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How to Convert Your Friends to Raw Denim

If you’re reading this article, you probably get raw denim. You’re so far down the rabbit hole that there’s no saving you or the thousands of dollars you’ve spent and will continue to spend on this strange indigo cult that your friends will never truly understand.

But what if they did? What if they too could see the glories of rope-dyeing and honeycomb fades?

Now there are certain people who are never going to come around. My father, for example, stopped buying jeans in 1973 when they went over ten dollars a pair–something he proudly asserts whenever I try to bring up Momotaro at the dinner table. But many others are ready to join the flock.

Aristotle divides persuasion methods into three categories: logos, pathos, and ethos or logic, credibility, and emotion. So we did that too with arguments for raw denim. Each has their own pros, cons, and target audience. Try these methods to converting your friends at your own risk.

Appeal to Logic


Who this method is for:

The practical, those who view clothing as a commodity instead of as a method of self-expression–basically anyone in a STEM field.

Why this method works:

If you can understand numbers and are a logical person, raw denim provides a pretty great return-on-investment.

What to do:

Wait until they are about to buy new clothes, this is the only time they think about them. Shopping usually happens once or twice a year for this crowd, so you may have to be patient. When this opportunity arises, ask them what they look for when they buy clothing. Their answers will most likely center around durability, value, and versatility. They may mention looking good and comfort, but those are secondary to this breed.

Present them with this hypothetical: what if there was a new type of clothing that you could wear everyday for years without it falling apart and it only looked better and became more comfortable the more you wore it? What would they pay for that–twice as much, three times as much as normal clothing? What if you only had to wash this type of clothing every few months despite wearing it everyday? They may look at you like you’re hawking Cutco knives, but their interest should be piqued.

Now is your chance. Tell them this miracle garment does exist and it is raw denim. Miners used to only have one or two pairs of pants and that denim was originally their fabric of choice for manual labor. Planned obsolescence and trends have made the original hard wearing fabric unpopular, but there are still places they can find it–and prices start as low as 50 bucks. They wouldn’t buy a car with dents in it so why would they buy jeans that are already ripped and washed out?

If they are dubious of how hard wearing raw denim is, point them towards our Fade Fridays, some of which have been going for fifteen years!

Appeal to Credibility


Who this method is for:

The superficial and insecure who succumb easily to peer pressure, people who are slaves to trends, and anyone who uses the term “hashtag” in regular conversation.

Why this method works:

This crowd is easy to convince of anything, they just need to hear it coming from the right mouthpiece.

What to do:

Fairly straightforward; show them pictures of famous people wearing raw denim:


Elijah Wood in APCs


Jason Sudeikis wearing too much Baldwin


Jay-Z in Samurai and what looks like Nudie


Kanye even made his own APC collection

Appeal to Emotion


Who this method is for:

Sentimental folks, people who become emotionally invested in inanimate objects. Y’know, hoarders!

Why this method works:

These people are always looking for another thing upon which they can project their own personality, raw denim presents the perfect vessel.

What to do:

Ask them what’s the first thing they would grab if their house was on fire. Their answer will probably be something sentimental like a childhood toy or a photo album. You’ll have to listen to them talk about whatever trinket means most for a few minutes, but inevitably the conversation will shift to what you would save and your answer, of course, is your jeans.

“Jeans?” They might say, “Isn’t there something more important to you?” Now is your chance, explain that your jeans are like a living journal of the last few years of your life. Guide them through the memories associated with every crease, scuff, and mustard stain on your thoroughly-worn raws.

“Why don’t my jeans do that?” They’ll ask, giving you the perfect segue into the differences between distressed and raw denim. Tell them distressed jeans are jeans created on someone else’s memories, they don’t reflect who you are. Raw denim, on the other hand, starts off as a blank slate and ages based on your actions. Distressed denim is dead but raw denim is alive (or something else equally hammy).

They might need a tissue, but they should be ready to start their raw denim journey.

Try these methods out on your friends and report back with the results!

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