What to do with old jeans?

Clothing industry has a huge impact on our planet. Fast fashion production causes air and water pollution, and uses huge ammounts of water and energy. I believe it is time when we all finally should think more about what we wear, how and where it was produced, by whom, and what it is made of. Let’s become conscious and eco-aware customers, ethical should be new normal!

It is quite obvious that in order to help the planet we should stop overconsumption and care about clothes we already own. But even if we care, sometimes we simply stop liking some of our clothes, they do not fit anymore or just get destroyed and so we can’t use them anymore. So let’s answer the question – what to do with an old pair of jeans?

The first scenario is that you do not want to wear the jeans, but they are not destroyed and somebody still may find them useful. Then, the best option is find somebody that will use the piece of clothing. I always try to give away clothes that I do not use anymore to my family or friends, and they are usually very happy about it. You can also search for clotes swaps events, it is a great opportunity to give the unwanted clothes second life, and also find something for yourself. If any of the options works – obviously it is also great to donate the clothes to a charity organisation.

Bag I made out of old jeans

In the second scenario the jeans are destroyed. Of course destroyed jeans are in fashion and cool, so you can wear them… But if you do not fancy the street style look, or the destroyed part is in a problematic area, next thing you can try is fixing them. And this is the moment when you can start to think creatively, use colorful matterials or embroider something nice. Or maybe you can try cutting them into shorts? If the jeans are so destroyed, that nothing will help or you just don’t like fixing them is when you can get even more creative. You can use the material to create something different! For example apron, bag, pencilcase… Look for inspiration online, and trust me, it is really not that difficult – even I managed to sew a bag.

Things that I mentioned here are only a small part of what you can do, but nowadays you can easily find more information online. You can start by watching “The True Cost” documentary, or participating in Fashion Revolution week 2021 (learn more at www.fashionrevolution.org).

Dorota Stanek
Volunteer at Teatro Metaphora – Associação de Amigos das Artes
European Solidarity Corps  
To know more: https://europa.eu/youth/solidarity_en


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