5 Ways To Prolong The Life Of Your Jeans, Because A Good Pair Should Last For Years
Jeans are the one wardrobe staple that actually deserve such a definition. No matter where you live or what the weather's like, it's likely that you'll don a pair countless times throughout the year. As denim tends not to be the cheapest thing on the market, finding ways to prolong the life of your jeans makes total sense.
"Your denim will last as long as you are willing to take care of it," Scott Morrison, founder of denim store 3x1, told GQ. I don't know about you but, to me, chucking your jeans on the floor after a hard day's work isn't the most caring move. Neither is throwing them mindlessly in the washing machine without even checking the label.
Changing these lifelong habits needn't be difficult. In fact, increasing the lifespan of your jeans actually requires little effort at all. In short, you should be washing them much less, hanging them whenever possible, and handing them over to an expert when they begin to look a little threadbare.
The following tips will save you money, reduce your energy bills, and lessen your environmental impact. Oh, and you'll never have to wave goodbye to your favourite pair of jeans ever again.
1. Avoid Washing Them As Much As Possible
In 2014, Levi's CEO Chip Bergh said he had never washed the pair of jeans he was wearing. In a recent interview with CNN, he admitted that he still hasn't washed the 10-year-old pair. That slightly gross-sounding decision is for a very good reason. As a spokesperson for the brand explained to the Independent, denim is a "hard-wearing and durable fabric — it doesn't need to be washed as frequently as believed."
Instead of washing jeans every week, it's best to spot treat them. So if there is a minor bit of dirt, simply use a wet cloth or toothbrush to remove. Tougher stains can be removed with a combination of baking soda and water, reports StyleCaster.
According to Levi's, you should only fully wash jeans around once a month. If your jeans look or smell a little grubby before then, try hanging them in the bathroom while having a shower for a quick refresh.
2. When You Do Have To Wash, Do It The Right Way
"If you talk to real denim aficionados, they will all agree you should never put a pair of jeans in the washing machine," Bergh, the CEO of Levi's, told CNN. For those who can't face being quite so hardcore, always turn jeans inside out before washing and use cold water to avoid shrinkage and colour fading. Ensure you check the label carefully for any other specific instructions.
Detergent also plays an important role. As Good Housekeeping states, you need to find one that is designed for coloured fabrics, especially when it comes to darker-hued jeans. Avoid anything containing optical brighteners as these can encourage fading.
When loading your clothes into the washing machine, make sure you aren't washing more than a couple of pieces of denim at a time. According to fashion brand Burton, too many jeans in one go equals less effective cleaning.
3. Say Goodbye To Tumble Dryers
Levi Strauss, the company behind Levi's, recommends steering clear of tumble dryers. "Ever wonder where lint comes from? It’s your clothes breaking down in the dryer," the company writes. An easier and cheaper alternative is to keep your pair inside out and hang them up to dry.
Do this as soon as the washing machine cycle has come to an end and you'll help retain the shape of the jeans as well as stop those weird faded wrinkles, reports Good Housekeeping.
4. Never Fold Them
I am 100 percent guilty of this. And according to Fashion Beans, proper jeans storage isn't as simple as hanging them up. Trouser hangers tend to come with metal clips that can indent the fabric. An S hook "which can be attached to the two outer belt loops" will keep them looking brand spanking new.
5. Don't Ignore The Tailor
When you notice a small rip or the beginnings of a hole in a garment, what do you do? Do you throw it away immediately? Or do you let nature take its course and then bin it? One option that probably hasn't crossed your mind is visiting a tailor. Book an appointment as soon as you notice a problem and you won't end up contributing to landfill waste. Plus, they're really not as expensive as you might think.
The only thing not to bother with is sticking your jeans in the freezer. "That's an old wives' tale," Bergh told CNN. "It does not work."