Denim Do's and Don'ts
It's no surprise that denim is a staple in every closet. Jeans, jackets, even denim hats and bags cycle through trends and seasons, so it’s important to take care of those pieces to keep them in tip top shape for the longevity of their lifecycle. From both financial and environmental viewpoints, buying and maintaining denim is a worthwhile investment. On average, it takes 1,500 gallons of water to grow enough cotton to make a pair of jeans. To put that into perspective, the average person drinks about 182 gallons of water a year.
Quality clothing is a good investment, but accessibility and affordability are limiting factors for many people. Here are a few ways to lengthen your denim’s lifespan no matter what quality or condition it’s in:
- Repair what you can! Repairing lost buttons, tears, and holes can significantly lengthen the lifecycle of your clothes. Patches and small sewing kits are affordable, and online tutorials are easily accessible if you’re a newbie!
- Keep it simple! Purchase “slow fashion” items and stay away from trends that are likely to only be around for a season or two. Simple staple pieces can be dressed up or down and incorporated into fast fashion trends without the throw away mindset. (We're team skinny jeans... #millennials)
- Break the cycle! Denim doesn’t need to be washed after every wear. According to a study by Levi’s in 2015, washing jeans every 10 wears instead of after every one wear reduces water usage by 77% over the product’s lifetime. Less frequent washing also helps the denim keep its shape and structure longer. Spot cleaning is a great option when it comes to minor spills and stains if the rest of the piece is still fresh and clean! When it is time to wash your denim, opting for a drying rack or any form of heatless drying can result in a longer lifespan as well. If jeans are washed and maintained correctly, they can last 5-10 years before needing to be replaced.
When you no longer have a use for your denim clothing, whether it’s because of size, condition, or style there are many options of what to do next to avoid sending it to the landfill. For items that are still wearable, try a swap shop, donation center, or consignment shop! If the condition is questionable, ask yourself if you can upcycle or alter it into something you will continue to use. Getting crafty can be fun and save you money in the long run. After all, that is how Create Good started!
Of course we aren't the only one's who know that sustainability is cool AND important. Some other companies that have environmental programs for denim are:
Levi’s- Shop secondhand or trade in your used jeans! If you prefer to buy new, check out their sustainably sourced jeans.
Gap – They use a process which “uses at least 20% less water than a conventional wash.”
Madewell – Get $ off a new pair of jeans when you bring a used pair into a Madewell store. Find one near you!
Any secondhand thrift store, consignment shop, or marketplace – Intercept clothing from the landfill by giving it a new home in your closet! Pre-loved clothing is just as good as new!
Create Good Co- Shop one-of-a-kind jackets for a unique upcycled look!
Let us know your favorite way to upcycle your denim pieces below!