When I look at my pile of jeans, with trousers that I have received as gifts from friends and relatives in the last few months alone, I think to myself: Wow, why should you even buy new jeans? In just a few months I have received so many pairs of trousers and they are all real treasures! Whether it's the "oversized" men's jeans that you can also wear as " mom jeans", or turn into "paperbag pants", or the half ripped ones that also look kind of cool, or the "stretch denim", for the elegant look. I can use them all!
Apart from the fact that by "throwing away" clothes you are only creating more waste, you are harming the environment just as much when you buy new jeans, because every stage of jeans production has an impact on our environment:
COTTON PRODUCTION: Cotton farming requires large amounts of fertilisers, pesticides and, most importantly, water. According to the WWF, up to 20,000 litres of water are needed to produce 1 kg of cotton. 1 kg of cotton is needed for 1 pair of jeans!
DYING: Dyeing the fabric poses additional risks and environmental pollution caused by hazardous chemicals such as sodium hydroxide, hydrogen peroxide and synthetic dyes. In order to make the dye "indigo" used for dyeing water-soluble, additional chemicals and heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium, lead and copper have to be used in the dyeing process. These pollutants are usually discharged unfiltered into rivers, lakes and oceans.
FINISHING LOOK: "After-treatment" is the so-called process that gives jeans a "used look". This usually means washing them again with enzymes, bleaching chemicals, or washing them with pumice stones, the so-called "stone wash". One of the most common methods to create the "used look" is the process of "sandblasting". This process is extremely dangerous for the workers. Inhaling the sand particles can cause long-term lung damage. Many factories around the world replace or combine the "sandblasting" method with the equally dangerous use of "potassium permanganate". A substance that in high doses can be harmful to workers handling the chemical. According to reports, a dose of 10g can cause circulatory collapse, lung irritation, kidney damage and even death. It should not be forgotten that the potassium permanganate also has to be washed out with other chemicals, which again leads to water pollution. Apart from that, the whole process of making the jeans look used dilutes and damages the fabric, so the jeans themselves have a much lower "life expectancy", tear faster and disintegrate faster.
SEWING: The biggest problem in sewing jeans is the poor working conditions of the seamstresses and seamstresses. Mostly they work crammed together in so-called "sweat shops" for very little money with long working hours.
Therefore, my appeal to all: There are so many cool jeans that have already been made! Many almost unused, or those that have kept their worn look naturally through wear! Start collecting and using used jeans instead of buying new ones!
How to get these finds:
- Swap clothes (jeans) with friends
- Ask friends and relatives for discarded jeans
- Buy them in second hand shops
- Buy upcycled jeans