How to care for your denim

When it comes to denim, knowing how to look after it properly can make all the difference – for you, and the planet. It’s no secret that fashion has a major impact on the environment. It’s why we’ve made small but necessary steps towards sustainability with our jeans manufacturing process. 

Every pair of River Island jeans is now made using responsibly sourced cotton, and will be from here on out. We get our responsibly sourced cotton through our partnership with the Better Cotton Initiative.  The BCI exists to make global cotton production better for the people who produce it, better for the environment it grows in, and better for the sector’s future. 

Caring for jeans in the right way will not only ensure they look better, but they’ll fit better and last longer too – encouraging you to buy less over time. Good for you, and good for the environment – learning to do laundry has never been more appealing! Follow these instructions to extend the lifespan of your denim, and save yourself some hassle in the process.

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To wash or not to wash? It’s a debate that’s rumbled on since the dawn of denim itself. The answer? Wash less.

Our in-house denim experts recommend washing your jeans no more than once every 10 wears in order to maintain the fit and prevent them stretching out. If you can go longer, even better – but maybe give them a dunk before they begin to whiff.

Our top tip? Don’t automatically wash when you get a stain. Instead use a damp cloth or sponge to spot the stain, adding a little soap or washing-up liquid for anything unwilling to budge.

Colder wash cycles by their definition use less energy which is better for the environment (and your monthly bills), but it’s also the best way to maintain colour. That, and washing your jeans inside out.

Using a low temperature machine setting or hand washing with cold water is the only real way to protect against fading and shrinkage. Let’s keep your favourite black and indigo pairs looking their best shall we?

If you don’t know, get to know – tumble driers wreak havoc on your clothes and denim is no exception. They’re packed full of lint – the build-up of fibres left over from all the clothes of tumbles past – which can break down your jeans over time. They’re also one of the biggest culprits for shrinkage. 

So instead, we recommend drying your jeans al fresco on a washing line so they can enjoy the benefits of fresh air all whilst reducing fading and fabric warping.