Clothes cleaning causes a range of environmental impacts, including carbon emissions and water pollution. Recent WRAP research estimates that the washing and drying of clothes accounts for 25% of the carbon footprint of UK clothing in use each year [1]. Research in France found that the "use phase" of a pair of jeans contributes 35-59% of carbon emissions and water eutrophication, and more than 60% of human toxicity impacts [2].

Reducing the frequency of washing therefore has significant potential to reduce impacts. Research for WRAP has shown that a 10% reduction in the number of washes per year would reduce the carbon footprint of UK clothing by around 3% [1].

1. WRAP, 2012, Valuing Our Clothes
2. Defra, 2009, Reducing the Environmental Impact of Clothes Cleaning