Have you ever stopped to think why we do ironing? Why do we iron and press our clothes? I’m sure you’re all thinking that it’s because we need to get the wrinkles and creases out. Sure, but why is that important? Why is that we are not acceptable human beings if our clothing isn’t pressed? Surely this is just a symbol of status and it’s quite ridiculous.

If we didn’t have to iron and press our clothes, we’d actually be using less of the worlds resources;

  • we wouldn’t be wasting energy (mostly electricity) on heating up irons
  • we wouldn’t have to make irons (mostly made in far away countries, using metals and plastics, then wrapped in plastic and a box and then shipped all over the world)
  • we wouldn’t have to make ironing boards
  • we wouldn’t have to dispose of old irons and ironing boards
  • companies couldn’t sell the vast range of aids and sprays that they do
  • we’d have more money and more time to devote to better things

lots of ironing to be done

Why can’t we just dress more simply and use natural fabrics that look ok without ironing? Or, going even further, we can just get to used to the fact that clothes can look wrinkled or creased, and that’s just fine.

Actually, we have been taught to judge people by the appearance of their clothing. If their clothes are wrinkled or creased, we instantly judge them in a negative way with thoughts like “they couldn’t even be bothered to press their clothes” and “they probably can’t afford a person to do their ironing”. It’s sad that we’ve become like this.

In the spirit of Use 10 Percent Less, we don’t have to go the whole way all at once. Can we today, just start doing less ironing? Are there some clothes you currently iron, that really don’t need ironing? Next time, when you buy clothes, try buying ones that don’t need ironing (and make sure you avoid synthetic fabrics, which are just plastics). Can we get used to being a bit more wrinkled and feel ok about that?

If we can do this, and avoid ironing, there’s no downside. We’ll have more money and more time and the world will feel a little less pressure.

Related Links – Ironing

  • How to avoid ironing – from Mama’s Laundry Talk – it’s a pity their first tip is to fold the clothes directly out of the dryer. It’s far better to air dry whenever possible and avoid wasting the world’s energy on a dryer.