The Life Cycle of Denim

The Life Cycle of Denim

There is a story behind every item you have in your closet. Today, I introduce the story of denim so you can understand the complexity behind the creation process. Also, there will be insights into the future of denim creation. 

The beginning of denim lies in cotton fibers getting harvested, which are then cleaned and spun into strong threads. The threads are dipped several times into indigo and woven together to create denim. This sounds like a simple story, right? However, every story will have multiple layers that should unfold. The process of creating denim has a damaging effect on our planet. 3,781 liters of water are used during the production of one pair of jeans, and 33.4 kg of CO2 is dispersed throughout its lifetime. Again, this is only in one pair of jeans, and imagine how much denim each individual will have throughout their life. Minimizing these impacts requires producers to improve technology and consumers to think about how they care for their denim.

As consumers, we can carefully approach this situation by reusing, recycling, and reducing. When denim becomes damaged, take this opportunity to learn how to repair it. Using darning stitches requires only a needle and thread. Another option can be to apply an iron-on patch, which is the simplest way to revamp your denim. You can also purchase denim from brands that have analyzed their impact on the environment. 

Here is a list of brands I recommend: 

  1. Honest Basics – Uses their longstanding experience in the fashion industry and deep knowledge of sustainability to produce ethically and sustainably.
  2. Gustin – Uses crowdsourcing to line up supply and demand for every product they make. This creates a zero waste cycle and they return the savings to you.
  3.  Kings of Indigo – Their collections are rich with natural fibers, such as organic cotton, linen, and hemp. But with every collection, they explore innovations to shift their focus to recycled and man-made fibers. 
  4. Monkee Genes – The team behind this brand wanted to prove that there is such a thing as looking fashionable whilst supporting sustainability. Fast forward to 2020 and the brand has grown into an ethical fashion destination, with all of its garments made in GOTS certified factories. 

And here is my favorite part, to imagine the future of denim creation. To see how science and technology can redirect the story that is currently being told. For example: using biotechnology to change the production of denim. This process includes an enzyme wash that can cut the consumption of chemicals, energy, and water during the final stages of denim creation. Then there is the advancement of 3-D printing in the fashion industry. With technology constantly evolving, one day waterless denim can be mass-produced. 

Thank you so much for reading today’s Daily Cup of Thy. Feel free to share your thoughts with me on how you take care of your denim, ways denim creation will change in the future, and honestly, anything that has to do with sustainability! Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone. May you find love within yourself.

-Thy Phan 

Sources: MasterclassLevi Strauss & Co.NovozymesSubstance

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *