Sustainable Laundry Products: Cleaner Clothes, Cleaner Planet

Sustainable Laundry Products: Introduction

Welcome to your weekly eco tip where this week, we will focus on sustainable laundry products. Traditional laundry detergents can have a significant environmental impact due to their chemical content and plastic packaging.

In this guide, we will explore the environmental impacts of these conventional products, delve into the fascinating history of laundry practices, and highlight the benefits of switching to eco-friendly alternatives. Opting for sustainable laundry products helps reduce pollution and supports healthier ecosystems.

Join us as we explore how adopting greener laundry solutions can make a big difference for our planet.

Non Sustainable Laundry Products: A History

Laundry practices have a rich history marked by ingenuity. Ancient civilisations used natural elements for cleaning. Five thousand years ago, Egyptians used water and natron, a naturally occurring soda ash, to cleanse their garments. The Romans, known for their engineering marvels, used urine, rich in ammonia, to whiten togas. Collected in public urinals, urine was mixed with water, and clothes were trodden on to release dirt and stains.

In the 19th century, soap made from animal fats and lye became popular, making washing more effective. The early 20th century revolutionised laundry with synthetic detergents, which worked in hard water and offered superior cleaning power. However, their efficiency came at an environmental cost, as detergents introduced phosphates and other chemicals that contributed to water pollution.

By the mid-20th century, liquid detergents and fabric softeners further evolved the laundry landscape, increasing convenience but also resulting in packaging waste. The late 20th and early 21st centuries brought a growing awareness of these impacts, leading to eco-friendly alternatives. Innovations like laundry detergent pods and ultra-concentrated strips reflect the ongoing quest for sustainable solutions that balance cleanliness and environmental responsibility.

Sustainable Laundry Products The Romans used urine collected from public toilets to clean and whiten their togas
The Romans used urine collected from public toilets to clean and whiten their togas

This historical progression highlights the need for continual innovation in making laundry practices more sustainable.

Non-Sustainable Laundry Products: Environmental Impact

The use of traditional laundry products has a significant impact on the environment due to their chemical compositions and packaging. Millions of plastic detergent bottles are discarded annually, often ending up in landfills or oceans. These bottles are not biodegradable and can take hundreds of years to decompose, contributing to severe plastic pollution.

Chemicals in conventional detergents, such as phosphates, sulfates, and synthetic fragrances, harm ecosystems. Phosphates cause eutrophication in water bodies, leading to algal blooms that deplete oxygen and create dead zones, devastating marine life. The production of these detergents consumes significant water and energy, increasing their carbon footprint.

 Harmful chemicals like triclosan disrupt hormonal systems in aquatic animals and contribute to antibiotic resistance, persisting in the environment long after washing down the drain. These chemicals accumulate in the food chain, posing risks to wildlife and humans. Recognising these impacts is crucial for change.

Sustainable Laundry Products Hundreds of millions of plastic containers are manufactured and thrown away every year
Hundreds of millions of plastic containers are manufactured and thrown away every year

Consumers can make a substantial difference by choosing eco-friendly alternatives that minimise chemical use, reduce plastic waste, and support sustainable practices, helping protect our planet for future generations.

Sustainable Laundry Products: What to Look For

When choosing sustainable laundry products, it’s important to consider the ingredients, packaging, and the practices of the manufacturing company. Opt for detergents and softeners that use natural and organic ingredients, which are less harmful to the environment. These ingredients are safer for you and minimise the ecological impact once they enter our water systems. Look for products free from phosphates, sulfates, and synthetic fragrances, as these can harm aquatic life and contribute to water pollution.

Packaging is crucial for sustainability. Choose brands that use recyclable, biodegradable, or zero-waste packaging. Options like cardboard boxes, refillable containers, or compostable pouches significantly reduce plastic waste. Innovative companies offer laundry detergent sheets or pods in minimal packaging, drastically cutting down on disposable plastic.

Additionally, consider products that come in concentrated forms, which reduce the volume of packaging and transportation emissions. Look for certifications that ensure environmental and health safety standards, such as EcoCert or Leaping Bunny, which guarantees that products are cruelty-free. These labels help consumers identify products meeting stringent environmental and ethical criteria.

Sustainable Laundry Products - There are lots of great choices on the market to help you choose sustainable laundry products
There are lots of great choices on the market to help you choose sustainable laundry products

Supporting brands that are transparent about their supply chain and production practices can make a significant difference. Companies practising responsible sourcing and manufacturing locally reduce transportation emissions, further lowering the carbon footprint.

By paying attention to these factors, you can make choices that benefit both your clothes and the environment, contributing to a more sustainable future.

Sustainable Laundry Products: Three of Our Favourite Brands


Our first brand, Play It Green partner, Ecoegg has revolutionised laundry with their reusable laundry eggs, which replace traditional detergents. These eggs use natural mineral pellets to clean clothes effectively, reducing the need for single-use plastics and harmful chemicals. Additionally, Ecoegg’s products are hypoallergenic, making them perfect for sensitive skin. Their eco-friendly approach helps minimise waste and pollution.

Head over to their website and use voucher code THANKYOU15 for an exclusive 15% discount on Ecoegg products.

Sustainable Laundry Products - Ecoegg's laundry egg is a unique and sustainable way to clean your clothes
Ecoegg's laundry egg is a unique and sustainable way to clean your clothes

Bower Collective

Our second brand, Bower Collective offers a range of sustainable laundry solutions, including refillable detergents and fabric softeners. Their products come in recyclable packaging, promoting a zero-waste lifestyle. Additionally, Bower Collective uses plant-based ingredients that are safe for both the environment and your skin. They focus on reducing plastic waste and promoting circular living.

Visit their website.

Sustainable Laundry Products - Bower Collective's refillable laundry pouches are a great choice to clean clothes sustainably
Bower Collective's refillable laundry pouches help to clean clothes sustainably

The Green Co.

Our final brand, The Green Co. provides eco-friendly laundry products such as biodegradable detergent sheets and plastic-free stain removers. Their products are designed to reduce environmental impact while delivering excellent cleaning performance. Additionally, The Green Co. is committed to sustainability and transparency in their sourcing and manufacturing processes. Make a greener choice with their innovative solutions.

Head to their website and use voucher code PLAYITGREEN15 for an exclusive 15% discount on The Green Co. products.

Sustainable Laundry Products - The Green Co. Green Sheets are a low waste low impact way to clean your clothes
The Green Co. Green Sheets are a low waste low impact way to clean your clothes

Sustainable Laundry Products: Wrap Up

By making the switch to sustainable laundry products from brands like Ecoegg, Bower Collective, and The Green Co., you’re not only caring for your clothes but also supporting environmentally responsible practices. Furthermore, these brands are leading the way towards a greener future in household care, demonstrating that our everyday choices can significantly impact the health of our planet. Let’s continue to support these sustainability innovations, and remember, every load of laundry adds up to make a big difference.

Join us on this journey towards a cleaner, greener future, one wash at a time.

Play It Green: Empowering Your Sustainability Journey

Ready to take your commitment to sustainability to the next level? Play It Green stands as your partner in creating positive environmental change. From educational resources on sustainable practices and signposting to sustainable services to initiatives like tree planting and social giving, Play It Green offers a holistic approach to environmental stewardship. 

Join us in the journey toward sustainability—embrace eco-conscious practices and be a force for positive change in our world. All whilst staying relevant, meeting legislation and aligning with the values of today’s consumers and employees.

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