We’ve built them the cleanest way we can, but the rest is up to you. Remember these rules to make your Barkers Eco Denim last longer, and keep them looking as good as they did on the day you bought them.
The number-one rule: Wash Less
Good news for all the guys who hate doing laundry is that jeans do not (and should not) be washed often. The less frequently your denim touches the water, the longer it will last. While this might scare the clean freak in some of you, it’s a sure-fire way to keep the colour rich all while adding a certain je ne sais quoi to your favourite pair of eco denim.
So how often do I need to wash them?
One of the biggest (and dirtiest) pieces of misinformation is that you shouldn’t wash your jeans ever. However well-intentioned this advice may be, it’s cringe-worthy for a large percentage of us. That said, you do not need to wash your denim after every wear the same as you would with your jocks.
If you’re on the neater end of the cleanliness spectrum, washing your jeans every two to three months, or every 10 wears (depending on how often you’re wearing them and what you’re doing) is a safe guideline.
How do I go about washing my jeans?
Hand washing or gentle machine washing both get the thumbs up – as long as the water is cold. Close all the zips and button, keep them inside out, and use a mild detergent to preserve the colour.
For handwashing, full a near by bucket with cold water and use your mild detergent of choice (we’re a big fan of the Flash! Solid Laundry Bar & Stain Remover by Ethique), and let your denim soak for no longer than an hour, agitating them by hand every 15 minutes or so. Rinse them off with clean, cold water to remove any soapy residue.
When machine washing, opt for the gentle cold wash, and if the option is there, skip the spin cycle.
Burrito style wrap your freshly washed jeans in a clean town to absorb all the excess water, then let them lay flat in a space with good airflow, and not too much sun light.
If they don’t need a full wash but your denim has picked up the odd lunch stain or two, best to use a damp cloth or toothbrush with your favorite mild detergent to remove small stains between washes.
Bacteria does weaken cotton fibres and can speed up the wear and tear of the denim. Pop your jeans into a zip lock bag and put them in the freezer for a couple of days – the sub-zero temperature kills any bacteria to freshen your jeans up nicely. Just hanging your denim in the fresh air also works wonders for any odours.
A favourable alternative to folding and squishing them into the trouser draw, if you’re sporting the same pair of selvedge straights every day, try hanging them on a ladder or trouser rack overnight. This will let your favourite denim breathe between wears, and prevent some creasing.
Wear and repair
Fading and repairs are part of the denim language (the dreaded crotch blow out is a very real thing). There’s no other fabric that gets universally so much more love when it’s worn. You won’t see 2020 polyester pants on auction in 100 years, but century-old jeans are a hot commodity.
With any cotton garment, rips, tears and holes are a matter of when rather than if – it’s a feature of natural fabric which we’ve all experienced. Instead of parting with your jeans, repair rips and tears; they’re easily patched or sewn.
- Let your new denim stay centre stage and wash it on it’s own! Don’t wash your jeans with anything you don’t intend to dye blue!
- While our denim has been sanforized to reduce shrinkage considerably and has had a light rinse wash to soften them and remove some excess dye, indigo dye will literally transfer onto any surface it comes into contact with. Keep that in mind when you’re pairing a white tee and sneakers with your newly adopted selvedge.
A good pair of jeans is — or at least, should be — a staple in every man’s wardrobe. From tapered and wide-leg to skinnies and selvedge, there are a ton of styles on our shelves to suit every shape and size. That said, when you buy a good pair, you basically want it to last forever.