Less chores, save the planet: Ecostore launches No Laundry Day to encourage Kiwis to wash less

Laundry: the household chore that creates several other smaller, but equally as draining chores, like a Russian doll of busywork. 

From navigating those clear-as-mud symbols on the labels to separating, sorting, drying and folding - from stressing about shrinkage, staining, and lost socks - I'm sure we'd all enjoy one less load of laundry in our lives.

Ecostore, a New Zealand brand specialising in sustainable plant-based personal care and cleaning products, is proposing exactly that - a day without any laundry whatsoever. Hoorah!

On Friday, August 25, the brand will launch 'No Laundry Day' to encourage more Kiwis to be mindful about how - and how often - they are washing their clothes, a household task that carries a significant impact on the planet. Yes, less chores could actually lower your environmental footprint, as well as your water consumption and energy use (which also means lower bills at the end of the month). 

Additionally, excessive laundering contributes to more detergents down the drain and wearing out our clothes at a faster rate, while it's estimated New Zealanders alone use 39 billion litres of water each year in domestic washing machines - the equivalent to running a shower for 5319 years. 

No Laundry Day is about pushing pause to consider the impact of our laundry habits and embracing more eco-conscious choices in daily routines, said Pablo Kraus, Ecostore's CEO.

"We believe doing little bits of good and making small changes to embrace sustainable living sets off ripples that accumulate over time. No Laundry Day aims to create a positive environmental impact by inspiring households nationwide to forgo laundry activities for a day," he said in a statement. 

"Our laundry habits have a profound effect on the environment. By being more mindful about how we wash our clothes and using products that minimise their environmental impact it means we can still get the washing done, but in a better way. Collectively we can create a significant positive change."

If every household in Aotearoa avoided their washing basket this Friday, it is said over 107 million litres of water collectively could be saved (enough water to fill a bathtub 766,000 times), as well as enough power to supply 195 Kiwi households with electricity for a year - and that’s the impact of just one day. 

"One less load of washing each week, that's the challenge," Kraus added.

Speaking to The Project about the initiative on Tuesday, textile technologist Dr Stewart Collie, the science team leader At AgResearch, agreed that overall New Zealanders tend to wash their clothes a little too often. Frequent washing can also contribute to clothes wearing out more quickly, he added, as well as polluting the environment with loose fibres and microplastics.

There are practical ways to extend the time between washes, Dr Collie noted, reducing our laundry footprint while saving time and money.

"Hanging things out in the sunshine is good, they're going to get an airing - moisture and odours are going to be able to dissipate, and the UV will have a bit of a disinfectant effect. I think that's a good option for increasing the number of wears," he told The Project. 

Ecostore recommends adopting some of the following practices to achieve little bits of good in your laundry:

  • Wait until you have enough clothing for a full load, rather than doing several small loads.
  • Wash clothes only when necessary; consider reusing items when possible. For example, it's generally believed jeans can be worn up to 10 times before washing.[vii]
  • Commit to doing one less load of washing per week.
  • Use lower temperatures for standard washes, reserving warmer washes for heavily soiled garments. This will reduce the amount of power used.
  • Choose concentrated laundry products.
  • Enjoy the day off doing laundry on ecostore's No Laundry Day, Friday, August 25.

In a nutshell, by doing less laundry, you're helping the planet: so be lazy, Aotearoa - do it for the children.

Watch the video above.