Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thursday In The Know: Jeans


I know we all wear jeans. It is just part of the American wardrobe. They look great, keep us warm and make us feel good. But, after reading a NY Times article recently on how the fashion industry is starting to look at zero-waste options I think it may be a while before I buy another pair.

Okay, before you decide I'm crazy and stop reading, just hear me out.  Or more specifically hear Mr. Collins out. “Jeans are one of the most wasteful and polluting garments that are made,” said Mr. Collins of Parsons, citing not only the unused fabric, but also the dyes added only to be washed out again, the energy used to transport the denim all over the world, the packaging, and the gallons of water used by consumers to clean the jeans. “And of course it’s one of the staples of everyone’s wardrobe.” 

So, I have a few ideas that I hope will make your jeans live a little longer. 

My friend LuAnn gave me this great trick. When you think your jeans are getting too washed out, dye them again using BLACK Rit dye. I have been afraid to try dying my jeans for fear they would turn out bright blue (a la 1987) or solid black. She has a top loading washer and just puts the dye in with her jeans and the water. I have a front loader and didn't want to dye my detergent dispenser black, so I decided to use my kitchen sink. It worked beautifully. So you just put enough water to cover your jeans, 1/4 to 1/2 bottle of dye and a couple tablespoons of salt. Swish them around until you're satisfied (mine took about 30 minutes) and then wash them. The fade and distressed spots stay there, but will be darker.

As I showed you on Tuesday you can made a pair of boot cut jeans into skinnies. Thus expanding your existing jean wardrobe. 

Shopping for jeans is hard. I know. They say the average woman tries on 15 pairs of jeans before finding the perfect ones. That being said, if you're willing to take a little time start at the thrift store. You can find some amazing brands there for pretty cheap. And, now that you know you can dye them, if they fit right but are a little light, no problem. 

There are some basic jeans care rules that you are probably familiar with, but I'll give you a little refresher. 
  • Don't wash them after each wear. If they aren't dirty, don't wash them. 
  • When you do wash them, turn them inside out. It causes less abrasion on the exterior. And use the delicate cycle.
  • Wash them in cold water. 
  • Choose heavier denim. It is just going to last longer. If you're torn between two pairs, choose the heavier one. 
  • And lastly, we all know that drying our jeans wears them out faster, but I just can't bring myself to wear stiff line dried jeans. So I guess I have room for improvement. 
I'm starting a new weekly post called Thursday In The Know. Basically I tell you about something I have either researched or know stuff about. I'm happy to share my bounty of knowledge with you. *wink wink*

    1 comment:

    LuAnn said...

    So interesting. You should post this on nothing new. And I used 1 box of powdered Rit and it was nice and dark like I wanted it.

    I was line drying my jeans in Chicago, but have gotten lazy since I have a dryer at my fingertips. But I'm going to go back. They are only stiff for about 5 minutes. Just try it for a month and I'm sure you won't mind by the end. Only thing is...you have to make sure you've bought them as tight as you can fit into.

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