Stop Washing Your Jeans, Says Levi's CEO

By: CBS SF
By: CBS SF

LAGUNA NIGUEL, CALIF. (CBS SF) — You know that feeling of sliding on jeans fresh out of the dryer.

What if you could avoid the tummy sucking hassle of squeezing into a pair of jeans by never washing them again?

In a move to promote sustainable practices, Levi Strauss & Co’s CEO Chip Bergh said that’s exactly what jean owners should do.

“These jeans have yet to see a washing machine,” he said of his own pair of year-old jeans he wore onstage at Fortune’s Brainstorm Green conference in Laguna Niguel, Calif., adding, “I know that sounds totally disgusting. … I have yet to get a skin disease.”

Keeping jeans out of the washing machine can extend the life of the fabric well beyond the owner’s life expectancy while saving water, Bergh said.

“If you talk to real denim aficionados they’ll tell you don’t wash your blue jeans,” he said. “Just take a sponge or toothbrush.”

Berg said the San Francisco-based company is trying to counter “fast” fashion mainstream culture by designing clothes known for their durability and longevity while producing them with much less energy and water out of fabrics that are easier to recycle.

“We build our products to last,” he said. “If you treat them right they will last you a long time — probably longer than most people’s waistlines,” he said.


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