Barbour was founded on the principle of quality that lasts — it’s true of our core family values, and of the things we make. We have always believed that, when taken care of, your wardrobe should last. So, we collaborated with menswear designer (and founder of his self-titled label) Daniel w. Fletcher, to bring you a special guide on how to take care of your favourite Barbour essentials, to increase the lifespan of your wardrobe. Take note and enjoy.
I’ve always been an advocate of buy better, buy less; essentially meaning that choosing what you put into your wardrobe carefully, and buying a better quality product which will last you longer is a much more sustainable approach to living and something we should all be trying to do. Inevitably though, sometimes even the most premium of products can begin to wear out so I have put together a few tips on the things I do to take care of my clothes and make them stand the test of time, as well as some repair (or rescue) ideas, so together we can start to reduce our waste.
Tip 1: Re-Wax Your Jacket
First up is a staple of the Barbour wardrobe: the wax jacket. One way to give new life to your classic Barbour jacket, and to keep it in its best condition, is to rewax it once a year. This is essentially just re-applying a coat of wax to the surface, once it has worn off, using a tin of their Thornproof dressing wax which is a lot less scary than it sounds.
To find out how to do this, Barbour have a handy step-by-step guide to rewaxing your jacket at home.
Tip 2: Loosen Up
Don’t be afraid of putting another hole in your belt. I have ruined far too many belts by wearing it on the wrong hole and stretching it until the leather is all warped just out of the sheer vanity of not wanting to go to the next size. Just do it! if you need to add an extra hole, so be it, if you don't have a hole punch then a hammer and a thick nail should do the trick.
Tip 3: Half and Half
I’ll confess, I am a spiller. Somehow I always manage to stain my shirts with something (I have been known to fall asleep on the sofa with a glass of wine resting on my chest only to wake up soaked before) so I am constantly looking for ways to try and save them.
One idea I came up with recently involved a couple of shirts with damage on different parts; I used them to create a sort of Frankenstein's monster shirt combining the pieces which I hadn’t ruined. In this instance it involved the sleeve of one, two different halves and the collar of another — I must admit this one is a bit trickier and it did help that I am a fashion designer. However, there are less complicated options. For example, putting a seam down the centre back of a shirt to join two different ones together is a really simple and effective way of creating a bold and interesting new design using items that otherwise may not have been saved.
Tip Four: Pack your Bags
There’s never been a better time to take care of your leather goods. Using a leather cream every few months to treat your bags will keep the leather soft and make them last longer.
Storing them is also really important, so make sure you stuff your bags, so they don’t start to sag and develop creases where they have folded in on themselves and keep them in a cotton bag.
Tip Five: Wash at 30º
This is a controversial topic in my house, but a few years ago I switched to doing all of my regular washes at 30º and I cannot tell the difference one bit. Ok it won’t quite cut it on all of my stains so I save those up to do together, but for your general washes 30º should be perfectly adequate and saves 40% more energy than washing at 40º, so is much better for our planet.
Another thing I have started using is an ecoegg which is a capsule containing natural mineral pellets which I use in the wash to replace detergent and lasts for up to 70 washes; in turn reducing single-use plastic and not using any harmful chemicals.