Levi Strauss & Co. is giving a shout-out to World Water Day by imploring its employees to stop washing their jeans. Levi's workers around the world have been encouraged to join the Go WaterLess challenge and wear the same pair of unwashed pants for the week of March 19-23, 2012.
Clad with a non-removable sponge tag that will noticeably expand if hydrated, the denim-donning challengees are uploading pictures to Instagram and Flickr daily. The three “most stylish” employees will receive a $1,000 grant for the water organization of their choice. The company is also asking consumers to hop on the pants-wagon by taking a picture of themselves wearing the same pair of jeans each day and uploading it to Instagram (#gowaterless).
Veteran denim wearers know that unwashed jeans are the best--and frankly, who washes their jeans every day? (How awesome if employees went rogue by scrapping the five-day concept and continued the challenge for 365 days.) But nonetheless, the campaign brings well-deserved attention to Levi’s WaterLess products. The water-conserving collection allows the company to use an average of 28% less and as much as 96% less water for some products in the line. Thus far, the collection has reduced the company’s use of water by more than 172 million liters.
Aside from the World Water Day promotion, for some time now Levi's has been asking consumers to wash their jeans every two weeks instead of one, noting that if everyone, for example, who bought a pair of WaterLess jeans did so, 14 years of drinking water for 60,000 people would be saved.
And why not? As Carl Chiara, Levi’s director of brand concepts, explains, unwashed jeans are, "usually the best jeans. I don't wash my jeans that much. There's that whole denim culture that just refuses to wash their jeans because they break in beautifully, they wear in nicely, the hand gets really interesting, they mould, and they shape and there's all those sort of things that happen to a pair of jeans when you just wear them repeatedly. They sort of polish as opposed to shrink and fade."