5 Ways to Make Your Denim Last

Written by Aly Reinert, Edited by esa Staff

Denim is arguably the most timeless fabric in our wardrobe. The first iteration of blue jeans by Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis was named after the sturdy cotton corduroy they used called “jeane”. Weavers from Nimes, France tried to copy the fabric being used by Levi and Strauss Co, and the result was a cotton twill they named denim, derived from “De Nimes” or “from Nimes”. Throughout history, jeans have evolved from just a work pant to a form of youth rebellion, to statements in fashion.

Denim is now worn by almost every person on the planet, and jeans have become a staple item in our closets t. We become attached to certain pairs because of the wearability and the comfort they provide us with. When you find that perfect pair of jeans, you’d wish they would last forever. Making them last a long time is not only great for you but will reduce the number of jeans you buy in your lifetime, keeping them in your closet and out of a landfill.  Since cotton is one of the most water-intensive crops in agriculture today, this also means that you’ll unintentionally be conserving fresh water.

While some kinds of denim are not made as sturdy as they were in the past, there are still plenty of ways to take care of your jeans and give them the longest life they can possibly live. Here are 5 helpful suggestions.

Less Wash = Less Wear

The first and easiest thing you can do is wash your jeans less. Some say you can wash them every 5-10 wears. My honest opinion? If they don’t smell, don’t wash them. The best thing you can do is hang them to air them out in between wears rather than throw them on your floor or in a drawer somewhere. Running them through cool water and ringing them out is a good way to do a quick wash instead of using a washing machine every time.

The Cooler, The Better


Speaking of washing your jeans, when you do make sure you always use cold water. This will preserve the indigo longer and keep the richness of the color. The best-faded jeans are faded because of natural wear, not a constant wash cycle. Cold water also keeps them from shrinking or changing shape in any way.

Beat the Heat

After you pull them out of the wash, flip them right side out and hang them to dry! If you dry your jeans in the dryer, you’re just asking for faster wear and tear due to the intense hot air.This method also reduces the amount of energy that it would take to run your dryer - saving you money and saving your favorite denim pieces!


Make Careful, Conscious Purchases

As fundamental as this sounds, do not fall into the trap of cheap denim. A lot of thin, inexpensive jeans from fast fashion retailers are made by combining denim with spandex and are not built to last. True denim is made of 100% cotton and is one of the longest lasting textiles. So when it comes to jeans, invest invest invest! Spend a little extra if you have to it is beyond worth it to find a pair that you actually have the power to make last. An affordable solution is to thrift a pair. This way you can find quality jeans at a lower, second-hand price. Some shy away from this because it may be hard to find the right fit, but fear not! There are plenty of tailors and even jeans specialists that will resize the waist or legs of your jeans for as little as $30. An inexpensive, sustainably sourced, quality denim, custom fit pair of jeans?! Sounds like heaven.

Know Your Denim 


When you do buy a new pair of jeans, read the label. Especially if they are a quality pair of jeans, they will most likely have specific instructions written on their care label about what you should do to make them last. Some of these include using less harsh detergents, turning them inside out when you wash them, using a delicate cycle or washing them with a smaller load so they aren’t too packed into the washer.

However you do denim, take care of your jeans and they will take care of you! You don’t have to be like me and treat your denim like it’s your first born child, but giving it a bit more thought and following these easy steps will allow your jeans to be your booty’s best friend for as long as they can be. <3

DONT FORGET: Giving all the clothing in your wardrobe a little extra TLC cuts down on your footprint and will make you feel all the more fab!