Can you imagine turning on your shower and letting the water run down the drain for 21 hours? Well, every time you buy a new pair of jeans it’s like doing that. Why? Because denim is actually made from cotton which takes a huge amount of water to grow. In fact it takes 10,000 litres of water to make 1 pair of jeans. Just think about how many jeans you have in your wardrobe - that’s a scary amount of waste water right? That water is usually full of chemicals and dyes which impacts our rivers and seas - and that’s all before the jeans even make it to our wardrobes! 

As well as the water used, cotton production also uses a lot of chemical pesticides which isn’t good for the environment. The making of jeans uses a lot of energy and produces a lot of carbon emissions from manufacturing to production to delivery to consumer use. Making 1 pair of jeans produces 11.5kg CO2 emissions.

If your jeans have a stretch in them it means the cotton is combined with elastane. Elastane is a completely synthetic fibre meaning it doesn’t exist anywhere in nature. It’s basically a type of plastic and it’s made from the fossil fuel oil. The more you wash your jeans, the more the elstane breaks down into tiny bits of plastic which then goes down the drain and eventually ends up in the ocean.

So what can you do? Opt to repair your jeans or buy them in a second-hand or vintage shop. Keep and wear your jeans for longer. Wearing your jeans for nine months longer can reduce their environmental impact by 22%. Wash them less often - if we washed our jeans after every 10 wears instead of every 2 it can reduce water usage and environmental impact by a whopping 80%! Even washing at lower temperatures and using a clothes line instead of a tumble dryer can have a huge positive impact.