College Student Doesn't Wash Jeans For 15 Months

10:50 AM, Jan 20, 2011   |    comments
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(CNN) -- It's like a dream come true for a college student -- owning jeans that don't have to be washed.

A University of Alberta student decided to find out if not washing his raw denim jeans for more than a year was safe.

Josh Le's jeans fit like a glove, and they should.  For the past 15 months, he's been wearing them nearly non-stop, without washing them.

"For the people who didn't know about it they were like josh why are you not washing your jeans. But for the people who did know about it they thought it was cool."

The "it" is raw denim jeans -- jeans that haven't been treated with chemicals so when they are brand new, they are stiff. 

A fashion expert says the trend started a few years ago with guys who just wanted the perfect fit. The goal is to wear them as much as you can without washing them.

"You are processing your jeans yourself...opposed to having it processed in the factory," says Kimberley Jev of Calgaryfashion.

Le wore his pair for 15 months and took a picture of them everyday.

"I gave them the sniff test and if they smelled okay I would wear them for the day."

He would hang the jeans up to air them out, but one day, the jeans failed the sniff test.

"It was really bad because when I opened it up there was a big waft of stink that hit me. I triple bagged them and then threw them in the freezer."

Just before Christmas, he was all set to wash his jeans when his professor found out about his experiment.

With her help, they swabbed the jeans for bacteria then washed them.  Then, Josh wore them for another two weeks before tossing them in the laundry again.

"They were similar. I expected they would be so much lower than after 15 months," comments Rachel McQueen from the University of Alberta.

His jeans were about as dirty after 13 days as they were after 15 months, which means he doesn't have to sacrifice hygiene in order to satisfy fashion. 

Le's already moving on from this pair.

"They have been promoted to weekend status because I am working on a new pair of raw denim."

This time, he wants to go even longer without washing them.

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