Similarly, I've found worn-in jeans from the sixties made of 100% cotton that have years of wear still in them. Heck, jeans labeled as the oldest in the world (dating from the 1870s) look ready for plenty more adventures.
We all know that denim is durable, so it's not surprising that the industry needed to find a way to get us to buy more than a couple of pairs in a lifetime. Planned obsolescence in denim didn't really kick in until lately (with all of the manufactured distressing + added plastic fibers hastening their breakdown). Trends have done the effective work of psychological obsolescence instead (bell-bottoms, pleats, acid-wash, ultra-low-rise...). This gets us looking for a new pair of jeans when there are perfectly functioning jeans still in our closets.
Denim uses a lot of water in its production. Cotton growing/manufacturing, dying + stone-washing all are water intensive processes. Jeans are intricate, labor intensive garments that require specialized equipment to sew + trim. Denim fabric production + sewing have been largely moved overseas to less costly markets. Now instead of the industry built to create the most durable, long-lasting workwear, we have a wasteful, polluting industry that exploits people + fills landfills. The average American has seven pairs of jeans, and there's no telling how many pairs of jeans the average American has discarded.
One of the great things about the current state of trends coming + going so quickly is that there is little that looks too out of style anymore. When chosen carefully, it's possible to find jeans (new or secondhand) that will probably be both durable enough + appropriate enough to last for decades.
So here's the challenge:
-No new jeans.
-How long is up to you, but if there are seven pairs of jeans in one's closet... ;)
-Wear + repair.
-Become attached to the jeans already in the closet.
A few variations that could be employed:
-Only secondhand jeans, if a new pair is necessary.
-A new pair of jeans is added only if it can be committed to for 10 years.
-Put thought into figuring out a personal forever jean style.
A little motivation:
-cherishing + finding inspiration in the old
-articles of interest
-patches to love
Fairdare mini-challenges one + two. :)
Photos via links. Non-linked photos, mine.