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When it comes to fashion, the eco-friendliest choice one can make is to simply buy less and take better care of what one already has. It’s by no means a groundbreaking idea but, when you consider that 80 percent of what we buy ends up in landfills, it’s especially poignant. We’re all guilty of casting once-loved clothes into the depths of our wardrobes, only to then be tossed.
So, what can we do to reduce our environmental impact? There’s mending and repairing our clothes, which will increase their lifespan (and even add to their charm). But even more easily, you can use Re_Fresh—a laundry tablet devised by L’Estrange, a sustainability-minded menswear brand, and created in partnership with leading enzyme scientist and textile consultant Harm Kuilderd.
Unlike your average detergent, Re_Fresh revives cotton, linen and tencel-based garments back to their original glory thanks to cellulase, an enzyme produced by bacteria and fungi. Cellulase acts as a micro-exfoliant in the washing machine and removes the fine layers of tired-looking fibers sitting on top of a garment to reveal its original color. Each tablet can be used on a load of up to three garments.
I put Re_Fresh to the test on a pair of navy Gurkha trousers from Rubinacci, which I bought three or four years ago and wore to death. For the last year or so, they’ve barely seen the light of day due to the navy cotton having lost its luster and sharpness. After a spin with Re_Fresh, the trousers’ true navy essence returned and they’re being pressed in preparation for their return—a comeback that’s good for the planet and my wardrobe.