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18th Mar 2016

Stop Everything. Experts Say You Should NEVER Wash Your Jeans

If someone was to tell me I had to choose one – and only one – item from my wardrobe that I could not for a minute imagine living without, I wouldn’t even hesitate in picking one of my (way too many) pairs of skinny jeans.

As in; I would severely struggle to dress myself most days if I did not have this absolute wardrobe classic to rely on. Dressed up with heels and a silk blouse, dressed down with Converse and a snug cashmere knit, my skinny jeans will see me through most of the work-week, and then, on the weekend, work equally well for brunch, trips to the park and a haul around my local farmer’s market.

Which is why I am always keen to keep my favourite ones looking good for as long as possible. And not get saggy around the back and knees – which sometimes happen infuriatingly fast with some pairs.

Now I think I have found the answer as to why, though. I have washed them. Apparently a big no-no

Which, if the CEO of Levi’s is to be believed (and you would think he knows what he’s talking about), is the absolute worst thing you could be doing to your jeans. In fact, the Levi’s mantra includes information about not washing your trusty denims.

Chip Bergh, head of iconic denim brand Levi Strauss, spoke out about his laundry habits at a global environmental conference recently, and explained how he personally hasn’t washed his current jeans in over a year.

“If you buy our jeans they will last a lot longer than most people’s waistlines will.” And while his statement made some waves, in reality, the company has been living up to such practices for a while now, and according to the New York Times, Levi’s began “featuring stone-washed denim smoothed with rocks but no water” in 2011 while also encouraging consumers to wash less.


Founder of popular-with-celebrities jeans brand MiH, Chloe Lonsdale, do not advise her customer to never wash their jeans, but to keep it to a bare minimum in order for the jeans to stay good looking and fit better for longer. “We are talking an absolute minimum washing when it comes to jeans,” explains Lonsdale. “And when you do wash them, choose a gentle cycle and never on a temperature above 40 degrees C.”

And as for washing powder, less is more, says the expert. “Much less than you think you need,” Lonsdale advises. “And drop the fabric softener. That will ruin the shape of your denim in no time.”

Ever thrown your jeans in the dryer to get them dry in time for leaving the house? Big mistake. “Never put your jeans in the dryer, it will make them loose shape and will soften the fabric, making them more prone to sagging,” she explains. “If you are having to dry your jeans in the dryer because you only have one pair, it’s about time you invested in another one.”

Well, I guess we’ll save on washing powder anyway!

How often do YOU wash your jeans? Would you consider washing them less having read this? Let us know in the comments or tweet us at @Herfamilydotie