Last week, the Internet more or less exploded when Levi's CEO Chip Bergh advised an audience at a green-fashion conference to "stop washing your jeans." This advice wasn't exactly news to denim-heads, who are almost superstitious in their avoidance of the washing machine and instead employ elaborate de-funkening strategies, like wearing their jeans while swimming in salt water and freezing them. However, as anyone who's tried them will attest, those techniques don't always give you the so-fresh, so-clean feeling you desire.
So, how can we strike a balance between prolonging our denim life and not toting around a Pig-Pen-style cloud of filth? We asked Levi's head designer Jonathan Cheung for the inside scoop on exactly how we should be washing our jeans — and how often. Read on for solutions that should keep you from taking a swim or having to make space in the freezer for your skinnies.