Quit Washing Your Jeans So Much, Says the CEO of Levi's

Illustration for article titled Quit Washing Your Jeans So Much, Says the CEO of Levi's

It's no secret that jeans can go for a remarkably long time without a visit to the washing machine, but some of us are perhaps just a little ashamed of how long we'll wear the same pair. Luckily for the slobs out there, the CEO of Levi's has personally blessed our "Eh, it'll go another week" approach.


Mashable reports (via Business Insider) that Levi Strauss CEO Chip Bergh recently appeared at a Fortune conference, in double denim, of course. While discussing the company's efforts to reduce the amount of water it takes to produce a single pair of its signature pants (it's a lot), he pointed out that customers really don't need to wash their jeans very often at all. "If you talk to real denim aficionados, they'll tell you don't wash your blue jeans," he insisted, pointing to his own legs:

"These jeans are maybe a year old. These have yet to see a washing machine. I know that sounds totally disgusting. I know it does. But believe me, it can be done. You can spot-clean it, you can air dry it, and it's fine. I have yet to get a skin disease or anything else."

Maybe this is due to the fact that Levi's 501s were invited 141 years ago, before the advent of, you know, washing machines. But apparently this trend has been percolating for a while: Levi's has been harping on the theme since 2011, and apparently purveyors of fancy-schmancy denim will tell you to freeze them whenever they feel gross.


Now, obviously using less water is an environmentally friendly strategy, and I certainly go as long as possible without washing my jeans. (Though that's less out of a desire to be a friend to Mother Nature than the fact that I live in New York City and seriously fuck going around the block to the laundromat more than once a month.) However: Bergh doesn't seem to account for the fact that a lot of jeans made for women, in particular, now contain a little stretch. If you don't wash those babies every once in a while, they'll be down around your knees.

But do feel free to get creative with "every once in a while." Quarterly seems about right.

Photo via AP Images.



Levi's CEO saying this probably signifies the final stage of the long, slow transition of jeans from work clothing to expensive class-signifiers. "Real denim aficionados" must not ever do anything physically taxing, or outdoors, or near animals.

How delicately do you have to conduct yourself to be able to go for a *year* without getting your pants dirty enough to wash?