The Clean Start Project was born out of Blue 7, a retail store with a serious love for denim. Their 9,000 square foot space has become a fixture in the OKC scene, boasting a room dedicated to locally crafted goods, another specifically for denim, and a space for everything else in between. It's in this mecca of swagger where its creators decided to celebrate the progressive deconstruction of raw denim in a big way.    The concept for this project was simple: get a pair of raw denim, wear them at least six times a week, wash seven months later, and display the final product for the world to see. People from all walks of life banded together to set this year’s project into motion and show how their story would impact a pair of jeans. Over 120 men and women turned out for the experiment, all committing wear these masterpieces in progress for the better part of a year. And wear them they did.   raw denim clean start challenge blue seven 7 natewiewel okc oklahoma city Photo: @natewiewel   After 7 months of nonstop wear, potentially awkward jean selfies, and well-researched conversations about the cleanliness of unwashed pants, each owner created a unique denim thumbprint from their most personal clothing. Some aficionados are very particular about the deflowering of their virginal denim, while others said YOLO to it all at an occasion where we can only hope they remembered to bring some back-up pants.   Forty of the Clean Start Project's subjects celebrated by taking over a local coin-opp laundromat, where they had some drinks and saw the denim off on its maiden voyage. The first wash is pivotal in the raw denim journey, revealing the lines, fades, and other signs of wear experienced throughout its lifetime.   raw denim how to wash blue 7 seven clean start challenge oklahoma city okc   The washing party turned out to be a good time, but the ultimate celebration kicked off when the product officially went up for display at the Clean Start Finale. Friends, family, denim heads, and curious gawkers came to the makeshift gallery at DC on Film Row to see the pants speak for themselves. Whether its wearer was a painter, preacher, tattoo artist, or teacher, the secrets broken into each pair showed audience members how distinctive lifestyles shaped the denim.   raw denim cult of individuality clean start challenge blue 7 okc oklahoma city display wearing in jeans how to wear   Not only does the Clean Start Project event speak true to the joys of raw denim, but it’s rapidly grown in size. Less than 20 people were invited to join during Clean Start’s infancy and, three years later, participation has exceeded triple digits. Sparks of interest have been igniting from the movement, and people are really starting to get fired up about just how incredible raw denim is. In our book, that's a huge success!   So, what big fashion challenge is next on the horizon?   Maybe not.  

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