Jeans are one of the most popular pairs of pants in the world, with the iconic indigo blue dye and numerous style options driving their popularity. As environmentalists, many of us also turn a kind eye to these hard wearing pants because they are durable and are usually made from natural fibers.
It turns out though, the natural cotton fibers from jeans are making their way everywhere that synthetic fibers are–and it’s not clear how fast these fibers will degrade.
This is a concern for the environment because human liter through these tiny particles are nearly impossible to clean up once they enter the environment.
Accordian to an article published in Smithsonian Magazine, blue jean fibers have been found all the way in the arctic.
What can we do?
Actually, the simplest solution will save you money, time, and your jeans too. You simply shouldn’t wash them so much. Chances are if you are like most people, you wash them after every single use, or at most two uses before washing them.
According to leading experts in the industry, you should wash your jeans as little as possible. Levi’s CEO Chip Bergh never washes his jeans. Other experts, such as Mary Gagliardi, recommend letting the Denim be your guide and only washing them if they are smelly or stained.
These thoughts are echoed by several other experts from leading clothing companies interviewed by the Chicago Sun. The general consensis is to wash them as little as possible, even as little as every 6 months if you generally don’t get into dirty situations, and to use a cold wash and hang dry when you do.
One other step
Not washing your jeans isn’t the only thing you can do to stop your fibers from floating to Antarctica. You can also limit how many fibers are getting into the air by purchasing a filter for your washing machine that removes these fibers from getting into the water stream in the first place.
Line drying your clothing instead of tumble drying can also help. Researchers found both Cora Balls and Lint Luv-R filters worked equally well. (These are unaffiliated links, so don’t worry about clicking them to support the website. 🙂 Thanks though!)