I normally celebrate one brand committed to implementing practices that won’t cost the earth whilst still delivering on quality and style. This week I want to celebrate two brands – not clothes, not jewellery but two products created to care for the clothing we already have. Both were created to have a positive impact on the environment and up the ante when it comes to extending the longevity of our existing wardrobe.
First up, new kid on the block KAIR, created by founder Sally Hughes to take the angst out of washing your favourite pieces and extending their lifespan into the bargain. KAIR products smell like aromatherapy must-haves (I mean Wild Juniper and Bergamot or Cedarwood, Amber and Iris!); come in refillable glass bottles and are vegan and cruelty-free. I’ve road-tested them too and they really work, leaving clothes not just sparkly clean but soft and luxuriously fragrant.
From left; Wild Juniper & Bergamot Finishing Spray, £14 // Cedarwood, Amber & Iris Silk and Delicates Wash, £18 // Wild Juniper & Bergamot Signature Fabric Conditioner, £18 // Cedarwood, Amber & Iris Signature Clothing Wash, £18 and Finishing Spray, £14 // Wild Juniper & Bergamot Activewear Wash, £18
It’s also important to point out the cost per wear of moving away from traditional and harsh laundry detergents. For example, each 500ml bottle provides 20 machine washes, which at £18 per bottle works out at 90p per load which works out at around 9p per item for a 10 item load. Once you break it down, the initial outlay plus the positive benefits to your wardrobe health really doesn’t feel too prohibitive.
Three words that sum up KAIR
We say it better in four: Long Love Your Wardrobe.
What does sustainability mean to KAIR?
We felt that a really important part of the fashion sustainability conversation was being overlooked: that the most sustainable item is the one that’s already in your wardrobe. We knew the key to re-wear was keeping items in pristine condition, but everyone we asked was terrified of ruining their favourite pieces, so they sat at the bottom of the laundry basket instead. We developed our clothing washes to put care first, and we’re helping our community navigate the laundry minefield with useful tips. It’s a no-brainer: if we double the wear we get from an item, it reduces its carbon footprint by 44%*.
What are the eco-conscious processes Kair has in place as a business?
As a new brand, we’ve been able to think about everything we do planet-first. We were horrified at the amount of heavy, single-use plastic in the laundry aisle. We’ve instead used a beautiful glass bottle that you’ll actually want to reuse and refill, and refills that reduce plastic waste by 76% – we can’t wait to get that to 100% and eliminate plastic altogether. You won’t find any bleaching agents or pollutants in our formula – we’ve used effective, plant-based, biodegradable ingredients.
And we’re proud to manufacture here in the UK. We hope that our biggest contribution will be to support a shift to slower fashion, and that our community Buy Less, and Wear More.
Any highlights for KAIR so far?
It took close to a year to develop our formula, but the incredible feedback that our testers’ clothes looked and smelled amazing was a reward for our patience. We’ve got some huge goals for the future. Dry cleaning is a chemically intensive, expensive and time-consuming process and 90% of the time it’s unnecessary. We’d love to replace the concept of “Dry Clean Only” with “Wash with KAIR”.
Do you have a best-selling product?
Our luxury scents are our favourite part of our experience – we knew that “Fuschia Passion” and “Gold Topaz” (genuine laundry scents!) weren’t cutting it and wanted to elevate the category, using notes you’d normally find in fine fragrance. The Wild Juniper & Bergamot Signature Clothing Wash has been the most popular so far. It’s bright, fresh and uplifting, but surprisingly complex.
Available from major retailers and kair.care from Tuesday 22 June.
Next on my list for a little wardrobe loving is Steamery Stockholm. Born in 2014, Steamery founders Frej, Petra and Martin created the company with a simple mission to inspire and educate people to take better care of their clothes. Their products are beautifully designed to keep your clothing (bed linen and textiles too) in tip top condition. From the deliciously tactile handheld Cirrus steamer that literally calms you as it steams away the creases to the vegan clothes brush and Pilo shaver. Ergo dynamic, gentle and so easy to use they really are a revelation when it comes to caring for your clothes.
Three words that sum up Steamery?
Modern textile care.
What does sustainability mean to Steamery?
For us, sustainability means to be aware of the limited resources we have and to actually take care of the things and clothes that we already own instead of constantly buying new ones. We believe that the fast pace we’re living in today is not responsible at all in the long run and we all need to make some big and quick changes in our habits.
As a company, we want to inspire and educate others to take better care of their clothes and home textiles in order for them to not only look great but also last longer.
What eco-conscious processes do you have in place as a business?
Our business idea itself is based on an eco-conscious process, we make products with an aim to make clothes and textiles last longer and want to inspire people to buy less, wash less and care more. We are conscious and selective about our material choices for both products and packaging, and everything is always designed with carefully selected materials and the environment and quality in mind. We aim to produce products that are energy efficient and that will last as long as possible.
Any particular highlights for the brand?
Yes, we’re launching some new products this Autumn and in September we will have the biggest launch in Steamery history. Stay tuned!
What is your best-selling tool?
Cirrus No.2 is our bestselling steamer. It’s an effective handheld steamer – easy-to-use, and ideal for bringing on travels. It reduces odours and makes your clothes wrinkle-free, and it works on all kinds of fabrics except leather and suede. And we love having steaming as part of our daily routine since it’s actually very therapeutic and soothing.
Say hello to a product that will change your life, it’s basically a jumper shaver and will do away with all those fuzzy little bits that make a favourite jumper look tired and old. This one is super gentle, easy to use and will completely refresh the finest of knitwear.
Fluff on your coat or jacket? A little gentle brush will restore the pile of the fabric whilst whisking away lint.