Here are some of our ways to repurpose your old denim.
Denim has been a popular material since the 19th Century, however it gained popularity the following century as it became the preferred material for uniforms of the French National Railway and Royal Airforce.
It very quickly became a staple in everyone's closet, proving to stand the test of time. Unfortunately denim is one of the most common clothing items seen in landfill. So how can you keep your old denim in circulation? Before we get into that let's understand how it is made and it's impact.
How is denim made?
1. Denim is made with harvested cotton fibres which are spun into yarn and woven on either a shuttle loom or a projectile loom
2. Once the jeans are sewn, they are usually dyed with the classic indigo dye
3. It is then coated with a starch to give it rigidity
Unfortunately denim is one of the least sustainable clothing materials due to this high impacts on the environment.
A pair of jeans requires 7,600 litres of water to make it through production line.
How to repurpose denim.
Because denim is durable, it means it can be repurposed quite well.
1. Turn them into shorts! This is a simple way to reimagine your denim that doesn't require any sewing skills. Simply take a pair of good scissors and cut around the leg to the length you wish.
2. For those who a more sewing savvy, try making something new like a bag or even a patched top like the one pictured.
3. Denim can even be used as a way to stop your weeds coming through the garden! Similar to cardboard, denim does break down over time and the rigid weave successfully inhibits weed growth. Lay the denim underneath some organic matter and continue your regular planting. Just remember to leave out the seams as they hang around longer.
So where else can you send your old denim?
Did you know that the average Australian charity shop receives 376 tonnes of donated products per year: 339 tonnes are donated in-store and 37 tonnes are received through collection bins. Unfortunately, due to the influx of donations to charity shops like The Salvation Army and St Vincent De Pauls, the large amounts of clothing cannot be processed and end up in landfill.
So where else can you send your old denim? Try listing on Rosella Street, Australia's platform supporting the circular economy. You can sell, rent and give away your items and what's better, your positive impact is tracked and reported.
Give your denim a new home, make some extra cash and give back to the planet and your community.