LOS ANGELES – Denim jeans are ubiquitous, but few wearing them realise they are one of the most wasteful items of clothing to produce – all because fashion dictates that a brand new pair look “worn in”.

And how do clothing manufacturers conjure up those creases, rips and other textural details in that faux-distressed look? They dye and then repeatedly wash and abrade the fabric, with the wash process alone requiring hundreds of litres of water for a single pair of jeans.

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