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By Morgan Collins, Style Digital Editor

The Croft Magazine // Jeans are a staple in almost everyone’s wardrobe, but the environmental cost of our nation’s favourite trousers is immense.

Here is a simple guide to ensure that you are buying sustainable denim that will last a lifetime. (Or at least a few years!)

The process of manufacturing a single pair of jeans requires 1,800 gallons of water, whilst the average human tends to drink around 400 gallons of water annually. With the water footprint of denim being so high, the act of buying a new pair of jeans needs to be an extremely conscious one.

My own humble collection! 

Things to look for when buying jeans:

100% Cotton. Denim that is a mixed blend of cotton and polyester, for example, is likely to lose its shape faster than a pure cotton blend because of the nature of plastic. 100% cotton washes better and expands the lifetime of your denim.

Organic Cotton. There are several issues with non-organic cotton crops, they are fertilised synthetically, are damaging to the soil and require stronger irrigation systems. Organic cotton in comparison is not genetically modified and uses 71% less water. Be aware, however, organic cotton is more expensive to buy because of the longer cultivation process but if you can afford it, it is a more sustainable alternative.

Second Hand. A way to by-pass many of these environmental issues is to buy your denim second hand. Vintage denim tends to be of higher quality, they are often made from 100% cotton and are built to last.

Check your care labels for advice. 

A Note on Denim Care:

The biggest denim mistake is over washing it. Every time your jeans are washed, they lose their shape more and more meaning that you will need to buy a new pair of jeans sooner. Shopping sustainably is all about making your clothes last longer, don’t fall into the over washing trap!

Take a look at the Levi’s ‘Guide to Denim Care’ for some great advice about washing and drying your denim.

For more information on styling jeans and finding the perfect fit, head over to The Croft’s Instagram and check out this week’s instalment of Fashion Focus, which is all about denim.

Featured: Unsplash - @waldemarbrandt67w

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