the edges from unravelling by sewing over the edge and then passing the needle through the loop before pulling it tight. This prevents fraying.
Now close the hole by holding the denim so that the hole is completely closed. Then stitch over across the hole several times to close it. The stitches should start roughly one centimetre from the hole and finish one centimetre on the other side. Continue until the hole is covered.
Good to know
If you have a larger hole in your favourite denims, we recommend using a sewing machine or getting a professional to mend it. Every piece of clothing that is worn for longer and stays in the cycle is a real step towards a more sustainable fashion world.
Reattach a button
You need a double length of sturdy thread the same colour as the garment and a needle in the right size. The larger the needle number, the finer the needle. If you’re reattaching a button on thick fabric, you should use a thicker needle. Choose a button that is as similar to the missing button as possible. Most buttons have either two or four holes.
Determine where the new button needs to go. If it has fallen off, you can usually see the stitching holes and can position the button in the right place. Remove any thread remnants before starting.
Take the thread and wrap it four times around your finger, unwind it again and add half again. This should be enough to secure your button! Now thread it through the eye of the needle and tie a knot in the end. This should be big enough to stop the thread from slipping through the fabric.
Push the needle through the fabric from below where the button will be and pull the thread through until you reach the knot. Then slide the button on to the needle and position it on the garment. Align the button and stitch the thread down through the second hole. Repeat about five times until the button is firmly attached. When you’ve finished, push the needle to the back of the fabric and secure the thread by stitching into and around the threads holding the button in place. Leave a small loop hanging and then tighten it at the end.
Good to know
Use the same method to sew on a button with four holes. Please sew parallel into the holes, and not crosswise, as this creates an unsightly bump.
Darn your socks
You need darning wool in the same colour and a similar thickness as the original sock yarn. The thicker the sock, the thicker the darning wool should be. Ideally, use a darning needle. This is a thicker needle with a rounded point which does not get caught in the individual strands of the yarn and slides through better. A darning egg or a wooden darning mushroom are old school, but very effective. Slide this useful implement into the sock to prevent the hole from bunching up while you darn it. Tip: a tennis ball does the job, too.
Turn the sock inside out over the egg or ball. Secure the edge of the hole by hemming round it with a thread. Any loose threads can be snipped off with a small pair of scissors.
Then start with your first row of stitches by sewing a horizontal web of strands over the hole plus a small margin. Stitch beyond the hole to secure your web. For best results, make sure your strands are as close together as possible.
Once the hole is completely covered, start sewing the vertical threads by weaving them in. The vertical threads are woven alternately over and under the horizontal strands. The result is a tight net. In fact, make sure it is as tight as possible, so that the hole does not tear open again. Remember to secure the first and the last tail of thread securely by stitching them in.
Good to know
Darning isn’t just for rescuing your thick winter socks; you can also darn holes in jumpers or other woollies. If you’re mending moth holes, make sure that any moth eggs are destroyed by putting the garment in the freezer for six weeks before mending.