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clean start

Blue Seven Clean Start 2017

Adventures, LocalDusty GilpinComment

Blue Seven is a long-time friend of Tree & Leaf. We've collaborated on a number of projects, products, and events. Local businesses relay on the support of their community, but also the support of other local businesses. We wouldn't get anywhere if we treated small business ownership like a competition. There is an old saying, "A rising tide lifts all boats." It is most commonly referring to economics, but can be applied to all situations. When one of us is doing well, it lifts the community. We should have a drive to support each other in the events, goods, and culture we each produce - it helps us all.

6 years ago, Caleb asked if I would participate in a small project he had called Clean Start. He told me it was to demonstrate how jeans wear over a period of 6 months. Get a pair of jeans, wear them without washing, and see what happens. I'd never worn raw denim before, but figured it was an easy way to not do laundry for 6 months! Every year since then I've participated in Blue Seven's Clean Start Program. Now, it's the only way I break in jeans. The final product is a pair of pants that fits perfectly and has unique signs of distress. Along with a great pair of jeans, they've built a really fun community around the project. The initial group of participants in 2011 was 20 and it has now grown to around 200 participants each year!

Doug's Laundry with it's great signage and classic vibes. A great place for Blue Seven to host it's wash party.

Doug's Laundry with it's great signage and classic vibes. A great place for Blue Seven to host it's wash party.

Every year, they document before and after pictures of the jean wear and tear. The jeans get their first wash in 6 months and then are displayed as apart of a big party hosted by Blue Seven. Last year, I noticed such a change between the appearance before and after the wash, I wanted to make sure to document it this year. Here's some photos of the pair (Railcar Fine Goods 13.75 oz) I've been wearing for 7 months.

Here's what the Railcar Fine Goods 13.75oz  'Spike'  look like before being broken in.

Here's what the Railcar Fine Goods 13.75oz 'Spike' look like before being broken in.

I promise I didn't use any filters or adjust the saturation of either of these photos. The left is my jeans with all the sawdust, paint overspray, and dirt of 7 months worth of wear. The right is hung dry after the first wash. All the areas of wear really pop after the first wash. Notice the color change of the threads of the torn knee. Gross!

I promise I didn't use any filters or adjust the saturation of either of these photos. The left is my jeans with all the sawdust, paint overspray, and dirt of 7 months worth of wear. The right is hung dry after the first wash. All the areas of wear really pop after the first wash. Notice the color change of the threads of the torn knee. Gross!

I wear a pair of construction boots almost everyday. They hold up the bottom of the jeans and create some interesting creases. Every once and a while I accidentally brush agains a can of plastisol ink that's sitting on the floor in my shop.

I wear a pair of construction boots almost everyday. They hold up the bottom of the jeans and create some interesting creases. Every once and a while I accidentally brush agains a can of plastisol ink that's sitting on the floor in my shop.

This is the back of the knee where a lot of scrunching and creasing happens. The indigo in the jeans is slowly worn off as they wear. After the first wash, all those lines get cleaned to a light blue, almost white.

This is the back of the knee where a lot of scrunching and creasing happens. The indigo in the jeans is slowly worn off as they wear. After the first wash, all those lines get cleaned to a light blue, almost white.

Things like wallets, keys, and cellphones, all leave wear marks on the jeans. For me, left pocket cell phone, right pocket wallet. The metal money clip on my wallet just barely wore all the way through.

Things like wallets, keys, and cellphones, all leave wear marks on the jeans. For me, left pocket cell phone, right pocket wallet. The metal money clip on my wallet just barely wore all the way through.

I'm very lucky to have been asked to help design the patch for this year's limited  Clean Start  jeans. Here's what they looked like right after being pressed, and what mine looked like after getting worn in.

I'm very lucky to have been asked to help design the patch for this year's limited Clean Start jeans. Here's what they looked like right after being pressed, and what mine looked like after getting worn in.

I know, It's kinda weird, but it's also really cool! There's a handful of great reasons why breaking in a pair of jeans this way is the best way. You don't have to ask my opinion on it - get the facts from fine denim makers and the Blue Seven crew at the Clean Start Party on May 20th at the newly renovated Sunshine Cleaners building on Classen! Follow Blue Seven on Instagram, Facebook, or at their website to stay filled in on all your denim needs! You can also see other photos from other local denim wearers at #B7CleanStart.