As Levi Strauss, probably the most recognizable brand of jeans all over the world, makes a highly anticipated return as a publicly-traded company, another newsworthy announcement has come from its CEO:
"I shocked the crowd by admitting that the Levi’s jeans I was wearing that day hadn’t seen the inside of a washing machine"
Chip Bergh, the 61-year-old Levi President and CEO, actually made this statement five years ago during Fortune magazine's Brainstorm Green conference in California.
What Chip practiced didn't just echo a piece of astute advice many fashion experts agree on, it's also a mark of their commitment to produce sustainable clothing above all else.
"How to take care of your very best denim has been a subject of debate for decades, particularly amongst denim aficionados. My point at the conference, which by the way was all about sustainability, was to challenge the mindset that we need to throw everything into the washing machine after one or two wearings. I made this provocative statement because I believe strongly in what our brands stand for: quality, durability and lasting products made sustainably. I also said it because I believe we don’t need to wash jeans as often as most people think we do."
Chip also mentioned via The Dirty Jeans Manifesto that roughly half the water usage happens during jeans production--and the other half is wasted at home. According to their in-house research, an average pair of jeans consumes roughly 3,500 liters of water over the course of its two-year lifecycle. 1,600 liters (or 6,700 glasses of drinking water) of that is the consumer throwing the jeans in the washer.
While his statement was indeed attention-grabbing, he never mentioned that he didn't wash his jeans.
"The headline became 'Levi’s CEO says Never Wash Your Jeans’, (which, for the record, is not exactly what I said…but it made a great headline). Now, to be fair, these were also my very best pair of Levi’s, which I normally wear to the office – not for playing soccer in the park with my daughter!"
Levi's spokesperson also said that Chip spot treats them (his jeans) or worst case, hand wash if needed.
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