Photo: Getty

When it comes to denim, knowing how to look after it properly can go a long way.

With increasing awareness of fashion’s detrimental impact on the environment, making your clothes last longer – therefore, encouraging you to buy less – has never been more appealing.

Zahra Ahmed, CEO at denim label DL1961 – otherwise known as the “queen of jeans”– revealed how we can make sure our favourite pair lasts longer.

Related article: Are Your Jeans Creating An Eco Disaster?

“One of the most popular questions we get as a denim brand is how to care for it,” she told us. “Sustainable decision-making starts with questioning the status quo; once you question the idea that this is how something is done, you are able to adapt to your specific needs.”

DL1961 is a sustainable denim brand that creates jeans that are ethically sourced, and crafted from premium cotton and water-efficient botanic fibres.

Last year, the brand saved approximately 50 million gallons of water through its on-site recycling plant and by using more efficient machinery.

Aylin Koenig
Photo: Getty

So, when it comes to washing your jeans, Ahmed advises:”It may not be appropriate for you to use standard washing machine cycles.”

“For denim, it’s always important to follow the care instructions on the jean, but these basic principles apply: use a cold wash to preserve the nature of the fibres, turn inside out to prevent colour fading, and avoid tumble drying to minimise heat shrinkage.”

She added: “Spot treat stains as you see fit and use quick-wash cycles rather than longer washes when you can.”

Related article: These Are The Jeans Royals Love

Ahmed also suggests caring for your denim in a way that’s both energy- and water-efficient, by limiting your clothes to a certain number of wash cycles rather than repeatedly washing every time you wear them.

“I’m sometimes sceptical of how much time people spend reading the care labels on jeans,” she explained. “You should stay away from doing frequent washes of all your clothes – it’s just about being more mindful.”

Tiany Kiriloff
Photo: Getty

If you’ve decided that you’ve had your fill of a certain pair, think about how you can pass on your old denim in a way that doesn’t harm the planet.

Recycling points, clothing banks or charity shops are all great solutions for tired denim which won’t hurt the environment, unlike just throwing them away which means they end up in landfill. If you have a premium pair, designer resale sites are another option.

Related article: Elsa Hosk Designed A New Sustainable Collection With J Brand And We Want It All

But, before you ditch them, consider giving your jeans a new lease of life, suggests Ahmed. It’s a great reason to get creative – plus, denim can actually improve in both appearance and feel the more it’s worn.

“The process doesn’t end with us as a brand, it ends with you,” Ahmed concludes.

This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR UK.