30 Jeans in 30 Days is an experiment in upcycled denim, drawing inspiration from Martino Gamper’s 100 Chairs in 100 Days. After locally sourcing over 70 pairs of used jeans, they were deconstructed in isolation over the course of the January lockdown in London.

Many of the resulting designs unintentionally celebrate the context of the original jeans, capitalizing on their wear patterns and whiskering that are spontaneously arranged. Despite their ubiquity, jeans can take on many new lives and can precisely represent the beliefs and lifestyle of the wearer. This project reassesses what is considered valuable in a pair of jeans and appreciate garments beyond their intended lifespan.

My love of jeans comes from their cultural significance and almost poetic symbolism. In my childhood, I heard many stories from family about the excitement surrounding jeans in communist-era Poland. They symbolised youth empowerment and a hope of reunification with the West. Very few garments possess
literal political power, which is one of many reasons I find jeans to be exciting.

1 / 30


These jeans were the very first pair I made. I had them in mind for quite a long time and hesitated on making them. They are still my favourite pair in the project because they’re a relatively classic cut with a single deviation from the traditional structure of jeans.

Upcycled a pair of dark indigo denim from M&S 100% cotton denim, and some scraps for the pockets using leftover denim from a
previous project.

2 / 30


These jeans separate into 2 and provide a bit of modularity for the wearer. I did a small preview of how the jeans can be scrunched to create a different silhouette. I think this pair, along with 1/30, 3/30 and be grouped together as deviations from a traditional cut of denim. Normally you’d have a button for the waistband, and traditionally along the fly (usually concealed). I exposed the button fly and applied them along the exterior seams. Design wise, it was interesting to draft and to calculate plackets and their effect on the comfort of the jeans.

Upcycled from Levi’s 501 in an indigo wash and an unmarked men’s sample jean I found at a charity shop in a similar wash.

3 / 30


Inspired by a Mugler outfit from the 80’s, a black eveningwear ensemble that was very chic. I thought it would be funny to combine them with a cropped mom jean cut in a lighter wash and this is the result. Both sexy and distasteful.

Back yoke is curved to follow the line of the waistband, bisecting the back pockets to create a shape that feels interrupted. I used yellow-gold top stitching to create a more comical stitching effect.

4 / 30


Well. This is my least favourite pair. Pretty unsuccessful because you can’t really guage how thick and stuff they are from the photos. I used deadstock wadding left over from my MA pre-collection and essentially lines a pair of jeans I made 3 sizes bigger than my own.

Not every pair is a hit, but worth showing every pair in the process anyway.

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Found a pair of mens Levi’s 501 in size 44 and knew it would be the perfect opportunity to create a wrap from a single rectangular piece of fabric.

The jeans required a surprising amount of alteration to remove the shaping in the original pattern. In the end, I wanted to jeans to lay flat once  unfolded.

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I found a Gucci reference from 1998, with a hip cut-out that exposed a thong. It was very chic and mysterious, which i thought would be gorgeous when combined with some dad jorts.

The cut-out is placed directly onto the shorts, without manipulating the structure beneath it, which you can see when the cut-out interrupts the left pocket it’s placed on. My process involves happy accidents and the placement of the fading from the back pockets of the used pair these are cut from is one of those instances.

The beginning of a short series on circles.

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At this point in the project I wanted to experiment with shape and larger volumes more. Unfrotunately when working with upcycled denim, you’re limited to what is available, especially the widths of the used jeans.

I thought a perfect circle would be a nice shape to wear and sew, and by cropping it I could ensure it would maintain the same diameter all the way around, including the opening for the waist.

Upcycled from 2 pairs of medium indigo jeans. One was a mens Levi’s 505, the other a pair of “Easy Jeans” fit 1972-03.

8 / 30


Elaborating on 6/30, I placed a circular opening on each ass cheek and integrated it into the waistband. I decided for balance to leave the front relatively simple and created really rounded pocket openings. They are meant to seem really unsuspecting from the front.

9 / 30


Based on the artwork of Franz Erhard Walther, entitled Den Korper hinzu, 1983. The jeans separate into 5 pieces; 2 fronts, 2 backs, and a waistband. All assemble using small ties (constructed like belt loops) into the jeans pictured.

Upcycled from 2 pairs of beige, regular fit Lee jeans.

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The next few jeans are a small series on decontextualization. I found some items on Marketplace that were in my neighbourhood and decided to combine them with jeans. While it’s not groundbreaking to design garments incorporating objects, it’s a bit more uncommon with jeans. Since jeans rely on comfort, durability and utility, reimagining them into an impractical form is more unusual.

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Continuing on decontextualizing. Referencing Dries Van Noten menswear collection from 2002(?), I replaced the nylon on the kite with patchworked denim and reused the poles, strings and encasings for the frame of the kite.

12 / 30


Originally I meant to make stuffed animals, but considering the time limits I had, I switch to stuffed flowers. I’m happy with the outcome, they’re fun and whimsical.

I experimented with a longer back yoke and reused the back pockets of the original used jeans these were upcycled from. Through out the project. I found that the pockets are more flattering if they are graded in relation to the size of the jeans.

This pair was made from a pair of mens Lee jeans in an indigo wash and a pair of Topshop jeans in a straight cut.

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This is the second pair in the collection that I don’t find particularily successful. They are over designed and I attempted to fix them so they were remade 3 times. I started with a strong base and initially had a pocket with the intention that the jeans could fold into a cube into themselves. The denim was way too thick to fit into the pocket, so then I decided to . In the end, I added waistbands and zipper flys to the hem of the jeans and flipped the back pockets. In hindsight, they are over designed.

Upcycled from a pair of light wash Roxy jeans from the mid-2000’s, and a pair of light wash GAP straight leg jeans.

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During my MA I made 2 pairs of blue jeans with a shifted side seam and I wanted to recreate them for the project but cover them in a hand drawn pattern.Using Sharpie’s and a couple Posca pens I drew a composition of the proletariat based on 70s Communist-era posters. The drawing style is the same one that I started to explore with my MA collection.

This pair was made from 1 beige and 1/2 a pair of gray Lee jeans in a straight cut.

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One of the classic methods of upcycling and reusing denim, patchworking is coming back into fashion and I decided to create a pair in my own style. I’m usually not fond of patchworking because I prefer a cleaner look for my jeans, but I’ve noticed that a feeling of deconstruction is something gaining wider appreciation.

This pair uses scrap leftover from the previous pairs of jeans in this collection, different embroidery options on my domestic machine with coloured topstitching thread, which I tied together by drawing somewhat sparingly on the surface. The front has double pockets and a shifted seam, meanwhile the back has an interrupted yoke on a steep angle.

The “base” of the jeans is upcycled from a pair of mens Levi’s 501 in a very light wash, and a pair of grey/blue light wash jeans from Wrangler.

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A slightly simpler design. I almost always cuff my jeans and decided to make the cuff and the action of cuffing your jeans more extreme. The drawing on the pocket is a reference to the illustrations often printed on the front pocketbags from the interior, often featured on classic cuts of Lee, Levi’s, and Wrangler jeans.

I got really lucky and found a pair of lightly used selvage jeans from Lee, which make up the cuff, with a hidden seam at the hem connecting to the main part of the jeans upcycled from M&S jeans.

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I used a domestic iron to attempt to press pleats into the denim. These are made from a single pair of light wash Levi’s 505, split at the side seams to make it easier to pleat. There’s an elastic along the waistband interior for support.

I wish the pleats were a little smaller, but pressing these by hand at home was already a challenge.

18 / 30


At this point in the process there were days where designing something became a challenge. I thought of this pair after a gesture I saw someone make putting their hands in their pockets, combined with seeing all the gloves because of the pandemic. They are meant to be lightly cheeky, but I mostly wanted to merge the back yoke to the side seam. It’s a small detail I thought might be a cool element to use in the future.

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Pretty simple pair. I put the front of a pair of Levi’s with the front of a pair of jeans from a brand I’m unfamiliar with. I cut them above the knee and flipped them so that from the side you would get a but of a checkerboard view.

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I found some great references during my MA for sport shooting uniforms which are colour blocked in unexpected ways. Obviously for sport the arrangement of the seaming and patches have a particular purpose but I recreated them in denim using the more colourful pairs I had found as a casual interpretation.

Upcycled from a pair of black Topshop boyfriend jeans, Lee jeans in a light beige and another pair in medium grey. There was a bit of scrap left from these used in other pairs.

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The premise for this design was based on intertwining or entanglement. I thought to have clearer lines between the two entangled panels was to make them different colours and unite them using contrast stitching matching the other colour (navy on beige, beige on navy). I also shifted the fly onto a severe angle, intertwining back pockets, assymetric front pockets to frame the shifted fly front, and a very deep yoke in the centre back.

Upcycled from a pair of beige Lee jeans, and a medium indigo Levi’s 501 in a size 42.

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You can tie up a t-shirt, but why not a pair of jeans? The leg has an opening that splits into two narrower points which allow the wearer to tie them together, as if trying to protect them from touching the ground. Low-rise, with a “tied-off” pocket in the back. Not too bad in the photos but in person it feels unnecessary.

Upcycled from a single pair of Carhartt mens carpenter style jeans, which you can see the fading from the pockets on the back panels. I think they were previously owned by a painter because there were a number of white paint stains.

23 / 30


These jeans are a combination of a few design details I wanted to try. There was a hip-hop influence on the front pocket which is lowered and has a wide pocket facing. The line of the front pocket then extends to a sharp corner that was another shape I wanted to explore after 7/30 (circle). The corners have button holes to lace through with a long belt loop to allow the sides to fold in. There was a bit of a Japanese tailoring influence on that feature. They’re a low-rise and taper toward the ankle.

Used 2 pairs of Lee jeans, in similar beige-ish tones.

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Roughly wanted to create jeans with a very enlarged waistband that can be tied to have an eveningwear feeling. I used 2 pairs of a very light wash of Levi’s 505 jeans, one of which stayed intact and the other was deconstructed to create the new waistband.

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Again, with this pair I wanted to experiment with two ideas. The first was a minimal fly and waistband, using a single line of stitching to communicate their shapes. The second was a lot of volume along the bottom with a wire sewn into the hem to be able to manipulate the shape. Unfortunately, the weight of the denim didn’t allow the wire to maintain any shape other than random waves, which turned out to look okay. The bottom portion of the jeans use a few pairs of denim below 8oz with stretch, which throws off the wire and heavier panels.

Made from a pair of light blue Lee jeans, a pair from brand “Denzien”, a pair of Zara cotton jeans, and one from M&S.

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I only created one pair of shorts at this point, so I wanted to create one more pair with a bit of volume. I found a chacha skirt in combination with Daisy Duke’s would compliment eachother and serve as a design style I hadn’t really explored yet. Just fun, cheeky, superficially feminine.

Upcycled from 2 pairs of light wash Levi’s 505.

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The last 4 pairs in the collection capitalize on the ‘waste’ leftover from producing the previous 26 pairs. This particular one is created using strips from the legs in alternating washes. I decided not to incorporate any fly, waistband or pockets so the patchworking is the focal point.

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The method I used to disassemble the jeans left me with a number of pocketbags with intact facings. I kept the seam on the pocket edge and restitched them onto rectangular panels. Mixing the denim washes and colours created a neat patchworking effect.

Can also be worn inside out to expose the pocketbags.

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Again, the method used to deconstruct the used jeans left me with many seams. Using a wash-away fusing to bind them together, they were arranged and then stitched together. I used an exposed zipper as the fly because I was unable to sew through the seams which were at times 4 layers of denim. So, I used a more minimal approach, and created a low- rise, wide leg silhouette.

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For this final pair, I hand stitched the leftover waistbands and created a pair of only waistband jeans. I left the original labels on the back as a recognition of the upcycling process and the capacity of second-hand jeans to create new value.