Jeans are among the most popular clothing items in the world today – forever a part of mainstream fashion, and worn by both genders.
One question that comes up often is how often we should wash our favourite pair of denims.
According to Chip Bergh, president and CEO of Levi Strauss & Co – the original denim makers and biggest selling jeans maker in the world – the answer to that question is never.
Bergh claimed that washing jeans damages the material – it fades, and also wastes water.
He said in an interview in 2014 that his jeans ‘have yet to see a washing machine. “I know it sounds disgusting, but believe me, it can be done. You can spot clean it, you can air dry it, and its fine. I am yet to get a skin disease or anything else. It works.”
The CEO was wearing a pair of black denim during the interview. When asked how often one should wash a pair of blue denim, he said: “Not very often. If you talk to real denim aficionados, they will tell you: don’t wash your blue jeans.”
He said a sponge and a toothbrush can suffice.
Bergh clarified his comments in a post on LinkedIn.
“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.
“My challenge at the conference only reiterated what denim aficionados have been saying for years: don’t wash your jeans, or significantly reduce your frequency of washing. Or, you can do what I do, and simply spot clean your jeans if they aren’t a total mess. And, when my jeans really need a wash, I do it the old fashioned way: I hand-wash them and hang-dry them. Ask my wife – I really do”
Rachel McQueen, a professor of human ecology at the University of Alberta in Canada conducted a study where one of her students wore a pair of jeans for 15 months straight without a single wash.
Following a bacterial test, McQueen found that the jeans carried a similar amount of bacteria as the same pair after they had been washed and then worn for another 13 days.
“What I found was just normal skin flora,” McQueen told The National Post in 2011. “The counts were really, really similar. The bacteria load from the swabbed areas were pretty much the same.”
Science says that the idea of freezing jeans to get rid of bacteria is a myth. Most bacteria is pre-adapted to survive low temperatures.
Source: Business Tech