How Green is Your Blue Denim? Here’s How to Conciously Choose a Sustainable Fabric!
While the pandemic made us bring out our comfort clothing and never quite stop wearing them, read, sweatpants and more sweatpants, there’s a staple which we are not willing to give up as yet, yes we mean our favourite pair of blue denim. No wonder, there’s about 4.5 bn pairs are sold around the world every year. But is the love for your favourite pair of denim is sustainable at all? There is at least 10,850 litres of water and harmful chemicals involved in making denim.
Conventional cotton is what is used to make a pair of jeans, however, a lot of pesticides and fertilizers are used to make cotton grow. Not to forget synthetic dyes too. Jeans are washed a number of times to get the right shade and to get the right shade you need to add more dyes, making it an ecological nightmare of sorts. However, all is not lost, if you combine your love for denim with your love for all things ecological, here are what you need to do.
Organic and Natural Fibres Are the Only Way to Go
There are other plant fibres that work as well, such as lyocell or hemp, which are the other environmentally friendly options. Look for jeans that are as close to the natural fibre as possible and hence it will be useful for recycling. So, ensure most of the fabric is plant-based.
Stylish But Still a No-No
Stretch denim is a favourite of most people who love to make their denim stylish yet comfortable. However, it is a mixture of cotton and polyester and isn’t the best bet as it may be difficult to recycle. Also when you wash the polyester it releases harmful microplastics when washed.
There are several popular brands such as Stella McCartney that are coming up with great eco-friendly versions, using biodegradable stretch denim using plant-based fibres. Their version has been a collaboration with the denim company Candiani. Here’s hoping that the sustainable versions are affordable too.
Safer Treatment Processes
Jeans look best when they have a distressed look about them. But what looks stylish can also prove to be costly for the environment as it pollutes waterways. Therefore look for jeans that have been endorsed by the Bluesign or Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX, which enforces the idea of chemical-free processing.
Select a denim brand that follows some basic ecological rules as less water dyeing and treatment techniques. The use of Save-blue dyes can use a lot less water as low as 87.5 per cent of water in the dyeing process than the other processes. The latest techniques ensure you can make denim with a significantly less amount of energy and chemicals. A little research can help you find the brand that ticks all the sustainable boxes.
Vintage is Cool and Eco-friendly
We know, there’s a lot of denim out there, and while buying a first-hand pair of jeans entices most shopaholic or should we say denim-a-holics, you can always opt for second-hand or a vintage pair of jeans. Choosing a pair of vintage jeans will mean, you are choosing a more planet-friendly pair.
Buying countless pair of jeans can only mean you are increasing the carbon and water footprints by almost 20 to 30 per cent, which would also increase the upcycled pieces too. Well, since denim is one of the most hardest-working fabrics; it is just right for workwear. Also, there are just so many pairs in different price brackets, you’ll be stumped for sure.
Extend the Lifespan of Your Jeans
Take ample care of your jeans, which means you’ll not wash them a little too often. This way you’ll be able to save more water and reduce microplastics. Wash it only when it is too dirty. You increase the shelf-life of your jeans when you wash them a little less and take care of them a little more.
Also, stop throwing out your old pairs, you can not only make them last longer, but you can also use them in different ways. Once you wear your pair to death, you can make a lot more things with it, napkins, headbands, rugs, bags and more. So, there you go, you can make your pair of jeans, stylish and sustainable too.
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