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Green Denim Care Facts & Myths

levis_whirlpoolLAS VEGAS, Jan 27, 2010 / — A recent joint survey by the Whirlpool® and Levi’s® brands uncovered that despite advances in high efficiency (HE) laundry, the majority of consumers don’t realize the environmental impact of their laundry habits.

With nearly nine out of ten respondents doing two or more loads of laundry each week, both Whirlpool brand and Levi’s are focused on reducing the environmental impact of the age-old chore.

The two companies worked with Opinion Research Corporation to survey consumers about their knowledge of green laundry care. The survey demonstrated that a number of laundry myths continue to guide consumer behavior.

Myth #1: The water temperature of your laundry cycle doesn’t impact the environment.

  • Nearly 50 percent of consumers who do laundry don’t realize that water temperature has an environmental impact.
  • Forty-three percent use warm or hot water to wash their jeans.
  • Among those who wash jeans, the majority of women use cold water (63%) while the majority of men use warm (50%).

Reality: Washing fabrics in cold water can dramatically reduce the amount of energy used when doing laundry.

Myth #2: Your washing machine needs to be full of water to clean your clothes.

  • Thirty percent of those who do laundry believe their washing machine needs to be full of water to clean clothes completely.

Reality: Whirlpool brand’s ENERGY STAR® qualified Duet 9750 front-load washer can tackle up to 18 pairs of jeans and features a low water wash system. The HE washer uses up to 74 percent less water and 80 percent less energy, saving consumers more than $1,000 in lifetime water and energy costs when compared to a pre-2004 conventional washer, based on a 10-year life cycle. That’s a lot of Levi’s!

Myth #3: You need to wash your jeans each time you wear them.

  • Almost 20 percent of those who wash jeans still wash their denim after each wear.

Only six percent of those who wash jeans are washing less to benefit the environment. Nearly half of consumers who wash jeans delay washing their jeans because they don’t think they are dirty, while 20 percent are concerned about shrinking or color fading.

Reality: Jeans do not need to be washed after every wearing – and waiting for a full load can save 3,400 gallons of water annually, according to the Department of Energy.

“This survey clearly showed that consumers have definite opinions about what is best for their clothing,” said Mary Zeitler, home economist for the Whirlpool Institute of Fabric Science. “Together with Levi’s we are giving them the right tools and tips to provide the best care for their jeans in the most efficient manner possible.”

Whirlpool Corporation offers more HE and ENERGY STAR® qualified washers than any other manufacturer and is working across all areas to further the promise of more eco-friendly laundry.

“We all do laundry but we don’t all realize that small changes in our habits can add up to a big difference for the planet,” Robert Hanson, President, Levi Strauss Americas. “Whirlpool brand and Levi’s® are both working hard to create more sustainable products and spread the word with our consumers about what they can do to help.”

Levi Strauss & Co. recently launched a partnership with Goodwill® to educate consumers that caring for their clothes can help care for the planet. The company was the first major retailer to change garment care labels to urge consumers to wash in cold and donate unwanted clothing to Goodwill® to keep it out of landfills. Learn more at levi.com/care.

Five Fast Laundry Facts and Tips:

1. Hands off: Forty-one percent of those surveyed do not allow anyone else to wash their jeans.

2. Lonely blues: 13 percent of people wash their jeans separately from the rest of their families’ laundry.

3. Tumbling around: 48 percent of consumers continue to do an average of 4+ loads of laundry each week.

4. Fight fading: Wash your jeans inside out to prevent fading.

5. Go ENERGY STAR: An ENERGY STAR qualified washing machine can save more than 7,000 gallons of water a year, cut energy consumption by more than 40 percent and save up to $110 per year compared to conventional washers manufactured before 1994.