Regularly Ripped Jeans
Do I tell him? I ask myself, my gaze being inevitably drawn towards the rip in my friend’s jeans. I keep quiet for a couple of minutes. Him, noticing my silence, proceeded to ask me what was wrong. And I came out with it: “There’s urm, a rip in your jeans…”. He lets out a groan.
Apparently, that was the third pair of jeans that he’d gone through this month. Yes, he does opt for rather skinny jeans, but you’d have hoped that £40 jeans from a high-street store would have lasted longer than that. Whilst walking to Zara I proposed multiple ways that he could rectify the situation. Those iron on patches used to be fun. Right? I used to purposefully wear-out the elbows of my school jumpers just so that I could be ‘cool’.
“It’s so much easier to buy a new pair” he scolds me. Yes, I am a bit of a Mum and have spent less money on clothes than is surely sustainable; I looked back at photos of me three years ago and I am wearing exactly the same outfit. Tragic. But this throw away attitude rubbed me up the wrong way.
It is so difficult to detach ourselves from the deep-set desire that drives us to keep up with current fashion trends, which allows high-street stores to feed us their take on the catwalk. But this throwaway culture, premised on having multiple of the same item in your wardrobe, is anything but sustainable and, quite frankly very boring.
With over 300,000 tons of clothing being thrown away in the UK alone, my jeans after a hearty Christmas dinner, are not the only thing to be bursting at their seams. And our consumption is still on the rise.
This is where independent designers such as Christopher Raeburn* come in. With aims of reaching a global audience, Raeburn’s focus on sustainability and integrity has opened up a new realm of fashion. His aims are to ultimately reduce the volumes of waste produced by the fashion industry by using surplus materials in his innovative designs, remade in England. Who wouldn’t want a unique repurposed addition to your wardrobe?
I am an advocate for buying few items but that are designed to actually last; think about the organic cotton used in a Stella McCartney basics t-shirt compared to one from Primark. Our skin is our largest organ; our sole focus should not be on organic food, rather organic clothing as well. The material itself is of a much higher quality and do not get me started on the tensile strength of the seams… Yes, these new technologies and a more conscious way of approaching clothing do come at a price but buying a new pair of £40 jeans every few months, does add up. So, instead of getting yet another black t-shirt from Primark, invest in a similar one that has had more love and care go into it along its production line, think about the 3 Rs; Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, or try a bit of upcycling along the way; you never know you might become the next big fashion designer.
Words by Alice Harrison