In Defense of Not Washing Your Jeans ... Ever

jeans denimThe CEO of Levi's, Chip Bergh, has admitted publicly that he hasn't washed his jeans in over a year. That sentence may call upon your sense of smell and some sort of musky odor might have just filled your nose. The magnitude of such a stench would depend on how often you wear jeans, how much you sweat, and if you wear underwear.

A couple of years ago, Levi's was pushing this concept but under the guise that not washing your jeans will save the environment. Now, it's just cool to be dirty because dirty jeans last longer, fit better, and aren't really as dirty as we think.


Bergh is still talking about denim -- his denim specifically -- and making sure we know that it is sustainable, eco-friendly, and doesn't need to be washed... ever. He's been wearing his jeans for over a year and he isn't being called Pig-Pen by anyone who knows him. It's okay, he says. It can be done, he says. And no one is going to smell.

I have my own confession to make. I rarely wash my jeans. And I wear them a lot. The same pair, over and over and over again. I also have twin 4-year-olds who love to put their often sticky, food smudged hands all over my pants. I still don't wash my jeans that much. Mostly because they don't seem dirty. And I love the way they fit when they are worn in. I do wash them when they start to get too stretched out, or it's a Nutella with pancakes kind of morning and the kids thinking painting on mommy's jeans is a fun activity.

But I could have just spot cleaned because as it turns out, your dirty denim at a year is only as dirty as your denim at 13 days unwashed. A test was done -- this is fact. There was some skin flora, a little bacteria, but nothing worrisome. No E. coli or fecal matter was detected. This was one person's results and the person did wear underwear. If not the results most likely would be different. So put on some undies and don't wash your denim for a year.

So maybe a year is too much for some. What about six months? Two months? People are promising that it's not such a bad or smelly idea after all.

How often do you wash your jeans? Do you think denim needs to be washed often or could you go over a year?


Image via Lisa/Flickr

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