Brands design clothing that doesn’t need to be washed

As the apparel industry continues to innovate its product offerings and processes in order to be more eco-friendly, brands are launching clothing that doesn’t need to be washed, or at least, washed as often. These offerings are intended to help consumers cut back on overusing water and energy, since washing machines account for 17% of home water usage, and combat laundry’s single-use packaging problem.


Danish startup Organic Basics launched a line of underwear that is treated with silver chloride, an antibacterial agent that prevents the growth of bacteria and thus reduces odor. The brand claims that the silver-coated underwear can prevent the growth of 99.9% of bacteria and other microorganisms, allowing the user to wear the underwear for much longer than he or she normally would before washing. This initiative doesn’t only save energy due to less washes, but reduces clothing waste, as customers are able to keep the underwear for longer since it’s less likely to break down in the wash.


Though Unbound Merino targets the modern traveler who can’t conveniently wash their clothing on the go, consumers across the board can easily wear the startup’s odor-resistant basics. Unbound Merino offers high quality, ultra fine merino wool shirts, hoodies, socks, and underwear for men and a black V-neck tee for women, all of which are regulate temperature, dry quickly, and don’t wrinkle, thanks to the versatility of the merino fabric. Unbound Merino’s clothing allows the wearer to pack lightly, as the brand promises that users can wear its tees for weeks without washing.


Men’s performance clothing brand Western Rise partnered with The Woolmark Company to create The Limitless Merino Wool Shirt, a multi-use button-down shirt that requires less washing due to the shirt’s odor-resistant capabilities. The two companies collaborated to engineer a fabric that is part merino wool and part quick-dry polyester, a combo that gives the shirt a comfortable four-way stretch and allows the user to wear it for multiple days at a time without needing to wash it. The Limitless Merino Wool Shirt is not only highly functional and versatile but also eco-friendly—attributes that resonate with modern youth.