Is wearing jeans bad for the environment?

According to researchers, the answer is a bit more complicated than that
The Conversation

There is nothing like a good pair of jeans to make one feel like a million bucks. Whether dressing up or down, jeans are a good fit for any occasion. But #WorldEnvironmentalDay gives us the chance to ask the hard questions about our beloved jeans: are they bad for the environment?

According to a recent piece published in The Conversation, the environment pays a heavy price for a pair of jeans from production, how they're transported and even what happens when we are done with them.

The researchers said: “Cotton is a thirsty crop, using 3 per cent of the world’s irrigation water on 2.2 per cent of global arable land.”

But one small way that consumers can be more eco-friendly in their fashion choices is to look for jeans made using organic cotton. This is because organic cotton crops use less synthetic chemicals in the production process.

“If you want to buy organic cotton jeans, you can check for brands accredited by the Global Organic Textile Standard. To improve cotton cultivation standards globally, the not-for-profit organisation Better Cotton Initiative was established in 2005 to promote more sustainable cotton growing, with better practices across water use, land and pest management and social indicators. Major fashion retailers like Levis Strauss & Co., H&M, The Gap, Kathmandu and Burberry are focusing on sourcing Better Cotton, organic, or recycled cotton for their clothing.”

The researchers added that a large part of the environmental impact of jeans happens after we buy them. "Throw-away fashion is a huge problem: a survey of 1,500 British women found the majority of garments (not just jeans) are worn as few as seven times."

So there you have it, wear your jeans more often, try not to wash them too often and always opt for organic cotton where you can.

Read the rest of the study here