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Levi's CEO reveals surprising no-wash strategy for jeans: Why he chooses different approach

Levi's CEO reveals surprising no-wash strategy for jeans: Why he chooses different approach Illustrative photo (
Author: Daria Shekina

The CEO of the renowned denim manufacturing company Levi Strauss & Co, Charles Bergh, made an unexpected statement regarding jeans washing. Back in 2014, he stated that jeans should not be washed. After many years of discussion, he added why this should not be done and what method should be used.

What Charles Bergh suggests to denim enthusiasts is reported with reference to CNBC.

Jeans are one of the most popular clothing items and are found in almost everyone's wardrobe. It's obvious that they need to be washed quite frequently, and discussions about the proper way to wash them and the use of different laundry detergents have been ongoing for many years.

Partly responsible for this discussion is Charles Bergh, the CEO of Levi Strauss & Co, who stated at a major event that he never washed his jeans.

Recently, on a CNBC television show, journalists managed to get an answer as to why the CEO of the company that produces this popular clothing item believes it's not advisable to wash jeans. He confirms that he still don't use a washing machine to clean his jeans of dirt.

"I never said do not to wash jeans. True denim heads, people that really love their denim, will tell you to never put your denim into a washing machine. So that’s what I do.

He explains that machine-washing jeans affect their shape and color. Avoiding such washing prolongs the lifespan of jeans because it prevents the wearing of denim fibers, which typically leads to holes or tears.

However, this does not mean that one should walk around in dirty jeans with stains.

"If I drop some curry on my jeans, I’m gonna clean it. But I’ll spot clean it. And if they get really gross you know, if I’ve been out sweating or something and they get really gross, I’ll wash them in the shower," he said.

He explains that you should wear your jeans into the shower and lather them there with soap, just like you do with your body. This approach positively affects both the denim and the environment.

According to Bergh, washing jeans is part of the carbon footprint of clothing. Denim production consumes a lot of water, and consumers multiply these figures several times.

In the United States, people may wash their jeans after every wear, while in other countries, jeans are sent to the washing machine only when they are really dirty.