Steaming Your Clothes is Sexy

Yes, you read that right.

Valentine’s Day may be over, but here at Propress we’re redefining what it means to get steamy.

The Iron Age is over, and steaming your clothes is the sexier, more sustainable way to look your finest.

With London Fashion Week, Melbourne Fashion Festival and Australian Fashion Week on the horizon, we’ve considered all the reasons why clothes steaming is the way forward to create a sustainable future for fashion.

What defines sustainability?

In the Collins dictionary, ‘Sustainability’ is defined as ‘Avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance.

The fashion industry currently adopts a linear model of ‘take, make, dispose’, which is completely at odds with this definition of sustainability. ‘Sustainable’ fashion, then, must instead represent clothing that has been made (and maintained) in a way that is mindful of the many environmental issues the fashion industry faces.

What a sustainable fashion week looks like

Beginning their fashion week journey in 2006, Copenhagen is currently labelled as one of the leaders in sustainable fashion. This is after Danish organisers announced in 2020 that there would be sustainability requirements for designers to meet in order to be allowed to show in 2023. This would set the city apart from the well-known fashion weeks (New York, Paris, London) in terms of its eco credentials.

In 2023, Danish designer Emilie Helmstedt led the way for sustainable footwear at Copenhagen Fashion Week by asking her team to bring in their old Nike and Adidas trainers. The designer then decorated them with ribbons, beads, and even paint—deciding that the finished product was even better than the new shoes she’d used in the past.

This revolutionary decision complemented the rest of the collection; Helmstedt’s final look was made from scraps of material accumulated in her studio.

Steaming is caring

Steaming is a more hygienic and sustainable way to care for fabrics (even scraps of material that will soon be sought-after by designers looking to copy Emilie Helmstedt). The act of steaming your clothes not only breathes freshness and vibrancy into fabric, smoothing creases and restoring shape as it flows—but also kills bacteria and odours quickly and effectively.

In doing so, materials appear newer and fresher for longer. We have long understood the transformative power of steam on clothing and furnishings, which is why Propress Steamers are used and trusted all over the world.

How is steaming clothes helpful for the environment?

Here are four ways steaming your clothes can help you become more sustainable:

(1) Goodbye, Iron Age

Traditional steam irons heat and compress fibres. Over time, this destroys the fibre structures, causing elements such as stitching to break. Steaming preserves the fibres of the fabric using a non-aggressive approach so clothes last longer, reducing waste. Instead of applying pressure, the action of steaming removes creases by relaxing fibres and restoring them to their natural state.

(2) What goes around comes back around

Steamers can be used on vintage clothes, helping to prolong their life and keep them looking groovy. Because let’s face it: we’re all on the lookout for high quality vintage clothing. But what does the word ‘vintage’ sometimes conjure up? Dusty, crusty, or even unhygienic (your words, not ours).

We know it can be difficult to find a vintage gem that doesn’t need a bit of TLC. Steamers are the perfect solution.

Propress has been at the heart of the recycled clothing revolution since the 1980s—working closely with charity shops to transform donated garments into saleable clothing using a non-aggressive approach to tackling fibres.

(3) No more trips to the dry cleaner

Inside your local dry cleaner you’ll find jackets, suits, dresses, coats, and delicates such as silks, chiffon, and lace hanging all around the shop. What you might not know about dry cleaners is that they use chemicals to treat clothes, which can be harmful to the environment.

Steaming your clothes at home can delay (or avoid altogether) visits to the dry cleaner, as it provides sufficient freshening and crease removal in the interim meaning there’s no need to introduce chemicals that are harmful to the environment.

(4) Treat ‘em clean

Steaming clothes can effectively delay the need for a wash as it kills 99% of odour-causing bacteria. So, if your garms just need a freshen-up before hitting the catwalk (whether that’s the supermarket aisle or a red carpet), Propress Steamers can replace the need to re-wash.

And what does less machine washing mean? (No, not smelly clothes.) Less water waste and less electricity and chemicals used!

Don’t be a smooth criminal

There’s nothing worse than having to frantically flip open an ironing board and get rid of the inevitable creases in an item of clothing when you’re already late. Leaving the house with creases on your clothes is criminal, but the hero to such a crime is using a steamer such as the MINI Handheld Clothes Steamer, to quickly smooth out any crinkles and restore the shape of your clothes—making it arguably the most effective care you can give your garment. Not only that, but it’ll also kill bacteria and remove odours quickly without damaging soft fibres and delicate materials.

So, what have we learned? With one of our steamers, you’ll be safe in the knowledge that you’re protecting your fave ‘fits by giving them the TLC they crave in a way that’s sustainable (yes, all at once).

And of course, it would be criminal to talk about fashion and sustainability without nodding to the late eco fashion icon Vivienne Westwood. While her era may now be behind us, her approach to sustainable fashion must live on, with the mantra: Buy Less, Choose Well, Make it Last.

We can certainly help with the last one.

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