Jeans have been a staple in world fashion for years and years at this point, so it’s hard to imagine a world without them. Everyone has a favorite pair, and the formula for making jeans is surprisingly simple. In 1873, Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss started dying denim clothing with indigo, sewing it up into pants, and adding the trademark rivets. Rivets are what make jeans stand out, but plenty of people have no idea how important they actually are.
Rivets are certainly not the most impressive or beautiful part of a nice pair of jeans. The golden stitching, the rich, blue indigo color, the 5-pocket design – it all comes together into what we today call, “jeans.”
This might not have been the case, had Levi and Jacob not added rivets to the pants while developing their prototypes. They wanted to create the perfect work pants, and rivets became the most important part of that equation.
When they chose denim, a tough, resistant fabric to craft their perfect pants, these two innovative tailors had no idea that their new pants would become the most common pants in the entire world. They were simply looking for something that could stand up to days of abuse on a farm, or in a factory.
Jacob Davis was the one who actually discovered just how amazing rivets could be if incorporated into the pants. He tacked on these tiny buttons along the top of seams that seemed to split often.
This small addition completely changed history. The rivets, to this day, ensure that the crucial areas of your jeans will remain stitched together, no matter what!
These days, every aspect of fashion is built around the idea of being easily replaceable. Designs change not only year over year, but season over season. In order to keep up, you need to be buying clothing almost every month.
This has led to an entirely unsustainable industry where H&M is literally forced to burn their clothes because they can’t sell them fast enough. Inventory comes in and is instantly put on sale because it’s already “old stock” on day 1. It doesn’t need to be this way though, and embracing denim is step 1 to a better, more sustainable future in fashion.
Jeans go against this entire mentality. They are built to last from materials all the way through to the pattern and style. Modern jeans have incorporated stretch into them, making them more comfortable than ever. But they are still tough as nails and longer lasting than any other type of pants on the market, all because of a simple choice made all those years ago.
Jeans have long departed their workwear roots into mainstream culture, but they haven’t shed the trademark rivets. If a design choice lasts over 150 years, chances are the designer was onto something amazing! You can find people wearing jeans in every sector of society, and they have become something that connects the richest and the poorest among us.
Do you have a favorite pair of jeans? Share with all of us in the comments below!