Levi Strauss CEO Says You Shouldn't Wash Your Jeans


At an environmental conference, the Levi's CEO Chip Bergh informed the crowd that he hasn't washed the jeans we was wearing in over a year. The reasons behind him revealing his head-scratching decision are, in fact, both eco-friendly and fashion conscience. The denim connoisseur was there to discuss the company's efforts to improve sustainability practices by working with farmers to grow cotton that requires less processing.Photo by Todd Huffman

Washing jeans regularly is a waste of water and apparently, "if you talk to real denim aficionados, they'll tell you, don't wash your blue jeans." Bergh's advice, which many find unsanitary and shocking is actually not a new idea. 

In the past, Levi Strauss has promoted putting your denim in the freezer to kill bacteria. In 2012, Anderson Cooper said that when he purchased jeans from APC, a clerk recommended not washing them for a long time. And last year fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger told TMZ that he never washes his jeans because he likes them broken in.

While aesthetic purposes may not be convincing enough for some, a 2011 University of Alberta study found that the bacteria levels on a pair of jeans not washed for over a tear were practically equivalent to a pair washed after only two weeks of wear. Bergh may not be so concerned about cleanliness, but it looks like he may have the right idea.