Shopping for Denim
When shopping for denim, we have the ability to make conscious decisions in regard to what garments we purchase and which retailers/companies we support. We hold the power with our purchasing decisions impacting market demand and we can alter what garments, in what quantities, and at which rate they are being produced by manufacturers. Denim is inherently a slow fashion item, one that should be worn for years and only gets better the more we wear it. Researching the social and environmental sustainability of firms, as well as purchasing exclusively from these companies on fewer occasion can determine whether denim has an environmentally and human-friendly future.
Caring for Denim
Denim can be highly durable and can last a lifetime. The longevity of denim decreases due to the chosen resource-intensive after-care. The greatest environmental impact of denim derives from the home washing and drying by consumers. We frequently over-wash our clothes, contributing to 37% of the denim apparels carbon impact, as well as degrading their strength. This increases the environmental impact of denim apparel, and it also shortens their longevity and increases the necessity to purchase denim more frequently. Individuals who wash their denim apparel with cold water, line dry, and minimise their washing to every 10 wears instead of every 2 have the ability to reduce water and energy consumption by 80%.
If we no longer want to wear our denim item, we do not throw away our denim apparel. We resell it, donate it or repurpose it. Adequate consumer care will result in the item retaining its durability, allowing it to be recycled and fueling the shift away from linear production chains towards circular life cycles of products.