Never wash my jeans? That’s right. If you really want to take care of your denim, you need to be willing to get a little dirty (but not too dirty).
Although that sounds like a bad idea, the longer you go without washing your jeans, the longer their integrity lasts. If you’re a fan of nice denim, then you’ve probably shelled out a good amount of money for a pair or two, so you’re going to want them to last as long as possible.
If you’re skeptical, maybe you’ll believe the President and CEO of Levi’s, Chip Bergh. Chip Bergh announced at a 2014 conference that he was wearing year-old pair of jeans that has never “seen the inside of a washing machine.” While comes as a shock, he has good reasons for holding off.
One of these reasons is to preserve the original shape, feel, and color of the denim fabric. The main purpose of waiting as long as possible to wash your jeans is to prevent the breakdown of the fibers of the denim. This includes fading the indigo color, and diminishing the stiffness or structure of the denim. This could loosen the “hug” that a fresh pair of jeans gives you when you first try them on and that flatters your figure – the factor that makes you fall in love with the perfect pair. Additionally, some denim aficionados believe that wearing jeans repeated without fading them in the wash will cause the dye to crease and imprint based on your body and your daily movements, making them entirely unique to you.
The second reason for waiting to wash your denim, and washing as infrequently as possible, is to increase sustainability by decreasing water usage. In 2007, Levi Strauss & Co.’s VP of Sustainability conducted a “lifecycle assessment” of a pair of jeans to assess the carbon footprint of a single pair of jeans. It was learned that one pair of jeans that were washed once per week could consume approximately 1600 liters of water over two years. Overall, when your jeans avoid the washing machine, it saves their integrity, and helps the planet. Those are pretty good incentives in exchange for a little dirt on your pants.
Repeatedly wearing a pair of jeans before washing them is easier for someone who wears them in an office than for someone who wears them while working on cars or in a field. That being said, we’re not saying to never wash your jeans at all.
If you spill something on your jeans or get a stain, you don’t need to leave it there. If your jeans are getting a little desperate, there are a number of ways you can clean them without putting them in the washing machine.
For any food stains or two, you can spot clean the small areas with a couple of easy steps. Simply wipe off any excess food, sauce, or liquid from your jeans, and then using a wet towel or a gentle brush, apply a small amount of soap or liquid detergent mixed with water and wipe the area until clean. It’s best to act fast on these types of stains so they don’t have time to settle into the fibers.
If odors become your primary problem, spritz your jeans with a neutralizing spray. There are a handful of these sprays specifically for denim on the market that use enzymes to neutralize odors and drying agents to trap grime and oils. Give your jeans a couple sprays where needed and hang to dry overnight.
This method sounds a bit strange, but according to those same denim pros, you can apparently freeze your jeans to get rid of any odors. All you need to do is place your jeans in a sealed plastic bag, and leave them in the freezer overnight.
If your jeans are in rough shape, and you still want to preserve them as best as you can, you can do what Levi’s Bergh does and hand wash them. Fill a tub or sink with cold water and a small amount of detergent, and then submerge your jeans for about 15-30 minutes. Remove your jeans and rinse them a few times, fold them and gently press to release any excess water, and then hang dry.
Properly caring for your denim can be meticulous, but maintaining its integrity and beauty is worth it.
So should you never wash your jeans? No, you should wash them when they really need it. As much as you want to preserve your denim, you’ll also want to spare some noses the results of prolonged unwashed denim.
If you’re going to avoid washing your jeans for as long as possible, and wash them as infrequently as possible, then your jeans might as well be hemp jeans!
Luckily, Alkhemist Hemp Incorporated Jeans allow you to wear your jeans over and over again without washing and without conjuring up as much dirt and odor as traditional raw denim. Hemp is better for your jeans, better for your wallet, and better for the environment. Thanks to hemp’s natural anti-odor and anti-bacterial properties, your jeans will stay fresher and cleaner for longer without any washing needed. Hemp fibers contain compounds that have the ability to kill surface bacteria, and naturally fight off mold and mildew, making for an overall cleaner pair of jeans.
Additionally, if you’d like your jeans to be more sustainable and consume less water over their lifetime, like Levi’s CEO Chip Bergh, Alkhemist Hemp Incorporated Jeans is your best option. Hemp requires less irrigation and pesticides or herbicides while growing, uses half the amount of water as its alternatives, and produces half the carbon footprint.
When the day comes that you finally need to wash your Alkhemist Hemp Incorporated Jeans, you can trust hemp’s durability to hold its feel and shape through multiple washes. Alkhemist Hemp Incorporated Jeans will stay polished and pristine for longer, and provide the perfectly engineered feel, touch and look of James Jeans.
Better jeans, better for the environment.