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

Kira Simpson

In partnership with Levis

Whether you love a skinny leg, a cropped style, or a perfectly distressed pair – denim is the hardworking staple that forms the foundation of every wardrobe. 

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 estimated at just 2.2 years, it makes you wonder if it’s simply a case of not caring for our clothes properly.

Sustainable fashion is all about making our loved clothes last longer. And because we’re all aiming to have our Levi’s 501s outlive us, here are some tips to help you care for your denim.

how tot care for your denim jeans
how tot care for your denim jeans

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.

Wash less often

Help extend the life of your jeans and only wash when needed, usually when they start to smell. Levi’s recommends 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 keep 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.

how tot care for your denim jeans
how tot care for your denim jeans
how tot care for your denim jeans

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, Levis tailors can alter, hem, repair and customise any Levi’s® product. And if you’re in Melbourne, they can also customise your jeans to any style you want at the Melbourne Central Taylor Shop.

Kira Simpson

Kira Simpson is an environmentalist and sustainability educator. She started The Green Hub in 2015 and has since grown to become one of Australia’s largest education platforms dedicated to helping people live a more sustainable life, talking about the big environmental issues like climate change, plastic pollution, and fast fashion – showing people how they can have an impact through their own small daily actions and how to be part of the bigger environmental movement.