“Stop Washing Your Jeans:” LS&Co. CEO Chip Bergh at Brainstorm Green

Levi Strauss & Co.
May 20, 2014

It’s official: you can stop washing your jeans. And that’s a direct suggestion from Levi Strauss & Co. CEO, Chip Bergh, who took part in an insightful discussion at Fortune’s Brainstorm Green conference yesterday in Laguna Niguel, California.

Here at LS&Co., we’re committed to producing sustainable clothing above all else—and Chip Bergh gave the audience at Brainstorm Green a look into some of the ways LS&Co. is keeping sustainability top of mind. “I think Levi Strauss is the ultimate in slow fashion,” he said.

Levi’s® remains committed to making quality jeans that should last longer “than most peoples’ waist lines,” Chip joked. But that intentional strength and durability is integral to the idea of slowing down the fashion cycle so that people can wear their clothing longer and donate them for reuse once they’re finished. Fun fact: Levi’s® is the number one brand of hand-me-downs and remain highly sought after in the vintage world.

Another way LS&Co. is working on sustainability? By building it into the very clothing we make. Chip spoke about our exciting Dockers® Wellthread line, which manufactures environmentally-friendly clothing, while also improving the lives of workers who make the products. “The concept is to try to develop a line of products that is sustainable in every facet of the word, not just environmentally sustainable, but socially sustainable and economically sustainable,” he noted.

And then Chip urged everyone to stop washing their jeans. He pointed out that roughly half the water usage happens during jeans production—the other half is wasted at home. Chip called on consumers to help cut down on water use by keeping their jeans out of the washing machine.

Yep, while denim heads have been freezing and not washing their jeans for years, it looks like the denim head mentality has achieved more than just those epic fades—it’s contributing to a more sustainable world. (We think that’s a pretty big win-win.)

Here at Unzipped, we couldn’t be more excited about LS&Co.’s sustainability aims and our green future—and, of course, to promptly stop washing our jeans.

For more of Chip’s appearance at Fortune’s Brainstorm Green Conference, check out this video:

*Feature image credit: Stuart Isett/FORTUNE Brainstorm Green