Levi’s® committed to making quality jeans that should last longer “than most peoples’ waist lines,” – a bold claim made by Levi Strauss & Co. CEO, Chip Bergh, some time in May last year. If we’re still in the age of “Cowboy Boots with Levi’s Jeans”, then there’s little question about the infamous jeans durability and strength. Sadly, Levi’s jeans are seeing wear and tear more frequently now, not to mention higher price tag.
It wasn’t a surprise at all that the CEO of once “ultimate-jeans” tried very best trumpeting his company’s products. Besides, the strength and durability of Levi’s jeans were their only selling point. Their designs haven’t changed a bit for ages and are extremely boring. But there’s one thing that raised millions of eyebrows during that “Brainstorm Green” conference in Laguna Niguel, California.
May 20, 2014 marked the 141st birthday of the Levi’s 501 jean. But there was something more significant than the 141-year-old celebration. Every jeans lover still remembers what the CEO said on that faithful day. He urged everyone to stop washing their jeans. After he admitted that the Levi’s jeans he was wearing that day “hadn’t seen the inside of a washing machine”, all hell breaks loose.
Instantly, the headline became “Levi’s CEO says ‘Never Wash Your Jeans'”, and the news created a hot debate and immediately went viral. Mr Chip Bergh was called the guy who never washed his jeans (*yuck*). After a series of heavy bombardment, the CEO claimed he deliberately made the provocative statement to deliver Levi’s quality, durability and lasting products message.
On a softer spot, Chip explained that an average pair of jeans consumes roughly 3,500 liters of water – and that is after only two years of use, washing the jeans once a week. Nearly half of the total water consumption (1,600 liters) is the consumer throwing the jeans in the washing machine. That’s equivalent to 6,700 glasses of drinking water. Hence, the actual message that Chip drove was for consumers to save water.
Today, instead of telling people never to wash their jeans, Mr Chip Bergh gives a guidance – wash your jeans only after 10 times you wore them. Levi Strauss & Co. together with Industrial Ecology Consultants claim this would decrease energy and climate change impact by 80%. Levi’s also claim that ever since the launching of Levi’s Water Less in 2011, they have saved the planet 770 million liters of water.
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