Denim is a part of everyday life for most people, and shoppers prefer to go places where they can wear jeans (78 percent), and when they’re looking to buy a new pair, the top priorities are fit (75 percent), comfort (70 percent) and looking good (65 percent). The ability to wear jeans most anywhere combined with the comfort factor has led to the average shopper owning six pairs of jeans.
Maintaining this steady denim wardrobe means folks are disposing of their old pairs regularly. Even though they may be out of style, worn out or no longer fit, the Monitor finds 44 percent of people donate their jeans to charity. Others give them away or keep them (both 13 percent) or reuse them in a different way (10 percent). But 14 percent just throw them away.
Even though denim is all or mostly cotton, a highly biodegradable natural fiber that decomposes relatively quickly, from within one week to five months. Consumers care about their denim in a way they don’t seem to care about most other apparel products. So they want to see that it continues to have a value, it continues to have a life after they’re done with it. Retailers and brands have also gotten in on the recycling effort.