Denim jeans have been around for a long time and have never really gone out of fashion. DIY fashion on the internet is nothing new either. But when these two come together magic happens. I’m talking disrupting the class divide and saving the natural environment kind of magic. Let me explain.
This July we saw Kim Kardashian flaunt reportedly Yeezy denim boots on Instagram. Later we saw her in a denim choker. While she was not the inventor, thanks to her 85 million followers and fashion reporters, these fashion pieces that looked like cut up jeans started trending. Inspired by fellow YouTuber Collette Emily, Shay Cherise (thenuvogue) started creating DIY versions of these Yeezy boots which went viral.
Despite the fact that Kanye publicly announced that he wanted his boots to be accessible to everyone, that’s clearly not the case. If Yeezys ever do make it to South Africa they come in limited edition. Otherwise, if you’re shopping with rands on eBay thigh high Yeezys can cost you more than R23 000. Which is more expensive than their initial price. In Kanye’s words, people could spend that money on their families rather.
So even before the denim thigh high boots are released you probably already know if you won’t afford them, so why not do it yourself right? Since these DIY denim boots trended on Instagram there have been various tutorials on how to make them yourself on YouTube. Some of these YouTubers recycle old jean or boots that would have otherwise been thrown away.
Levi’s research showed that one pair of their 501 jeans required about 3482 litres of water and 400 megajoules of energy to make while releasing 32 kg of carbon dioxide. That’s only one pair. In the countries where jeans are often manufactured rivers turn blue where water is expelled and the land is made sterile from the chemicals used to style particularly distressed jeans. While denim jeans are primarily made out of cotton, the chemicals added to the pieces make it hard for the earth to break down the material once it reaches the end of its life cycle in landfills.
So what can we do to help? Save yourself some money and recycle your denim and other non-biodegradable materials. You can still look trendy while being socially and environmentally conscious.
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