14/08/2014 16:46 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

Why You Shouldn't Wash Your Jeans

When Chip Bergh, the president and CEO of Levi Strauss & Co, announced his jeans "hadn't seen the inside of a washing machine" at a public talk on sustainability in May, the news went viral.

A button on the old blue jeans

Two months after Bergh left all jeans fans baffled, Bergh has explained why he asked the world to stop washing denim in his blog for the Huffington Post.

"I made this provocative statement because I believe strongly in what our brands stand for: quality, durability and lasting products made sustainably," Bergh writes.

"I also said it because I believe we don't need to wash jeans as often as most people think we do."

His reason? Carbon footprint.

After conducting a "lifecycle assessment" in 2007, the experts at Levi's were left staggered when they found out how much water and energy a pair of jeans consumes.

"We learned that an average pair of jeans consumes roughly 3,500 litres of water - and that is after only two years of use, washing the jeans once a week. Nearly half of the total water consumption, or 1,600 litres, is the consumer throwing the jeans in the washing machine. That's equivalent to 6,700 glasses of drinking water!" Bergh states.

Since then, Levi's has introduced a 'Care Tag for the Planet' to encourage customers to wash their jeans less, using cold water and hand-drying them.

"Or, you can do what I do," says Bergh. "... 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."

Alternatively, you could try wearing the painted-on version...


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Watch below for more on Levi's eco-friendly strategy: