December 13, 2014

One Pair of Jeans.

So.... problem.

I own two pairs of jeans. One is a completely ripped up pair of jeans only appropriate for the summer months. The other is a pair of black skinny jeans that I bought secondhand and love to pieces, literally. I wear them just about every day. Four days ago I was putting them on in a frenzy to run out the door and the crotch ripped. NOOOOOOOOOOO. Besides being totally devastated that my favorite pair of jeans ripped, I was bottomless except for my one pair of leggings that I typically only wear at night and my summer jeans.

Back to the problem though. No jeans, huge hole (as you can see above), and a minor panic attack. Number one I am not in a place financially to buy a new pair of jeans. Number two, I can sew but I have never put a patch in anything and didn't want to do any more damage, so I walked- erm- ran my jeans to a local tailor in Brooklyn and asked if they could patch my jeans. THEY COULD! It was only 15 dollars which is a bargain compared to the money I would have spent buying a new secondhand pair of jeans and the time and frustration it takes to try them on. I really hate trying on jeans. So for the past few days I have been wearing my night leggings but now I finally have my jeans back!
I just picked them up and they are totally fixed, it cost me much less than buying a new pair of jeans, and I'm incredibly happy! It is easy to think that if an article of clothing rips it is "dead". But this just goes to prove that even something like a pair of jeans that seems irreparable can be made almost like new!


71 comments:

  1. (ummm, not sure if I already submitted this, but the commenting system is kinda strange...)

    So, you discovered ... - repairs?

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    Replies
    1. You would think everyone would know to repair their jeans, but that is not true at all. Some people would just throw them out if they had a hole not knowing that jeans can be repaired.

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    2. At this very moment, I am watching the episode of "Tiny House Nation", of your own build. This is where I am just now hearing about you. As to the topic at hand - "ripped jeans", I will play devil's advocate. Repairing is almost always better. Paying for repairs at at a higher premium than buying jeans at the Goodwill, Salvation Army, or Savers, not good. Time constraints could be a factor, I realize. I have taken a couple of hours or less, with list in hand, have left with such high quality goods. The list is important. If you do not have a list and stick to it, the temptation to bring home so many great things is irresistible.

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    3. At this very moment, I am watching the episode of "Tiny House Nation", of your own build. This is where I am just now hearing about you. As to the topic at hand - "ripped jeans", I will play devil's advocate. Repairing is almost always better. Paying for repairs at at a higher premium than buying jeans at the Goodwill, Salvation Army, or Savers, not good. Time constraints could be a factor, I realize. I have taken a couple of hours or less, with list in hand, have left with such high quality goods. The list is important. If you do not have a list and stick to it, the temptation to bring home so many great things is irresistible.

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  2. I have a Seamstress that I use. I can do minor repairs, but anything major I take to her. She is amazing and so inexpensive!

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  3. do you only have 2 of everything? i'm thinking of downsizing to that myself.

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    Replies
    1. I have 2 pairs of jeans, but some things I only have one of. It just depends on the item.

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  4. Hello , my name is Gabriel and I'm from Brazil . I just saw your article in the " Fantastic" . I really enjoyed your initiative !

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  5. Hey, I'm Débora, I'm from Brazil and I also saw your article on "Fantástico"! That's such a good initiative, congrats.

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  6. Hi, I'm from Brazil. I've seen your article on "Fantástico" and your incredible initiative has inspired me to do the same. Maybe it'll be difficult but I'll try it! Congratulations!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Talita - i'm glad you liked the article! :)

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  7. Hello, I'm also from Brazil and I also saw your interview on tv! I just wanted to say that you're a great inspiration for anyone who wants to leave a positive mark on the planet. I will definitely start following your tips and making my own toothpaste and other products! :)

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  8. Hi, I'm from Brazil and ehre you are getting pretty popular, because of a TV show with a great audience. But before it was on TV, I published an article about you on my blog:
    http://noticias-alternativas.blogspot.com.br/2014/12/conheca-vida-de-lauren-singer-ela-nao.html
    But I haven't see you on TV like that, and you are ... gorgeous!
    Im in love haha

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for writing about me and for the wonderful compliment :) It means a lot to me!!

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  9. Where are you shopping that second-time around jeans are more than $15? St. Vincent de Paul has jeans in the $3-$5 range.

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    Replies
    1. The store I like to go to pre-selects all of their styles. They have jeans in the style that I like which is important because I am really particular about the jeans I wear and I don't like to try on jeans at the store, so it is nice to have them pre-selected.

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  10. Haha thanks for sharing, but I can find secondhand jeans for less than $15 at any thrift shop and $15 to repair a tear seems high to me. I would rather repair them myself OR repurpose the old jeans and buy another pair secondhand to wear.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Nicole - thank you for your comment. I am very particular about the jeans I wear and finding one at a donation thrift shop would be more difficult than paying a little bit more and going to a store where they pre-select their clothing based on the style/cut of the jeans. To me, not having to try on a billion pairs of jeans is worth the bit of extra money. I also don't know how to sew in a patch and also don't have the time to learn right now- Fortunately- I know and trust the tailor that I went to, so I was happy to pay $15 for a pair of jeans that is now like new :)

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  11. Lauren, I saw you on Fantástico too! Congratulations! You are an example and your part in the show was really nice! I never watch tv, but I was lucky in the last Sunday! Thanks for being you! Ahm, and you are really beautiful and natural! Awesome! I will read your blog though... Bye Singer!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for watching and for the amazing compliments :) So nice!

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  12. I taught myself how to darn a couple of years ago and just darned my first jeans crotch! It is holding up so well! And the cotton I used is so nice and soft. Going to make these jeans last forever!

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    Replies
    1. I have never heard of darning before - it is so cool! Thank you for telling me :)

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  13. Hello Lauren,
    just discovered your blog and got immediately encouraged to minimize my trash footprint, too. I am a 23 year-old girl and you really impress me. Thank you for sharing your ideas with us.

    One tip: One does not always have to wash one´s trouser. Sometimes it can help to put the jeans for some hours into the freezer. That saves water and washing agent as well.

    Greetings from Germany,
    Narin

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    Replies
    1. Hi Narin,

      Thank you so much for your comment! I have never put my jeans in the freezer - i'll try it, thanks! :)

      Lauren

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  14. I discovered your blog today. It's amazing. I would like if you can give us some tips for the parents with kids. I am getting around my house to see how many plastic things I have but.... what we can do with hand lotion, moisturizer, make up?

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    Replies
    1. I recommend making them yourself. I will be putting up a lot of my recipes soon - so stay tuned :)

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  15. Maybe you should consider moving if you can't buy new jeans for less than $15. There are a LOT of places in this country you can buy new jeans for $9.95 - $12.95. Not designer, but sturdy.

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  16. Love your site that I just stumbled across this morning. Love any tips on saving any extra money and saving the environment as well. But the jeans thing...I can completely understand loving a clothing article and wanting to save it, but to spend $15 for someone to fix a pair of jeans? I'm really wondering how much a used pair of jeans were? We have Goodwill stores all around Ohio where you can fine jeans for under $5. Are these perhaps designer jeans that you had found at a resale shop? Just very curious how much they cost in the first place. But glad that you are happy to have them back and in "wearing" condition. :)

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    Replies
    1. They were from a higher end secondhand shop - so originally they were very high end jeans and cost me about $20.00. Compared to what they probably were originally, i'm happy :)

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  17. Next time, you could always try layering your leggings under your "summer" jeans. That would buy you some time until you could either repair or replace the black ones.

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  18. Do you have a particular style of jeans you only wear or something? Cause I can find plenty of jeans at thrift stores (salvation army, local stores, goodwill, etc) for $5 or less. I've also bought new jeans at department stores (macys) on sale for $15 or less.

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    1. I can definitely find jeans for cheaper - but I am very particular about the style that I like - so to find a pair that i'm in love with and will want to wear every day i'm happy to pay $20-$25 as opposed to not loving a pair I buy for cheaper. I am very, very selective.

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  19. I enjoy reading posts like this and also all the comments. It's interesting to see how people differ in their values even within this waste-consious community. Lots of people think that cost is the most important part of what you mentioned. I think keeping your jeans out of the landfill and avoiding the need to consume another pair could mean more than $15.

    Since decreasing the amount of pants we own, my husband and I have encountered this crotch rip and thinning problem. I wasn't sure it was a good idea for us to repair the crotch area, because I didn't want to call attention to that area. I have patched other areas and like how that looks. I like hearing that you think it's OK to have a patch there and will think about that next time. I'm not sure how it would work for thinning though. I noticed that my favorite pair of jeans was see through when I held them up to the light at the crotch this autumn.

    Time for some new ones, I thought, before I have an embarrassing moment away from home. It was a process to figure out how to be satisfied with what was on offer. I understand your devotion to the curated collection and certainly don't think the price is too high. It's more about the principle of buying used to me.

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  20. I guess I'm older than most of your commenters, because when I was in high school, even junior high (middle school), it was very popular to sew your own clothing, and many of us (girls) took great pride in our sewing. I don't make clothing any more, but knowing this skill makes repairing easy. I think EVERYONE should know how to sew a button and patch things. Darning is not so hard either. I have saved many many pairs of socks for additional wear this way. In general, as much as I am in favor of women's equality, I don't think anyone should feel that domestic chores are degrading or "not for me." That just makes you dependent, and makes you need to spend a lot of money you could save by not having those skills. Of course, many people don't have the time, but it is an investment in the planet too. So what if it takes some time? As for the charge to repair, in some places $15 would be very little, and in others a lot. Anyway, if you learn to do it yourself, it costs just the time and materials (needle and thread?), so hello? Get some skills, you smart young people. And while you're at it, learn to grow a seed. You never know when you might need to grow some lettuce or beans.... Someone was looking at my watercolor of clothing hanging on an outdoor line, entitled "Green Energy" and he asked me,
    "Are those your clothes hanging? You don't do that, do you?" but yes, they were my family's clothes. Just on principle, I love to hang my clothes outside in the summer. I have a backyard where they are not hanging in everyone's sight. It saves a lot of electricity, uses the sun and wind (free), and the clothes smell so sweet, I hate to go back to my dryer when it gets too cold or snowy. It does take time, so that's a luxury, but just think about it. Simple tasks that used to be taken for granted, but are now special skills?

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  21. I don't know what the problem is with paying 15 $ for repairing jeans. It is such an ok price.

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  22. Great blog with lots of useful tips. Wishing you the best!

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  23. I really love this blog. It's inspires me to not only to treat my body healthier, but also the environment that surrounds me. Thank you.

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  24. Off subject (and maybe too personal!) but what about bras and panties? These are a couple of items I can't imagine buying secondhand. Can you suggest a company? Thanks and I enjoy your blog!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Stephanie - not too personal at all (no such thing for me haha) I buy 100% organic cotton underwear from Pact - they are really good about packaging http://www.wearpact.com and their underwear is really comfy! As far as bras- I haven't purchased a new one in YEARS actually a friend of mine recently gave me a bra that I looove because it didn't fit her - and I have been using that. If you had wash bras and air dry them they should last a really long time and you won't need to buy them often. You could always buy one secondhand - at my local secondhand shop in Brooklyn, they have an amazing selection of really expensive (but now cheap) bras- wash 'em and you're good to go!

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  25. Reusing everything will be the best way to protect our nature from disaster, nice to see this kind of post. thanks for this info.

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  26. Lauren, you are unbelievable, congratulations!!!

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  27. Nudie jeans repair all their jeans in stores for free! It's so good and such a lovely sustainable idea. They also recycle jeans once unrepairable - so even if you found a pair second hand they would repair them for you:)

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  28. I would love to see a post where you chronicle your capsule wardrobe and accessories! :) I have a small wardrobe, but I know I could pare down more.

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  29. Um...Goodwill and other similar thrift shops sell jeans for under $10, and yard sales often sell them for $2!

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  30. I only own two pairs of jeans. They are both classic/timeless styles made with quality fabric and are in great condition, bought for 10-20$ at H&M maybe 5 years ago, and that was only because my older jeans didn't fit due to weight loss. I generally wash them inside out and hang dry (dryers are a waste and cause extreme needless wear on fabrics), and they usually only get washed once or twice a month. While not all of their clothes are high quality, I find it pretty easy to find classic, well made staples without a ton of fake materials (cotton vs synthetics) at H&M that last forever and never need more than the rare seam re-sewed due to a loose thread. I love their organic cotton tanks, because they are like ten bucks and in ~8 years I haven't had to replace any of mine. Not all fashion need be expensive or wasteful, and it's a totally viable option to retire/repurpose a badly damaged pair and replace it for the same cost as a tailor's repair.

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  32. Hi Lauren!

    What do you recommend for items that are beyond repair? I have a couple of things that are totally worn out or have stains I can't remove. I hate to throw them away, but they are definitely not in a condition to donate.

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