Why Levi’s CEO Says to Stop Washing Your Jeans

By ABC News

May 21, 2014 9:18am

If you feel the need to throw your jeans into the washing machine after every wear, you may be doing it all wrong.

According to the man behind the jeans Americans have been wearing for the past 141 years – Levi’s 501s – you do not need to wash your jeans as often as you think you do, if ever.

“These jeans are maybe a year old and these have yet to see a washing machine,” the CEO of Levi Strauss & Co., Chip Bergh, said Tuesday, referring to the jeans he was wearing during an interview at Fortune magazine’s Brainstorm Green conference in California.

“I know that sounds totally disgusting,” Bergh said. “I know it does.”

Despite the potential “ick” factor, Bergh went on to explain that keeping your jeans out of the laundry will help keep their shape and color.

“If you talk to real denim aficionados, they tell you don’t wash your blue jeans,” Bergh said.

Bergh is not the only member of the fashion industry to espouse a no-wash jeans policy.

Fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger once told celebrity website TMZ.com that he also keeps his Levi’s out of the washing machine.

“I never wash my Levi’s,” Hilfiger told TMZ cameras last October.

So how do you keep your jeans fresh without the help of laundry detergent?  Experts recommend  eliminating odor by spritzing jeans with white vinegar or vodka and hanging them out to air dry.

Another option is to freeze your jeans once per month to kill off the smell caused by bacteria.  The freezing option entails turning your jeans inside out and then freezing them either overnight or for two days at a time.

While fashion honchos like Hilfiger and Bergh are okay with keeping their jeans out of the washing machine, others took to social media to say they will stick with having clean jeans, no matter the consequences.

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