How To Properly Care For Your Denim So It Lasts A Lifetime

Kira Simpson

Whether you love skinny-leg jeans or a perfectly distressed comfy pair – denim is the hardworking staple that forms the foundation of most of our wardrobes.

They’re the pieces we reach for time and time again, and our jeans are durable enough to stand the test of time. But when you consider the average lifespan for a piece of clothing is a mere 2.2 years, it makes you wonder if it’s simply a case of not caring for our clothes properly.

How to care for sustainable denim

Sustainable fashion is all about making our loved clothes last longer. And because we’re all aiming to have our favourite pair of jeans outlive us, here are my best tips to help you properly care for your denim so it lasts a lifetime.

Ethical Sustainable Denim Brands

Find your fit

A good pair of jeans will be with you for life. With so many different fits, sizes and washes of denim, it can be tricky to know what works for you. This might seem obvious, but try on every type of style, and use a fit guide as a baseline to help you work out what will suit you. Finding the perfect pair of jeans means you’ll feel better in them and wear them more often. Nobody Denim has this great fit guide to help you get started.

Wash less often

Help extend the life of your jeans and only wash when needed, usually when they start to smell. The experts at Nudie Jeans recommend washing your jeans no more than every ten wears. Spot clean stains with a damp cloth and soap, and hanging them outside in the sunshine will help keep your denim fresh in between washes.

Wash them gently

To help your favourite pair retain the colour you love, wash in cold water using a gentle detergent. Washing in cold water also saves energy (and money), making it better for your jeans, your wallet and the environment.

Image: Neuw Denim

Ethical Sustainable Denim Brands

Air dry & skip the iron

Now, this is important. Do not put your jeans in the dryer! Hot air causes shrinkage and will cause your favourite pair to fade quicker. Give them a shake, turn them inside out and hang them outside to air dry. Skip the iron, the light creases will smooth out with wear.

Hang, don’t fold

By folding your jeans or scrunching them up and chucking them in the corner, you create creases where you don’t want them to be. Hang your jeans by their loops helps your jeans maintain their natural shape and airs them out after wear.


When you’ve worn your favourite pair almost to death, it’s time for a refresh. Repair rips and tears; they’re easily patched or sewn. And if you want expert care, these Australian sustainable denim brands all offer instore repair services:

  • Nudie Jeans offer free repairs in their Repair Shops and partner stores in Sydney and Melbourne.
  • Dejour Jeans is a Melbourne-based brand known for its custom-fit jeans. They offer alterations and repairs in their Brunswick store.
  • Nobody Denim is another Melbourne-based brand. They don’t offer in-store repairs, but they have partnered with The Denim Doctor, a local denim repair service.

Image: Nobody

Kira Simpson

Kira Simpson is an environmentalist and sustainability expert. She started The Green Hub as a blog in 2015, which has since grown to become one of Australia’s largest education sites dedicated to helping people live a more sustainable lifestyle.