The lifespan of your favourite pair of jeans depends on three factors, the quality and durability of the denim, how often you wear them, and how you wash your denim jeans.
Of course, the one foolproof way to ensure your jeans last for a very long time is to never wear them. The only problem is the fact that it’s completely foolish. You should wear your jeans as often as you like; and here’s how you can wear your favourite pair of jeans for as long as possible.
How can you buy better quality denim?
The better the material of jeans, the longer they will last. Collaborating with expert jean designers from AG, Big Star Denim, Level 99 Jeans, Agave, Denim, Nudie Jeans, and the denim manufacturing brand Cone Denim, Refinery 99 created an infographic that explains what separates a $200 pair of jeans from a $20 pair.
For them, several factors determine the price of a pair of jeans, the type of cotton, the place of manufacturing, the quality of construction and the treatments of denim. Low-cost jeans tend to be a mixture of denim and another material, such as polyester. They are untreated, have poor or uneven stitching, are particularly susceptible to fading. Saving money on a pair of jeans today means you’ll just end up having to buy another pair sooner.
It’s worth noting that some well-known brands can charge more because they are a well-known name. However, this does not mean the quality is better, nor does it mean they will last longer.
Taking care of your denim jeans
Only wash your jeans every 6 months
Many people believe strongly that you should never wash your jeans, not least Levi’s CEO and President Chip Bergh. For jean wearers who feel strongly about hygiene, washing twice a year is a good rule of thumb but generally you should wash your jeans as infrequently as possible.
Let’s be honest, the smell of a well worn pair of jeans can be dreadful. The Guardian suggest rubbing with a damp cloth to remove stains. Alternatively, there are anti-bacterial sprays that can rid your jeans of odour. Still not feeling fresh? Then it’s time for a wash. But how you wash your jeans is all important.
Wash them on a cold wash or by hand
Mr Black’s denim care guide states that when you machine wash denim you should do so with caution. They have identified a four-step solution to machine washing denim jeans safely. Firstly, turn your jeans inside out (this helps them maintain colour), then add denim-friendly detergent, put the jeans on the slowest spin cycle and the lowest setting before finally hanging your jeans out to drip dry.
Even better wash your denim by hand, as this can ensure it doesn’t shrink, something which can occur in the washing machine if you’re not careful. If this is the first time you have washed your jeans, this may be the safest option.
Air-dry your jeans
Once the jeans are out of the washing machine, the threat to them is still very real. DO NOT tumble dry denim, this will lead to shrinking, fading and other types of damage.
Don’t stuff them onto a radiator either. Air dry your jeans by hanging them inside or over a drying rack to retain their fit and out the way of direct sunlight, as this fades the colour.
Store your jeans correctly
Finally, you should store your jeans correctly. Ideally, they should hang up, or at least be folded neatly. A good pair of denim jeans will be durable, but taking care and not just chucking them into a ball in the cupboard at the end of the day will go a long way in keeping them looking good for longer.