Plastic Vacuum Bags or better known as Compression Bags has been a very common and popular item to own in every household. As it is inexpensive and can easily be bought in stores such as, Muji, Lazada and Shopee, more and more people are buying these items to help store their winter wear or clothes that are used only for special occasions.
Well, although they can be useful in protecting your items from dust, dirt and even saving storage space in your cupboard, doing so may cause more harm than good. Potentially creating risks that can cause permanent damage to your garments. On top of that, since these compression bags are made out of plastic, they hold a negative impact on the environment.
As a laundry and dry cleaning provider, we want to share the knowledge we have been consistently building in our 20 years of service to help you and our earth. Now, let’s learn more about how using these plastic vacuum bags can potentially damage your clothes.
Lack of Ventilation
Using these plastic vacuum bags to store your holiday clothes for a long period of time would prevent them from getting the air they need. With plastics in general, fresh air would not be able to circulate in and around your wardrobe and garments. As mentioned in our Fabric Knowledge series, fabrics and especially natural fibre fabrics need to breathe. When you suffocate these fabrics, you damage the fibres which can create stubborn creases and potentially make the fabric lose its shape. Giving your fabric “breathing space” will nourish the fabric fibres that would eventually help to prolong its longevity.
Discoloration and Fading
Long term storage of garments in a plastic vacuum bag can cause discoloration and fadings due to its disadvantageous storage conditions. With Singapore’s weather conditions, the level of humidity and lack of proper ventilation that is provided to your garments, can cause discolorations and fadings. This eventually leads to permanent damage of your garments.
Usually you’d try your level best to cram almost every winter piece you own into one plastic vacuum bag. This usually means that all kinds of color and material types are being mixed together and are compressed for a long period of time. As convenient as it sounds, doing so may cause color transfer from one clothing onto another which causes unwanted damage that is challenging or sometimes even impossible to remove.
Understanding Which Garment is Suitable
Certain items are not meant to be cramped into a vacuum bag as it may cause the garment to be damaged. Some damages include permanent creases or mould due to the lack of ventilation and forced folds.
As professional dry cleaners, we only recommend vacuum packing for items which are soft and don’t hold a shape. Some examples are, our bedding items such as feather pillows, bolsters or even comforters. These items when vacuum packed will not leave a permanent crease. Hence do take note that items such as t-shirts, shirts, winter jackets, or dresses should not be vacuum packed.
Sometimes when storing your plastic vacuum bags inside for a long period of time, do you realise how you’d have to peel the vacuum bags that were on top of each other? Well, this is due to the plastic melting. This is a normal occurrence due to the humidity level in Singapore. When this happens, you’d probably have to throw them out and replace the bags with new ones. Doing this would eventually lead to plastic waste and an overall negative impact on the environment.
Hearing these causes that come along with using plastic storage bags, we take pride in providing services that have lesser negative impacts onto the environment. As a Professional Laundry and Dry Cleaning service provider that is moving forward towards encouraging our customer and staff to be more sustainable, we anticipate to provide you with the best advice.
To substitute using plastic storage bags, you may opt to invest in cotton storage bags that have many benefits and perks to it! Some of these perks include, being the most biodegradable fabric, a good insulator of heat, being a natural fibre (P.s. Very minimal chemical waste was produced in the production of cotton) and most importantly, it can withstand many washes, allowing you to use it for many years down the road.
We hope this article has provided you with information that can help you store your clothes in a much more environmentally friendly way. Apart from that, if you have any questions regarding storage of clothes or need assistance in your laundry and drycleaning, you may head over to our website to find out more about our services!