The Harm Behind Our Fast Fashion Jeans

People all around the world love a good blue, weathered or stonewashed pair of jeans, right?In fact, they are one of the most used pieces of clothing on earth, with millions of pairs that are being made.


But, did you know that it takes about 1,800 gallons (6800 L) of water just for growing the cotton to manufacture a single pair?

Probably you are thinking: Ok, I will wash them less often and I will save the planet! But, about 70% of the water used during the whole lifecycle of the jeans is just for cotton agriculture!

Cotton cultivation

Cotton is a very thirsty crop, it uses a 3 per cent of the world’s irrigation water and 2.2 per cent of the global arable land. Traditional cotton farming is chemically intensive, using 16% of the world’s insecticides as bugs and insects are attracted to the pillowy white fluff that is actually the cotton fruit.

Organic cotton crops use no synthetic chemicals, but its water consumption is similar to non-organic cotton and its production is only 1% of the 20 million tones of cotton grown globally.

Dyeing and Manufacturing

Then the denim is dyed with synthetic indigo which is made from derived fossil fuels, this part of the process represents about 70% of the total energy consumption of making a pair of jeans and is incredibly harsh on the environment as denim is subjected to several chemical-intensive washes, creating huge amounts of wastewater.

I was shocked when I found out that Tehuacan, Mexico is one of the world’s largest denim producers (China occupies the 1st place) and in many of these factories dyes and chemicals flow straight into the water supply, polluting waterways. On top of that local residents have to deal with a big blast of chemicals in the air as well. (Toxic Fashion, The Guardian)

How can We help to reduce this massive denim footprint?

After reading all this maybe you are thinking: Ok, Ana! If this is my pair of jeans footprint why are you promoting them in this post?

The answer is simple, what I am aiming with this post is to encourage you to stop buying new jeans every season and show you how easy is to style any pair of jeans that are already in your wardrobe, Whether for a night out or a day in the city. If you are a fashion lover you may have noticed that this “boyfriend jeans” were on trend about two years ago.

If you already own a pair like this and you don’t know how to style them, read up on my top tips on how to style them as an expert!

Elevate them with a nice block-colour top

Keep it simple!

It is the best way to elevate them as your jeans are the main point of attention and you know black is always a safe bet.

Trench over bomber jackets

For cool months wear the denim look with a trench coat. If you are petite like me stay away from bomber jackets (at least for this look) as they will make you look bulky at the top.

Bring in your bold stilettos

Even though boyfriend jeans are meant to be baggy and they have a more relaxed look than your classic pair of jeans you can style them for a night out

Wear contrasting stilettos, I recommend you to avoid the ankle strap style, as they will make you look shorter, stick to the classic pointed toe ones they will create a more stylized silhouette. For a day at the city grab your favourite pair of sneakers.

I am sure you will pull out that outfit very well by following these simple tipsRemember the most sustainable pair of jeans are the ones that are already in your wardrobe, repair them if damaged, care them by washing them less often, freshen them up between washes by hanging them in the sun and donate them when you don’t wear them anymore to give them a new second life, because although natural fibers as cotton can biodegrade, landfill is not the right condition, as they leak all these harmful chemicals which they are processed with in to the soil.


Looking forward to reading your thoughts and tell me, after reading this, are you still thinking of throwing your old-fashioned jeans away?