While some investors are celebrating Levi Strauss’ return to the public markets Thursday after decades of being a private company, many are puzzled by the CEO's recent comments that he hasn’t washed his jeans in 10 years.
Ahead of its second IPO on Thursday, which boosted its market cap to close $8 billion — a number that was far larger than it expected — Levi’s Chip Bergh admitted on CNN Business’ Markets Now that he still hasn’t washed his now decade-old pair of jeans. And he doesn’t plan to, either.
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He also slammed the old wives’ tale about freezing your jeans to preserve the color and shape.
In a statement to FOX Business on Friday, Levi’s confirmed that Bergh hasn’t washed his jeans in a “washing machine” for more than a decade.
“If it’s the pair I’m thinking of, he will spot treat them or worst case hand wash if needed. But never in the washing machine,” a Levi’s spokesperson said.
This isn’t the first time Bergh drummed up media attention around washing — or rather, not washing — jeans.
In 2014, at a conference on sustainability, Bergh shocked the crowd when he told them his jeans "hadn't seen the inside of a washing machine" ever and he urged others to stop washing theirs as well.
Bergh later clarified his comments in an op-ed on LinkedIn called "The Dirty Jean Manifesto."
"My point at the conference, which by the way was all about sustainability, was to challenge the mindset that we need to throw everything into the washing machine after one or two wearings. I made this provocative statement because I believe strongly in what our brands stand for: quality, durability and lasting products made sustainably. I also said it because I believe we don’t need to wash jeans as often as most people think we do," Bergh wrote.
Levi's shares soared 33 percent in its debut on Thursday. However, its stock started to dip in early trading Friday.