What Constitutes ‘Reasonably Durable’ - Discussion

We all know the consumer law requires goods to be reasonably durable, but it’s largely a matter of opinion as to what that is.

So here’s one I need help with. Jeans. I bought 2 pairs for about $50 each on the 8th of September. Today (21/12) one of them tore terribly in the crotch as I stretched to place something on a shelf. I work a very physical job for 20-30 hours a week and it was a big stretch. So what are your thoughts? Were they reasonably durable?


My answer would be what would a reasonable person expect a pair to last for and my belief it is more than the period you got even with the stretching. However they may argue misuse and then you have a fight (difference of opinion) over whether it was misuse or not.

If you don’t get a refund then contact your State/Territory Consumer Affairs (Fair Trading) and seek their assistance. In the long run if you have to argue the case it may be a choice to “write the jeans off” and get a new pair from the original or another retailer (depending on your level of happiness over your treatment) or whether to take action in the Admin Appeals Tribunal for your State/Territory.


That was my thought yeah. I just wondered if anyone else had any suggestions before I pursue it.


My view it that clothing should last a minimum of 6 to 12 months. If during normal wear and washing the clothing item fails I believe you should be entitled to replacement or refund. If you are not getting any satisfaction report the issue to the Department of Fair Trading. I would also mention to the retailer that you are a Choice subscriber and intend to post your experience with the product and will mention the retailer and Jeans brand name in your post along with the results of your claim due to faulty clothing. I would also mention that you will not be shopping in that store again and will ensure that all your friends are made aware of your experience.


Were the jeans sold as work wear, general wear or fashion?

It would seem unreasonable not to get 12 months use out of ‘work’ wear other than fair wear and tear?

Politely, assuming the jeans were a proper fit allowing for full freedom of movement, jeans are marketed for their durability. Boulder washed, pre worn/loved and torn knees excepted?


Therein lies the problem. It could be a discussion about appropriate size as well as durability and whether work or leisure or style jeans. In the context presented it would probably be futile and confrontational to essentially threaten the shop on an arguable issue, and if the shop came to the party it would probably be more their good will than their legal obligation.

If the fabric tore I would side that you have a good case that the fabric was of unacceptable quality. If the seam ripped I might go the other way.


I remember a time when you could buy jeans, even on the tight side, and put them through hell - they were made of ‘tougher stuff’, that fabric from Nimes, and were stitched with what would better be described as cord not thread - thick thread at least. Only a significant lose off a skateboard onto bitumen or off a dirt-bike while mustering stock was enough to exceed the limit, and even then … or worn out after a long time, over six months of regular wear. As long as they aren’t ridiculously tight.

Three months - no. Even the cheap and nasty jeans Target sells should last six months+ and a couple of years back I returned a pair to them with no complaint (and no replacement - they were rubbish).

There might be mitigating factors, if they were distressed, bleached for style, or some other fashion thing it might detract from durability, but your post doesn’t suggest they had any ‘special fashion features’ :slight_smile:

I’d go back and have a chat with the people who sold them - you might be surprised.


I wound up bringing them back and Jeanswest was happy to swap them for a brand new pair, no questions asked.

If anyone else has any questions or comments on what’s reasonably durable, you can discuss it here :grinning:


I’m not a big wearer of jeans, wearing shorts most of the time in the warmer weather we’ve been having for some years here, but recently tried on a pair (the one and only) I’ve had since the late 1980s (not worn very often in the past 15 years, but previously at least weekly), and they are still in pretty good nick, no torn stitchings or rips in the fabric, just some wear around the cuffs, knees etc. Best of all, I can still fit into them, about 30 years after purchase!