For decades, people have been coming up with ways to save electricity. They figured by burning less coal to run the power plant, we could lower the damage done to the planet. Some of these ideas made sense, like lowering the temp on your hot water tank or only doing full loads of laundry. Others, like Levi’s CEO Chip Bergh, want you to wear your jeans in the shower.
According to the Daily Mail, Bergh listed environmental science as his rationale. Researchers found “toxic microfibers” from denim had been building up “in aquatic systems.” This means he washes his jeans incredibly infrequently, but “If they get really gross, you know, if I’ve been out sweating or something, I’ll wash them in the shower.” For him, this is a very rare occurrence, but when it happens, he “scrubs them with soap as a person might wash their own legs. If I drop some curry on my jeans, I’m gonna clean it. But I’ll spot clean.”
As the Daily Mail went on to note, in 2020, a massive discovery of synthetic indigo denim was deposited in the Great Lakes between the US and Canada. The researchers estimated about 25% of the microfibers in the water system were denim. Just this research isn’t enough to go on, though.
Their annotation of the fibers being synthetic doesn’t make a good case to start rocking the Wranglers in the shower. If anything, they make a case for the return of more cotton material in the making of denim and significantly less synthetics. This might mean spending a little more on them, but that switch fixes the problem. It also solves the problem of taking a shower and not getting clean.
Especially since those same fibers would still end up being washed off and down the drain anyways, just like they would in the washer.